An insurance broker arranges insurance contracts for consumers. There he advises on various insurance areas . From a legal perspective, the insurance broker is on the customer’s side. He acts on behalf of the customer. The bank employee, commercial agent of a financial sales organization or the Insurance agent are not on the side of the customer, but act on behalf of the client. In the following article you will find out what requirements you have to meet in order to become an insurance broker and what tasks an insurance broker has.
Which requirements must be met?
Not everyone can become an insurance broker just like that, even if it sometimes appears in public. There are strict requirements that must be met in order to receive a permit under Section 34d of the Trade Regulations. You need this in order to really be able to work as an insurance broker. The profession of insurance broker is therefore a profession that requires a permit.
Proof of professional qualification
Anyone who wants to become an insurance broker must be able to prove that they have the appropriate qualifications for the profession. This can be:
- Proof of competence before the IHK (e.g. examination to become an insurance specialist IHK) – often referred to as “lateral entrants”
- Completed training as an insurance clerk or clerk for insurance and finance
- Degree as an insurance specialist BWV
- Degree in financial management / insurance management
- another professional qualification that is recognized accordingly
Insurance brokers are through application process
Various other evidence must be provided as part of the application process. In addition to the application form from the competent Chamber of Industry and Commerce for approval, the following additional documents are required:
- criminal record
- extract from the central Register of trade and commerce
- Copy of the business registration
- an extract from the central trade register (only for legal entities, e.g. GmbH or AG)
- Information from the debtor register
If there are negative entries in the certificate of good conduct, it will be checked whether the reliability requirements for brokering insurance contracts are still present. The fee for the approval process is 200 euros.
Proof of financial loss liability
Every insurance broker is liable for his advice. Therefore, a further requirement is the existence of financial loss liability.
This must be designed as follows:
- at least 1,230,000 euros insured sum per insured event and at least 1,850,000 euros for all insured events in one year
- The insurer of financial loss liability must be licensed in Germany
- The area of application must extend to all states of the EU and the EEA
What are the activities of an insurance broker?
The main task of an insurance broker is to provide advice. He checks existing insurance contracts and arranges new insurance contracts. The insurance broker acts independently of insurers and therefore acts exclusively in the interests of the customer and not on behalf of the insurance company. This is a big and important difference to the insurance agent, who is on the side of the insurer and here acts according to the corresponding guidelines.
Representative must represent the interests of the insurance company
Unfortunately, it is often the case that the difference between an insurance broker and an insurance agent is not known. The difference is strikingly important. It makes a big difference whether the customer is advised by someone who is not dependent on the specifications of an insurer or whether the advisor clearly acts in accordance with the interests of the insurance company. This should be known to every customer.
Insurance brokers can fall back on almost any insurer
In addition, the insurance broker can offer a much broader product portfolio as he can work with almost every insurer on the German market. The insurance agent can only offer products from one insurer.
Support in the event of damage
In many cases, the insurance broker will also help in the event of a claim and put you in touch with the insurer or obtain the relevant documents to report the damage. However, it is never the insurance broker’s job to formulate the course of the damage with the customer “so that the insurance company will definitely pay.” This is insurance fraud and if you, as an insurance broker, are asked to do so by your customer, you should definitely not do this and it is best to separate yourself from this customer. Insurance fraud is not a trivial offense.
The insurance broker is one of the most important institutions in Germany if you as a consumer want to receive insurance advice that is as independent as possible. Legally, he is always on the customer’s side and not on the insurer’s side. He acts on behalf of the customer. With access to almost all insurers, the insurance broker can get the best insurance protection for customers on the market.