Why Use A Broker
You may see some services saying they offer an unbiased opinion because they are not insurance agents and they are now swayed by commissions. Here is a secret, most brokers are good people trying to take care of their clients. We see people offering their services for $500+ for helping you pick a plan. That's expensive advice!! Will you have to pay that every year? Who do you contact if you have a problem?
At MyMedigapConsultant, we know that if we don't educate you on what you have and why you have it; you might be swayed by another broker to unknowingly switch to an inferior company. Educating clients involves showing them what plans they need and why they need that particular plan. It helps ease their minds about the decision they have made. We might not recommend the least expensive plan available. Some times new plans offer very low priced plans, but later hit you with large rate increases. We like to recommend financially strong companies who have a large group of people covered. Having a large group of people covered helps spread the claims experience over that group, which helps keep premiums down over time.
Broker vs Direct
Some believe they can get a better deal by going direct with a company. This is actually not true. Companies offer the same rates through their own "in house" agents as well as independent brokers. An important question to ask is who will call you to shop your rate when your current premium increases? Would your Toyota dealer tell you about the better deal Ford is having? That's why you want to use a broker who can represent as many companies are they would like. It frees them to give unbiased opinion on what will work best for you.
If you agent is captive, they can only offer you one plan. In most cases, you will speak to that person when they enroll you and never again. There is a lot of turn over with direct employees. Wouldn't you want to work with someone you can develop a personal relationship with over time.
Broker vs Fee Only
Fee only advisers flaunt their "unbiased" opinion, while charging your an arm and a leg. What happens when your company's rate goes up? Do you have to pay the fee again? Not being licensed with any companies prevents them from having an idea how the internals of any company works. Do they have experience dealing with your company's customer service? Is the company a small regional company? Is it a new company who just came into the market and is buying business with a super low rate? Do they understand the insurance market? What is their experience? These are important questions to consider.
As independent brokers, we offer the best deal we can to our clients. We show they how and why it makes sense for them. If we don't offer the best deal, the next broker will offer a better deal, thus we lose a client. We stay in business by developing long term relationships with our clients. Our business model is based on giving you the best deal we can so you will refer us to your friends and family. It costs us a lot of money to acquire a client. Do a great job for a client and clients refer us to their friends and family. Getting a referral costs us less than it does to market to a brand new client.
We know each company, we have an unbiased opinion because we want a client more than a little more commission. Most companies pay brokers a similar amount, so there isn't much reason to favor one company versus the other in that case. For us, satisfied clients mean more referrals and more long term relationships. We know a quick buck is not worth risking our long term relationship with clients.