If you need non-traditional insurance or have a business and need to insure more than one individual, wholesale insurance is often the best option. It is possible to purchase this insurance online, but there are some things you should know to determine the coverage that is best for you.
What Is a Wholesaler Broker?
A wholesale insurance broker is the intermediary between the retail broker and the insurer. The wholesaler broker usually doesn’t have any contact with you, the insured. The wholesale broker or agent will place the businesses given to them by retail agents with the insurance plans that are specific to their needs. Unlike a retail agent, wholesale agents will communicate directly with the insurer, but the retail agent who actually produced the business doesn’t communicate with the insurer. Depending the situation, the same agent can function as both a retailer and a wholesaler.
Wholesaler brokers usually possess special experience in a specific line of coverage, or have specific expertise in a line of coverage that has greater influence with certain insurance markets. This can be valuable if you’re in a business that involves risks that are difficult to calculate.
Types of Wholesale Brokers
Wholesaler brokers are divided into two categories: surplus lines brokers and managing general agents. Surplus line brokers work directly with the retail agent and insurer to provide coverage for the insured party. Managing general agents have the same type of function, but have binding obligation from the insurer, while surplus line brokers do not.
Wholesale brokers usually utilizes specialty insurers who can provide coverage for accounts that the retail agents can’t successfully place in standard markets. Brokers in the wholesale industry specialize in underwriting specialized or hard to place insurance policies.
When Is Wholesale Insurance Best?
If you need insurance for a specialized market, wholesale insurance is likely the best option. The brokers you work with will usually have specific experience in the type of insurance you need, and will provide a selection of both admitted and non-admitted insurers for you to choose from. Wholesale brokers will often access the surplus lines market, since this line of insurance can benefit clients with the access and customization of specialty insurance. If you have a business that involves the transport of medical or potential hazardous materials, need international insurance, or you need specialty insurance that will protect you if there are any structural issues with your building, contacting a wholesale broker may be the best option for you.
Getting an Online Quote
Just like with retail or conventional insurance, you can get a wholesale insurance quote online in some cases. There are some markets that provide an online quoting feature, but you may need to access the quotes through a password-protected site. These websites can also provide more insurance information for the wholesale market. It’s always important to compare prices and policy features before deciding on the policy that is right for you, and to speak with the wholesale retailers that have a wealth of experience in your line of business.
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