Why is it important to choose a Florida health insurance broker? Why not work directly with the insurance company? What should you look for in a FL health insurance broker anyway?
Why is it important to choose a Florida health insurance broker?
A Florida health insurance broker (technically referred to in the state of Florida as an independent health insurance agent) is an agent that can work with many different insurance companies simultaneously. Many agents are captive agents; meaning that they can only represent one insurance company and would be outside the bounds of their contract to even be licensed with another insurance company.
A captive agent will struggle to meet the needs of their clients because their options are obviously quite limited. A FL health insurance broker (independent agent) can shop their client’s case to multiple insurance companies and help their clients compare offers and plans from many different insurance companies.
(Hint: Be wary of an agent that claims to work with many companies but will never show you quotes from more than one company. You should aim to compare quotes from about 3 different companies side by side. Just be not to mistake quantity for quality when it comes to insurance selection ý you of course want to be comparing reputable companies. A warning flag should go up if you have never heard of the insurance company before. In most cases you will want to go with well known and dependable companies like United Healthcare, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of FL, Assurant, and Humana.
Why not work directly with the insurance company?
In the state of Florida the Florida Department of Financial Services regulates the insurance premiums. There are laws in place to make sure that the consumer will get the exact same price for insurance whether they use a broker/agent or go directly to the company. The insurance companies set the rates and the rates are regulated so as to make sure they are the same no matter where the consumer purchases the policy. There is no such as thing as “getting a better deal”, obtaining a “discount”, or “price haggling” from one specific agent.
An advantage to working with a broker versus purchasing directly from the insurance company is that the broker can help you compare plans from multiple companies side by side on an ongoing basis (It’s not like you would call the 800 number for Aetna and they would recommend a Humana plan or help you compare the differences in the coverage). A broker can also give you a degree of personal time and attention that a call center certainly cannot offer.
What should you look for in a FL health insurance broker anyway?
Your broker should take the time to understand your personal situation, your financial objectives, and your preferences for coverage. Your broker should be available to assist you over the phone when you need help. Your broker should give you guidance as to the pros and cons of the different health insurance companies in Florida (they should be able to give you good objective advice and many times they should be able to tell you things about different companies that would not be able to be published online). Your broker should be honest and helpful.