Who can better meet your insurance needs – General Insurance Broker or Agent?

Many people are unaware of the differences between an insurance broker and agent and used the terms “broker” and “agent” interchangeably.

Since either one of them can get you an insurance quote, it shouldn’t matter right?

There are actually many fundamental differences between insurance broker and agent, and that determine the kind of services and insurance products you can expect from each of them. 

Let us guide you through the differences in their roles and representation and that will shed light on how appropriate that “quote” you are getting actually is.

Understand your insurance needs
Here are some of the key differences between an insurance broker vs agent:

Broker

Agent

Representation

Represents you, the consumer, and have a duty to act in your best interest

Represents Insurance companies and their interests, with some having the ability to “bind” coverage

Number of Insurers

Can source multiple insurers for quotes, no limit

From 1 to a maximum of 3 insurers allowed to represent

Licensing

Registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Registered with General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA)

Compensation Scheme

Fixed brokerage without additional perks for any specific products.

Incentives for hitting target volumes and for selling specific products, on top of base commission.

Setup

More robust infrastructure required as in-house Compliance, Internal audit, Technology, Data protection is required.

Supported by the infrastructure of the insurance companies that they represent

Expertise

Work with many different insurers, across many products, more effort is required to keep abreast of them all.

Expertise only on the insurer(s) that they represent and the policies they sell. Knowledgeable in their insurer’s products.

In Singapore, there are less than 100 Insurance brokers but close to 10,000 insurance agents. The service that brokers and agents provide is to understand your needs and help you find suitable insurance plans. They function as an intermediary between you and the insurance companies.

To decide between using the service of a broker or an agent depends on your needs. An agent is licensed to sell insurance policies of only up to 3 insurers. That limits your options to compare different products. So if you have done your own research in advance and know the exact product of an insurer that you require, an agent might be well positioned to assist you.

However, if you are still unsure, or want options to compare still, you should speak with a broker. Also if your insurance need is unique, a broker with access to wider range of insurance products, would be in a better position to serve you.

Need someone experienced in insurance to assist you to find and decide on the insurance coverage you need? g&m is an insurance brokerage and our team can help advise you on motor, health, corporate, lifestyle, marine and various other insurance plans. Feel free to reach out to us at enquiry@gnm.com.sg

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