Why a Broker is Your Best Friend When Applying for Life Insurance


Many people mistakenly believe that they can get a better price on life insurance if they buy direct from a life insurance company, rather than going through a broker. But this is a complete myth.

There are multiple reasons why you are likely to pay less – and get a better life insurance policy – if you purchase it through broker.

You don’t know as much about life insurance as you think

There is a saying – “a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing” – and that’s about the knowledge that most of us have when it comes to life insurance – a little bit. The problem is that we may take that little bit of knowledge and use it to buy a life insurance policy direct from an insurance company, thinking we know enough to do this. But that’s not always the case – consider the following:

Knowing what the “fine print” means. Most of us have little comprehension of the various provisions that are included in the typical life insurance policy. Worse, we may even gloss over those provisions, thinking them to be industry gobbledygook that really doesn’t mean anything. That can lead to unpleasant surprises down the road, and can even cost our beneficiaries money in a claim. Brokers understand insurance jargon, and they know what matters and what doesn’t. If nothing else, you need an insurance broker to “translate” insurance-speak into English.

It’s not all about finding cheap rates. It will do you little good to get the cheapest life insurance possible if it contains provisions and exclusions that would prevent your loved ones from getting benefits in a time of need. This is often the case with certain very low cost life insurance. An example is no medical exam life insurance. These are limited policies that contain exclusions. If you don’t understand what it is you’re getting into, you can pay for a product but get no benefit out of it. There’s nothing cheap about that, and a broker will recognize the difference immediately.

Important riders. There may be certain important policy riders that you should have included with your life insurance. Unfortunately, you won’t know anything about these unless you have a knowledgeable person directing the insurance process. For example, it may be beneficial – and very cost effective – to have a “double indemnity” policy rider. That’s a provision that allows your beneficiaries to collect double the face amount of the policy in the event that you die from certain accidents. There are numerous riders like this one, that a broker will know about and you probably won’t.

It won’t cost you anything extra to use an insurance broker

For the most part, it is thought that it will cost more to buy life insurance through a broker because a commission will be paid for their involvement. In truth, it will cost no more to get a life insurance policy with a broker. The life insurance company will pay a portion of the premium to the broker for bringing your business to them, but it will cost you nothing extra as a result.

Insurance companies offer “discounts” to brokers, in much the same way that hotels, car rental companies, and airlines offer discounts to travel agents. For example, the insurance company may offer a 15% discount on a life insurance policy for a customer provided by the broker.

The customer will be charged 100% of the premium – just as they would if they bought direct from the company – and the company will pass the 15% discount on to the broker. The customer will pay the same amount, whether they go through a broker, or they go direct. In the end, there’ no savings from going direct.

You may even pay less

Ironically, you may even end up paying less by using an insurance broker. Insurance brokers know where to get the best deals on life insurance, and will often get you a lower premium than you can get on your own.

If you try to deal direct with the insurance company to buy your policy, thinking that you’ll get the benefit of any savings as a result of not using a broker (and paying a commission), the exact opposite can happen. You’ll likely end up paying more for the policy than you would if you used an insurance broker to find it for you. You will miss out on the better, lower cost policies that the broker knows about – and you don’t. After all, you don’t work in the industry and can’t possibly know.

There are some areas in life where DIY – do it yourself – doesn’t work. Buying life insurance is one of them.