Consumer Advocacy

Why  should I use a professional insurance advisor?

Dramatic changes in the insurance marketplace make the professional insurance  advisor’s role increasingly important to individuals and small businesses  in finding cost-saving measures and coverage options. They provide and  service insurance products while educating and advising you on how to  manage risk and make informed insurance choices. Many career insurance  advisors have completed a sequence of college level courses leading to  a professional designation, such as

  • Registered Health Underwriter (RHU),
  • Health Insurance Associate (HIA),
  • Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC),
  • Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS), or
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).

Advisors are highly trained insurance professionals who will guide you  through the complex task of choosing appropriate coverage at an affordable  cost and are dedicated to serving the long-term interests of consumers.

How does an advisor get compensated?  What is his/her incentive to give me superior service?

Insurance advisors have strong financial and professional incentives  to give their clients a lifetime of quality products and service. Advisors  seldom are salaried employees of the insurance companies they represent.  Usually they are independent agents who represent many companies. Most  advisors are compensated on a commission basis – a percentage of the premiums  you pay your insurance company. Others are compensated on a fee basis  directly from employers. In each case, the advisor’s loyalty and compensation  rests with you, the consumer. Regardless of the method of compensation,  advisors have strong incentives to place consumers with strong, financially  stable carriers and provide superior service on an ongoing basis.

What  should I expect from a professional insurance advisor, and how can I evaluate  my current one?

An advisor will guide you through the complex task of choosing appropriate  coverage at an affordable cost. The following is what you should expect  from a professional insurance agent. Use this checklist to evaluate your  current advisor. Your professional paperduenow insurance advisor should:

  1. Work with you to evaluate your needs for insurance coverage.
  2. Explain the details of different insurance plans.
  3. Make specific recommendations and tailor plans to suit your special  needs and budgets.
  4. Review your plans periodically to update coverage and limit costs.
  5. Serve as your advocate and advisor in dealing with insurance companies,  doctors and hospitals, and government agencies involving claims, services  and regulations.
  6. Help you as a business owner communicate benefits packages to employees  and demonstrate how various provisions can complement personal and government  financial plans.


Should I buy insurance online?

Buying health insurance benefits is different than buying books and music.  Benefits are complex and they are critically important. Health care coverage  protects both a family’s health and its finances. Purchase the wrong book,  and you’re out a few dollars. Purchase the wrong health care coverage,  and the consequences are far more significant. Remember, if you buy health  insurance online, there may be no advisor to explain benefits, no advocate  if problems arise and no counselor to help you make the right coverage  choices.

How does a professional insurance advisor stay current with the numerous plans and changes in today’s marketplace?

Insurance advisors are licensed and regulated by state insurance departments.  Prospective advisors receive training regarding insurance and applicable  laws before taking a qualifying exam for licensing. The majority of states  now require continuing education to maintain license status. Many career  insurance advisors belong to the National Association of Health Underwriters  (NAHU), which offers seminars, workshops, courses and other educational  forums to ensure members meet the highest standards of client service.  NAHU also requires members to subscribe to a strict professional code  of ethics.