Definition of a wholesale insurance broker

Retail insurance agents meet countless clients and prospective clients regularly. Even independently licensed agents are often unable to extend their resources beyond a small handful of preferred insurance companies, often remaining unaware of unique or specialised products. That's where wholesale insurance brokers come in. Since they do not deal directly with the general public, but rather with the retail agents, they have time to research more carriers and learn new niche products, which they can present to retail agents to help meet their clients' needs.


When retail insurance agents exhaust their existing resources trying to locate policies to cover an unusual or unique client need, they contact wholesale brokers for assistance. The wholesale broker's client is the retail agent, not the end consumer, which allows the agent to maintain the rapport and relationship already established.


Wholesale brokers focus their efforts on finding specialised insurance products from smaller and lesser-known carriers. The broker's expertise is an awareness of existing niche policies and specific coverage products not offered by general insurance companies. When presented with a scenario where ordinary mainstream insurance products fail to meet coverage needs or with a prospect whose need is too complex or risky for traditional carriers, the wholesale broker's knowledge of specialised niche policies becomes invaluable to the retail agent.


Wholesale insurance brokers maintain extensive databases of unique products offered by speciality carriers, many of whom do not even provide other ordinary insurance services. This list of smaller, relatively unknown insurance companies becomes a powerful resource for the broker, as he is able to contact multiple providers of niche products to further obtain the best possible policy and price for the retail agent's client.

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About the Author

Gregory Gambone is senior vice president of a small New Jersey insurance brokerage. His expertise is insurance and employee benefits. He has been writing since 1997. Gambone released his first book, "Financial Planning Basics," in 2007 and continues to work on his next industry publication. He earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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