What is an insurance broker?
Insurance brokers are the unsung heroes of the finance industry. Every day, insurance brokers operate at the customer coal-face, protecting people and businesses while simultaneously saving them money and providing peace of mind. It can be a very rewarding career, which offers flexibility, variety and can also be a great stepping stone into other areas of the financial services sector.
What does an insurance broker do?
An insurance broker’s job is to assist people to source and apply for an insurance policy. In a nutshell, brokers:
- Identify and analyse client needs
- Understand the obligations, conditions and options that insurers have
- Negotiate agreements with insurance companies for clients
- Develop suitable recommendations for clients using this knowledge and skill
- Implement insurance recommendations with the client
- Conduct regular reviews over time to ensure the product is still meeting the needs of the client.
What makes insurance broking such an interesting job is that there are so many different areas in which a broker can specialise. For example, a commercial insurance broker might work exclusively with business customers to source products like public liability, business equipment and commercial property insurance. In contrast, a personal insurance broker could specialise in providing advice on general insurance products (like motor vehicle or home and contents insurance) for individuals.
Top 5 reasons why insurance brokers are valuable to clients
- Offer expert advice
- Save client time and money
- Liaise directly with the insurer
- Help clients understand the fine print
- Advocate at claim time
Commissioned by the National Insurance Brokers Association, the Deloitte Access Economics research, The economic value of insurance broking: Choice, access, efficiency and quality service, identifies the benefits brokers bring to clients, to insurers, to the economy and to government and broader society.
How do I get started?
Undertaking a qualification enhances your professional credibility, allowing you to develop knowledge and skills that ultimately benefit your practice and your customers. Providing fit for purpose, industry-relevant learning is our way of ensuring you stay up to date and well-equipped in an evolving insurance landscape.
Our online Tier 1 RG146 Insurance Broking is designed for individuals who want a career as an insurance broker.
- Our program meets ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146) education requirements for providing general and personal advice with broking clients.
- It is also suitable for brokers seeking to update their initial general insurance compliance and extend their authorisations to insurance broking.
Our RG146 Insurance Broking Program provides a pathway to our FNS51220 Diploma of Insurance Broking, a nationally recognised qualification for insurance brokers.
Do I need an AFSL to be an insurance broker?
Insurance broking is part of the broader financial services industry and is required to comply with government regulation and industry standards when providing products and services.
ASIC states, if you want to run a financial services business, you generally need to be authorised under an AFS licence.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be exempt from the requirement to hold an AFS licence or you may provide financial services under a limited AFS licence. You may also choose to provide financial services as an authorised representative of an AFS licensee.
What is an Insurance Broker Network?
A common means of practising insurance broking without obtaining your own licence is to join a general insurance broker network. Becoming an Authorised Representative of a network allows you to operate under their Australian Financial Services Licence. Some general insurance broker networks include:
ASIC requires licensees to implement policies and procedures that ensure they and their authorised representatives are undertaking continuing training.
Licensees have an obligation to maintain their competence to provide the financial services authorised under their AFS licence: see s912A(1)(f).
Continuing training is essential to ensure advisers maintain their competence. This is particularly so because of rapidly changing markets and regulatory requirements. (RG146.123)
A comprehensive continuing professional approach that incorporates a variety of learning methodologies should see you stay well informed and equipped to provide clients a high quality initial and ongoing insurance advice experience.
Here are some ways to keep up to date with regulatory and industry developments and maintain knowledge and skills:
- Subscribe to regulator alerts, e.g. ASIC media releases and newsletters
- Read mainstream and industry news daily; many have newsletters and magazines you can subscribe to
- Attend industry conferences and events
- Undertake structured CPD, re-study your initial accreditation for a refresher, or upskill through a short course or qualification
- Ask your compliance, human resources, or learning and development department for guidance
Learn more about our Tier 1 Insurance Broking
Learn more about our FNS51220 Diploma of Insurance Broking