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A broker of record can work either in the insurance industry or in the real estate industry. In the insurance field, he or she is an designated representative chosen by the insured to advise him or her on matters of insurance. More commonly called a broker or agent, this person often acts as a liaison between the customer and the company. Though it is usually used in the insurance field, this term is occasionally used to describe certain real estate brokers. It may also refer to a letter that the policyholder or real estate customer must send to confirm a relationship with a broker in writing.
In insurance, a broker of record can work independently or in alliance with an insurance company. Paperwork and communications sent to and from the insurance company go through the broker, who often collects commission from the insurance companies whose policies they sell to the policyholder. Independent insurance brokers receive commissions from multiple insurance companies, while an affiliated broker only receives one from the affiliated company. Brokers are most often used by clients looking for life insurance and property insurance.
Policyholders can benefit from consulting a broker if they are unsure about which company or policy specifics to choose. Brokers can help explain insurance policy details and guide the policyholder to choosing the best policies for his or her individual situation. Because this person has a great deal of knowledge about the insurance agency, he or she may be able to get the policyholder a better deal than the client would have found working alone.
With online insurance purchases and insurance comparison websites becoming more common, consulting an in-person broker can be inconvenient. The Internet has a large number of websites dedicated to providing service and information for insurance seekers, so consulting an agent is not always more effective or efficient than online research. Buying an insurance policy online can also be less pressure for customers who dislike in-person sales.
In the real estate business, a broker of record is one type of licensed real estate broker responsible for keeping the real estate firm in compliance with local codes and regulations. This individual is largely responsible for making sure the real estate company is operating legally. He or she is usually charged with making sure that the other members of a real estate firm are correctly licensed to keep the business out of legal trouble. This employee may also assign agents to work with specific buyers.
@indemnifyme - I can see why people get attached to their agents of record. I've had insurance through companies directly and through agencies, and I have to say I prefer having an agent.
I feel like you get a lot more personalized service when you have a local agency. Instead of talking to some faceless person that may be hundreds of miles away, you can go right down the street and see your agent if you have any problems!
I work in the insurance industry at an agency that works exclusively with one insurance company. The way the system works is pretty interesting and slightly confusing.
Although we only get commission from policies for which we are the agent of record on, we can service any policy written by any agency that works with the insurance company. However, when I work with an insured I can see who their agent of record is. If I do something for them that they have to sign off on, it's considered polite to forward the paperwork to the agent of record.
Some of the customers often don't understand they have an agent of record at all! They simply see the name of the insurance company and think that all the locations are the same. But then some of the customers get extremely attached to their agent!