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How to choose an insurance broker? 8 things you need to remember!

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In this article you will find some tips on what to follow when choosing an insurance broker. Are you planning to insure yourself or have received a suspicious offer? Be sure to read this article to the end.

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How to choose an insurance broker?

FCA Register

Whether you are interested in life insurance or property insurance – broker verification should start with the FCA register. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the public regulator of all financial services in the UK. The profession of insurance broker in the UK is regulated. This means that every company selling insurance must have its registration number with the FCA.

How can you find it? The best way is to look through the FCA search engine. It’s a free tool that allows you to verify if the company is registered and what permissions the company has. A lot of companies puts their details within the footer of their website and within their email footer, just like it happens in Extend Finance.

List of related insurers

On their websites, brokers often inform about the companies they have access to, but  be mindful that some website may display insurers that they don’t have access to. So using the list of related insurers is not possible to verify a broker, this is a very valuable tip. A wide selection of insurance companies means a more flexible offer, and therefore probably a greater choice of insurance products.

Not all insurance companies deal with the full range of products. If you want to buy life insurance or critical illness insurance, look out for insurance companies such as Aviva, Zurich, AIG, Royal London, Legal & General or Guardian. Income protection insurance will be provided by previously mentioned Royal London, Aviva, Legal & General or less known companies such as British Friendly, Cirencester Friendly, Holloway Friendly.  In our offer we have products of each of these companies, as well as several others.

Specialization

In case of smaller brokers, there is often a specialization in the insurance products being sold. Some focus only on servicing companies (commercial brokers), offering public liability, goods in transit or employers liability.

The offer of personal insurance brokers varies significantly. Typically you can buy from them life cover, critical illness cover,  income protection, accident cover or home insurance. Other services can be provided through a third party companies or other brokers working within the same company.

Experience on the market

Another detail worth considering is the experience of an insurance broker. This industry is constantly evolving, but the years spent in this profession bring results.

A good broker takes responsibility for what he advises. In the UK there are so-called advised sales and non-advised sales, which you can read about here. For the purposes of this article, I will only mention that advised sale is an additional form of customer protection. If the recommended financial product is not appropriate in a given case, the brokerage company may be held financially liable. If a company is unable to pay, there is a compensation fund – the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Social Media

Someone offered you their services via Facebook? Double-check his profile. If the account was created relatively recently, the photos are not professional, and the list of friends is very small, you should be more careful. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a profile photo taken on vacation, however, the broker community usually takes care of such details. Also check if the profile contains information where the person works, in which insurance company.

It’s also worth taking a look at LinkedIn. On this portal you will find a lot of valuable information, such as qualifications, professional experience or the company for which the broker works. Not all people use LinkedIn, but it’s always worth checking out.

Opinions on the Internet

The Internet is an excellent tool for verifying companies. In addition to social media, you will find valuable information on the pages used to leave reviews.  A trusted source is, for example, Google Business displayed on Google maps or  in search results, but you can also use ratings on Facebook or other portals such as TrustPilot. Keep in mind that not every company will appear on all review portals.

Extend Finance uses Google Business and  Facebook  due to the fact that most of our clients have, for example, an email address on the @gmail.com domain  or usually a Facebook account, which allows you to leave a rating on these portals. (click on the logo below to check out our opinions).

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The more ratings, especially honest ones, taking into account specific advantages and disadvantages, the better for you. If you have already had contact with your broker, it is worth leaving a review to help other clients in the future. Nowadays, virtually every company has its own online business card. I believe that if a broker does not have one, you should be more careful.

You should also read at least a few reviews left by users. Sound unnatural? Or do user profiles have strange names? Such events could alarm you, as they may indicate being fake. Of course, this may be a coincidence, because the company can be rated by any Google or Facebook user, but it is worth being careful.

Website

I have already mentioned that the broker’s website could include its registration number from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as well as in the emails you receive as clients. When the person who offers you insurance does not have their own website, or does not have information where they work, this should trigger you to ask more questions.

If the broker has its own website, evaluate it for transparency, amount of information and its timeliness. Are the texts written in an understandable and natural language? Do you have doubts about the offers you receive or are you looking for a proven broker? We invite you to contact us.

Advisors from Extend Finance will provide you with an insurance advice and will answer all your questions related to offered products.

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Think carefully about securing other debts against your home. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it.

Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it. Conveyancing services and some forms of Buy to Let mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts
secured on it.

Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it. Conveyancing services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Extend Finance nor The Right Mortgage Limited can’t provide advice regarding Personal Pensions, Pension planning or investment planning advice. You must seek independent financial advice from a suitably qualified professional financial adviser who may charge you for advice.

Wills, Will writing, Trusts and Trust planning are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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