Insurance brokers serve as the go-between for insurance companies and insurance buyers, fulfilling a role similar to insurance agents. However, unlike agents, brokers prioritize the interests of insurance buyers instead of those of the insurance companies they represent. Agents sell policies as part of contractual agreements with the insurance companies they work for.
Brokers do not have the authority to bind coverage or issue policies like agents do. To start coverage for a client, brokers can either request an insurance binder from an underwriter at the insurer or issue the binder themselves and then ask for a signature from an underwriter. However, the binder will only become valid and initiate coverage once it is signed by a representative of the insurance company.
Here are the top 5 insurance brokers globally. Feel free to click on each company name to read more about them and their insurance offerings!
|Aon PLC||Global insurance broker offering services in commercial risks, health, reinsurance, and wealth solutions. British-American firm with 60,000 employees in 120 countries, primarily serving businesses and offering prosperity data and analytics. 2021 revenue: $12.2 billion.|
|Willis Towers Watson||Insurance brokerage offering services related to insurance, pensions, and retirement planning. 46,000 employees in 140+ countries. 2021 revenue: $199 million in risk, investment, and reinsurance segments. Competitors: Aon PLC, Marsh & McLennan, Gallagher.|
|Gallagher||World’s largest US-based insurance brokerage with 39,000 people in 130+ countries. 2021 revenue: $8.1 billion.|
|Marsh McLennan||Insurance broking and risk management with 83,000 employees in 130 countries. Largest firm in US with 2021 revenue of $19.8 billion. Four main companies: Marsh, Guy Carpenter, Mercer, Oliver.|
|USI Insurance Services LLC||US-based company offering property and casualty insurance, employee benefits, personal risks, and program and retirement solutions. 9,000 employees and 200 offices across the US. 2021 revenue: $8.2 billion.|
Table of contents
What Is An Insurance Broker?
As an insurance broker, it is my job as an insurance professional to assist individuals and businesses find and purchase insurance coverage. They are not affiliated with any particular insurance company and work on behalf of the client to find the best coverage for their needs.
Insurance brokers are licensed and regulated by the state in which they operate, and must adhere to strict ethical standards. They have extensive knowledge of the insurance market and can help clients to understand their options and find the best coverage at the most competitive price.
They work with a range of insurance companies and can offer a variety of insurance products to suit different needs and budgets. Insurance brokers are paid a commission by the insurance company for placing business with them.
However, their primary focus is on finding the best coverage for the client and not on maximizing their own profits.
This means that clients can trust that their insurance broker is working in their best interest and not just trying to sell them a policy.
Benefits Of Using An Insurance Broker
As an independent insurance broker, I work on behalf of my client with the goal of making their search for insurance easier. While great, that is not the only benefit of working with an insurance broker! There are several benefits to using an insurance broker when looking for coverage. Here are a few key benefits:
- Expertise: Insurance brokers have extensive knowledge of the insurance market and can help clients to understand their options and find the best coverage for their needs.
- Impartiality: Insurance brokers are not affiliated with any particular insurance company and work on behalf of the client to find the best coverage. This means that clients can trust that their insurance broker is working in their best interest and not just trying to sell them a policy.
- Time Savings: Working with an insurance broker can save clients time and effort, as the broker can do the research and comparison shopping on behalf of the client.
- Ongoing Support: Insurance brokers can provide ongoing support to clients, helping them to understand their coverage, file claims, and make changes to their policies as needed.
How To Choose An Insurance Broker?
Finding the right insurance broker is just as important as finding the right insurance policy. When choosing an insurance broker, it’s important to do your research and select a reputable and reliable professional.
Here is a list of things to consider when finding an insurance broker, based on my own experience as an insurance broker:
- Experience: Look for an insurance broker with a track record of success and experience in the industry. A broker with a long history in the business is likely to have a deep understanding of the insurance market and be able to provide valuable advice and guidance.
- Qualifications: Check that the insurance broker is licensed and regulated by the state in which they operate. This ensures that they have met the necessary educational and experience requirements and adhere to strict ethical standards.
- Reputation: Research the insurance broker’s reputation and ask for recommendations from friends, family, or business associates. Look for brokers with a history of satisfied clients and positive reviews.
- Range Of Products: Consider an insurance broker who offers a wide range of insurance products from different insurance companies. This will give you more options to choose from and help you find the best coverage for your needs.
The 5 Top Insurance Brokers
There are several top insurance brokers in the industry, each offering a range of products and services to suit the needs of individuals and businesses. Large insurance brokers offer a diverse range of services, which may include:
- Risk Management Services
- Loss Control Services
- Claims Management Services
- Private Client Services For Wealthy Individuals
- Captives And Other Alternative Risk Transfer Options
- Affinity Programs For Groups
- Mergers And Acquisitions Support
- Terrorism And Political Risk Management
Here are some top insurance brokers I recommend based on my experience as an independent insurance broker:
Aon PLC is a global insurance broker that provides services in commercial risks, health, reinsurance, and wealth solutions. They are a British-American firm, who own the following companies:
- Aon Consulting Worldwide, Inc.
- Aon Re Worldwide, Inc.
- Aon Risk Services Companies, Inc.
- Aon Services Group, Inc.
- Aon Warranty Group, Inc.
- Combined Insurance Company of America
- Virginia Surety Company/London General Insurance
Aon has over 60,000 employees in 120 countries. They largely offer their products to businesses, and use prosperity data and analytics to offer their insights to their consumers. In 2021, they had a revenue of $12.2 billion.
Willis Towers Watson
Willis Towers Watson (WTW) is an insurance brokerage that offers a range of services that includes consulting and support services related to insurance, pensions, and retirement planning. Like Aon PLC, they are a British-American firm. Originally called Willis Group Holdings,they merged with another company, Towers & Watson, in 2016, and changed their name to Willis Towers Watson. In 2022, they rebranded their company with their logo WTW.
Their main competitors are Aon PLC, Marsh & McLennan, and Gallagher. With over 46,000 employees and locations in over 140 countries, Willis Towers Watson had a total revenue of $199 million in 2021, within their risk, investment, and reinsurance segments.
Author J. Gallagher
Gallagher is one of the world’s largest insurance brokerages, and is a US based company. They have over 39,000 people in over 130 countries. Although its parent company name is Author J. Gallagher & Co, they underwent a rebranding in 2017 that shortened it to just Gallagher, as that was what most clients referred to them as. In 2021, they had a total revenue of $8.1 billion. They own the following companies:
- Risk Placement Services (RPS)
- Gallagher Bassett
- Pen underwriting
- Gallagher Specialty
- Gallagher Re
Marsh McLennan Company (MMC) provides insurance broking and risk management. They have over 83,000 employees in 130 countries, and have a revenue of $19.8 billion in 2021. MMC is the largest firm in the US. They have four main companies:
- Guy Carpenter
USI Insurance Services LLC
USI is a US based company that provides property and casualty insurance, employee benefits, personal risks, and program and retirement solutions for both businesses and individuals. They have over 9,000 employees and 200 offices across the nation. In 2021, their revenue was $8.2 billion.
Insurance brokers serve as a liaison between insurance companies and clients seeking insurance coverage. Although they share similarities with insurance agents, brokers distinguish themselves by representing the interests of their clients. These top 5 companies listed are among the largest insurance brokerages in the world.