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Insurance Broker vs Agent

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Insurance Broker vs Agent in New Zealand

Differences between insurance brokers & agents

An insurance agent typically represents one or more insurance companies and sells their products, whereas a broker works on behalf of clients, like you, to find the best insurance deal and advocate for their claims.

Why is there a difference between an insurance agent and a broker?


Agents have an allegiance to insurance companies. Brokers, on the other hand, represent you, the client.

Scope of Choice

While agents are restricted to the policies of the companies they represent, brokers have access to various insurers, giving you a wider range of options.


Agents aim to sell policies of their affiliated insurance companies, whereas brokers seek the best deals in the market tailored for their clients' needs.

What are the core responsibilities of agents and brokers?

Insurance Agent:

  • Affiliation: An agent is directly associated with one or multiple insurance companies.

  • Products: They can only offer products from the insurance companies they’re tied to.

  • Compensation: Insurance companies pay agents based on the policies they sell.

Insurance Broker:

  • Independence: Brokers are not tied to any specific insurance company.

  • Assessment: They evaluate your insurance needs and then scan the market for the best options for you.

  • Advocacy: Brokers also assist in the claims process, advocating for you to ensure you get what you’re entitled to.

Understanding the difference between agents and brokers is crucial because:

  • It helps you make an informed decision about who to approach for your insurance needs.
  • It ensures you get the best value for your money.
  • Knowing the pros and cons helps you align your requirements with the right professional.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Insurance Broker Pros and Cons

  • Provides a wider variety of options from different insurers.
  • Can provide unbiased recommendations.
  • Acts as an advocate for clients during the claims process.
  • Might not have specific knowledge about every single product from every insurer.
  • Some might charge a broker fee, although this is rare in New Zealand.

Insurance Agent Pros and Cons

  • In-depth knowledge of the specific products from one company.
  • May offer exclusive promotions or discounts from their affiliated insurance company.
  • Limited to the policies of one company.
  • Might not always provide the most cost-effective or comprehensive solution due to limited options. 

Common Misunderstandings

  • Brokers charge more: While some may charge a fee, many earn their income through commissions from insurance companies, so you aren’t necessarily paying more.
  • Agents can offer multiple company policies: Agents are tied to one company, while brokers have access to various insurers.
  • All policies are the same: Every insurance policy has its unique features, benefits, and exclusions.

How can Gerrards help?

As a leading insurance broker in New Zealand specialising in business insurance, Gerrards can:

  • Provide you with a wide range of insurance options tailored to your business needs.
  • Advocate for you during the claims process, ensuring you get the fairest outcome.
  • Offer expert guidance and unbiased advice to ensure your business is adequately protected.
  • Utilise our deep knowledge of the New Zealand insurance market to negotiate the best deals on your behalf.

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