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If you need to buy medical malpractice insurance, you have two options: you can buy it directly from the insurance company or you can buy it through a broker. Although there are many advantages to using a broker, several common myths lead some provider groups to believe it’s better to go direct.
Myth #1: Communication Is Better When You Buy Direct
Fact: A broker can speed up communication in many instances.
First of all, many of the same questions come up time and again. An experienced broker will often be able to field questions without going to the carrier.
Second, if you’ve ever reached out to a carrier with a question, you know the process is not always straightforward. The carrier may transfer your call multiple times as you try to find someone who can actually help you. If you’re not familiar with the insurance issue and lingo involved, you may struggle to ask the right questions to gain the information you need. A broker can save time by doing the legwork for you, letting you know who to reach out to and which questions to ask.
Myth #2: Pricing Is Better When You Go Direct
Fact: Policyholders don’t pay extra to use a broker.
Insurance companies can either pay staff a salary to work with policyholders or pay independent brokers a commission to work with policyholders. Either way, they have to pay someone.
Furthermore, when you use a broker, you gain an experienced insurance professional who is focused on serving you and can give you more options. If you go directly to an insurance carrier, the insurer won’t recommend a competitor, even if a competitor could give you a better price. Brokers typically work with multiple insurance carriers, meaning they can compare options to find you the best deal. This can result in significant savings over the course of your career.
Myth #3: You Gain More Coverage Expertise by Buying Direct
Fact: Brokers can offer a broad perspective of the market that allows you to assess your options and choose the best coverage fit.
When you work directly with an insurance carrier, the people you talk to are experts – but only in the products their insurance carrier offers. They probably don’t know much about the insurance options other carriers provide. Even if they do, they may not tell you if there’s a better option.
Brokers are experts in finding the best coverage for their clients. This involves knowing what’s available in the broader market.
How a Broker Can Help
Brokers aren’t tied to a single insurance company so they are in the best position to provide fair, impartial guidance. Brokers can:
- Pursue creative solutions to coverage challenges. There are different types of coverage forms available. Brokers can put together program designs that combine multiple options to achieve the best coverage at the best rate. For example, let’s say you’ve been using the same insurance company for all of your medical malpractice coverage for decades. The plan provides financial incentives for practitioners who have had coverage for a long time, but coverage is expensive for newer doctors. You think there might be more affordable options for them. Do you stay with the current carrier to achieve the best rate for your seasoned doctors or switch to a different carrier to achieve a better rate for the new doctors? With a broker, you can do both.
- Leverage the marketplace. An experienced broker will know whether you’re currently receiving the best rates available in the market. This can help even if you don’t want to switch carriers. Let’s say you love your current carrier’s claims team. You suspect there are cheaper options but don’t want to risk leaving your carrier and then not having the claims support you need. A broker can leverage the marketplace to negotiate a better quote.
- Focus on the big picture. In addition to medical malpractice, you probably need general liability, property, and D&O insurance. If these policies overlap, you may end up overpaying. If these policies leave you with gaps, you may face risk exposures. A broker can help you see how these insurance pieces fit together.
- Act as your advocate. Brokers work independently – they’re not employees of the insurance carrier. This means your broker can give you unbiased advice about whether a specific carrier is truly a good option for you. If you ever encounter problems with your carrier, your broker will act as YOUR advocate, not the carrier’s representative.
Here’s the bottom line: If you buy medical malpractice directly from a carrier, you’ll never know if there are better options. The brokers at Propel can help you explore all of your options to find the best fit. Contact us.