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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.


Insurance brokers use their knowledge and experience to assess a client's risk profile and find appropriate policies from different insurers who are authorized to write insurance in the state in which you live. Brokers search for the most comprehensive cover at the most competitive price.

Brokers are free to you. They are paid by the insurance company in the form of a commission of the premium. While this may set up a conflict of interest, legally a broker is supposed to work in your interest only.

To choose an insurance broker that is best for you:

Step 1. Determine your needs.
Step 2. Decide what criteria are important to you.
Step 3: Talk with your friends, business colleagues, attorney and/or an accountant to get their recommendations.
Step 4. Meet with several licensed, experienced candidates.

For information, see:

If you are looking for a broker to help obtain health insurance for you, see: How To Choose And Work With A Health Insurance Broker.

If you are questioning whether to use a broker at all, see: Should I Use A Broker Or Other Professional?

What An Insurance Broker Can Do For You

An insurance broker helps to:

  • Determine what kind of insurance you need.
  • What is the best product for you.
  • Shop among various insurance companies to find the best situation for your needs.
  • Keep you up to date about changes in the industry.
  • Help process paperwork.
  • Help let you know what to do in the event of a claim -- and get you a fair settlement.

Once you have a broker, he or she can also help if you have difficulties with the insurer.

How To Choose An Insurance Broker

Step 1: Determine your needs.

For instance, is it about life insurance? Health Insurance? Automobile, homeowners or other property and casualty insurance?

Step 2: Decide what criteria are important to you.

Criteria to consider are:

  • License: Since insurance brokers are required to be licensed in each state, it is a given that the broker has to be licensed, and in good standing.
  • Experience: how long has the person been a broker in the area?
  • Expertise: in addition to the expertise required for an insurance license, does the broker have additional designations showing additional knowledge? In the life and health areas, this would be a designation of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). In the areas of property and casualty, the designation is Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU). (To find a CLU, see offsite link. To find a CPCU see: offsite link).
  • Have complaints been filed against the person with the state insurance department (click here offsite link to locate your insurance department) or the Better Business Bureau ( offsite link)
  • Is the person easy to talk with? A lot of insurance may seem like Greek to you. A good broker can interpret what you need to know for you, in language you can understand.
  • Is the person responsive? Even during the evaluation process, pay attention to how long it takes the broker to get back in touch with you.
  • Is the broker's physical location important to you? Will he or she come to your home or place of business?
  • How many companies does the broker have access to? The more, the more likely he or she will be able to obtain the product you need at a suitable price.
  • Does size of the broker's business matter to you? The more business the broker does, the more clout it has to get you the coverage you need, at the price you're looking for -- and to help with claims.

Step 3: Talk with your friends, business colleagues, attorney and/or an accountant to get their recommendations.

In addition to a name, ask about the experience each person has had with the recommended broker. If you hear good things about one particular insurance broker from lots of different people, look up him or her.

Step 4: Meet with several candidates.

Before the meeting:

  • If you have existing insurance, pull out a copy of each policy.
  • If you have a summary of existing insurance, pull that out as well.
  • Make a list of the subjects you want to talk about.

Ask each one to assess your needs, come up with a recommendation as to what kind of insurance would be best for you. After you reach agreement about the type and amount of insurance, ask the broker to get you several competitive offers.

Let the broker know that if you agree to work with him or her about renewable insurance (such as health, auto or homeowners insurance) that you want to know competitive prices every year.

How To Maximize Use Of A Broker

  • Tell the broker everything that seems relevant about your life and your business. Let the broker decide what is relevant for insurance purposes, and what isn't.
  • Let the broker know whenever there are changes in the facts. Again, let him or her decide whether the change is relevant.
  • Before you buy an expensive item -- whether jewelry, car, house, apartment -- speak with your broker. His or her advice could save you from being surprised when you learn you can't insure the item, or the insurance is much more expensive than you thought.
  • A broker does not charge by the hour -- so feel free to call with any and all questions.
  • As noted above, if the insurance in question is the type that renews, ask the broker to get you competitive quotes at each renewal. (With certain policies, such as homeowners or auto, it may pay to stay with one company over the years to obtain a customer loyalty discount, but you can factor that in when you compare prices. To learn more, see Homeowners Insurance, Automobile Insurance.)