We are your neighbourhood insurance brokers. We protect your homes, vehicles and businesses by offering you choice, advice and advocacy along with your insurance coverage.
Insurance is a promise to pay should a loss occur. It’s an important responsibility to ensure your insurance is right for you, and there when you need it. We work hard to maintain your trust. You can buy with confidence knowing that your insurance broker is licensed and committed to providing high-quality, personalized insurance products and services.
Insurance is so important to the prosperity of individuals and societies that governments provide strong regulatory systems to ensure consumers have access to advice, expertise… and redress should things go wrong.
The system works well and consumers choose insurance brokers for the vast majority of all property insurance policies written in British Columbia. That’s because they value their brokers’ knowledge, professional advice, unbiased review of their needs and coverage options, and service and advocacy in the event of a claim.
Insurance brokers are licensed and regulated by the Insurance Council of B.C., under the mandate of the Financial Institutions Act. All licensees must meet pre-licensing and on-going educational standards and adhere to the Code of Conduct.
Comparing the coverage offered by insurance companies can be a time-consuming job. A knowledgeable insurance broker helps you find the coverage that’s right for you, for your home, car or business. Your insurance broker will:
- Assess your individual need and obtain quotes. This might include performing an insurance valuation or obtaining an inspection report.
- Explain premiums, terms, conditions and any small print that you don’t understand.
- Compare the coverage of offered by insurers to get you the best rates and conditions.
- Search for opportunities to reduce overall premiums.
- Provide administrative follow-up, such as mortgage changes, certificates of insurance.
- Provide unbiased advice and revisions at policy renewal or mid-term if your situation changes.
- Be available to answer questions. Brokerages are well established in their community and insurance is their primary business.
- Ensure claims are fairly handled. Brokers make a positive difference to an insurer’s payout in a substantial number of claims.
There is no extra cost to you for these services. Generally, brokers are paid by the insurance company; any additional fees will be itemized and explained.
Insurance brokers act as your personal advisor on insurance matters. They work for you, not the insurance company and will help you with the initial purchase, be there to answer questions, and review your coverage at renewal. In the event of a loss your insurance broker will guide you through the claims process, to get you back to where you were before disaster struck.
Choice: Brokers have access to the best insurers in the country. Once a broker has properly assessed your individual insurance needs they do the shopping for you, to find you the right coverage at a competitive price.
Advice: Just as with your other key advisors, you’ll get the best advice and service if you develop a relationship with your insurance broker. By getting to know you, your broker can help adapt your coverage as your family grows or your business evolves.
Flexibility: Most people prefer to have a face-to-face conversation with a broker to discuss coverage, at least at the outset. For most of your dealings with a broker you can communicate in whatever way you are most comfortable with, or that fits into your busy life, such as telephone or email.
Trust: Insurance brokers work to a principle of utmost good faith. Your insurance broker puts your interests first, before those of the insurance companies they deal with.
Advocacy: If you have to make a claim, your broker is there to ensure that you receive fair and prompt payment, to get you back to normal. Experience has shown that a broker’s knowledge and contacts can often help settle a disputed claim.
Knowledge: Being local and committed to your community, your insurance broker can help you reduce your risk and exposure by providing information about local road safety, home security, emergency preparedness, and other issues specific to where you live and work. Brokers will be among the first to respond to your needs in the event of a catastrophe in our community.
Commitment: For many brokers, insurance is not just a business, it’s a ‘calling’ – a deep-rooted desire to help people in their community. Insurance is their only business. Your local insurance broker is close by, which means that he or she is there when you need advice or information.
insurance licensees in B.C.
Without insurance, people and businesses would have to incur all the risk themselves. If a major loss meant certain financial ruin, people wouldn’t be able to borrow money to buy a home or start a business. Simply put, insurance restores your possessions to their condition before the insurable incident occurred, and gets your life back to normal.
In this discussion we’ll focus on property and casualty insurance, also known as general insurance, which involves all types of insurance other than life and health insurance. It covers:
- Property risk: the financial loss that results when owned property is destroyed or damaged.
- Liability risk: the injury or damage to other people that results from people’s actions.
Personal insurance. Nearly every type of personal property can be insured. Most commonly this includes:
- Your home and its contents. Insurance packages will be tailored to whether you own or rent. Keep in mind that strata property owners need a separate insurance policy for their unit; the building policy does not cover your belongings or your upgrades to your unit.
- Motor vehicles, boats, and recreational vehicles.
- High-value possessions such as sports equipment, jewellery, art, and other collections.
- Talk to your insurance broker about extra coverage for personal items when they are used for commercial purposes, such as a home-based business or hosting strangers in your home.
Business insurance. In addition to providing coverage for loss, damage and liability on both the premises and contents, business owners can buy protection for the indirect costs associated with having to suspend operations while recovering from an incident.
In many situations, (for example, for your car and home if you have borrowed to buy them) insurance is mandatory. There is, however, considerable range in the amount of protection you choose to buy. Determining the right amount of coverage is one of the things that a broker is trained to help you with. Your broker will help you balance acceptable risk and the premium you’ll have to pay.
Insurance is sold on the principle of utmost good faith. The law requires honesty on both sides: customers should accurately state their needs, and brokers must provide unbiased advice about an adequate level of insurance for those needs.
Always seek clarification about the insurance products or services you are purchasing. Occasionally a misunderstanding or failed expectation can occur.
First, let the manager at the brokerage know about your problem. In many cases it may have been due to a lack of communication and can be easily rectified. Give the brokerage manager the opportunity to correct the problem.
Next, there are a number of organizations that can assist you:
- For general information, Insurance Brokers Association of B.C.
- For dispute resolution, General Insurance OmbudService, Mediate BC or the ICBC Fairness Process
- For compliance issues, Insurance Council of B.C.
- For privacy issues, Office of the Privacy Commissioner