Independent, free, unbiased, unattached, fair or self-employed. We are all looking for this one "independent" insurance advisor Consultant who can answer our insurance questions in a competent and unbiased way and, above all, who is willing to do so. Often there the neighbor, acquaintance or friend of many years in the insurance industry is classified as trustworthy and entrusted with the search and consultation to the own insurances. BUT: Also the neighbor, acquaintance or longtime friend wants to earn money from you! Trust is good. Control is better. A second opinion or control should therefore always be consulted.
Each year alone 9 million privately health-insured are again on the search for an independent and unprejudiced consultation to the private health insurance, if for the repeated time the notice of the contribution increase in the letter box lies and the tendency in the cellar is.
PKV, occupational disability, life insurance, liability or motor vehicle – Who advises independently?
In order to be able to clarify this question, we should briefly look at the conceptual definition of independence or independent brokerage. provide independent insurance advice. We google "independent and get the following definition: un|ab|han|ig
- so that someone or something can decide about itself and does not depend on the orders of others.
- not influenced by someone or something.
Now it is important to distinguish between the different types of advisors. Often in this context the choice of words is misleading. Not infrequently, the "independent broker" is and "my representative of XY-insurance" mentioned in the same context or there are even the words "my independent insurance advisor is from the XY insurance company".
Basically one can distinguish 4 types:
- Insurance broker
- Insurance agent/insurance broker
- Insurance advisor/honorary advisor
- Consumer centers
1. The insurance broker
The insurance broker is a merchant according to commercial law (§7 Abs. 2iff. 7 HGB and according to §93 HGB). Insurance brokers sell insurance services and take the position of an intermediary between insurance company and policyholder. They are not bound to insurance companies and work exclusively on behalf of the customer, thus represent primarily the interests of the customer. This representation is based on the concluded brokerage contract between client and broker. Legally, insurance brokers are demonstrably, for the case of culpable breach of duty during the consultation, obliged to a professional liability insurance. The duty of the insurance broker is to provide the customer with the appropriate favorable insurance contracts for his needs and to manage and update the existing policies in the manner of a trustee. The insurance broker receives his earnings through the brokerage fee, which he receives from the insurance companies for submitted contracts and the administration of the contracts.
Is the insurance broker now the "independent" insurance broker? Consultant? Yes and No.
For it speaks that there is no connection to individual insurance companies and therefore no pressure can be exercised by insurers. However, the insurance broker is remunerated by the insurer and since there is no uniform system for the amount of compensation, black sheep among the insurance brokers may be tempted to bring them to the insurer who offers the most lucrative compensation concept.
CONCLUSION: Independent in the consultation however dependent on the payment. Therefore, for the insurance broker no complete independence is applicable. Complete independence can be achieved by an insurance broker, however, in the case of services which are remunerated by the customer on the basis of success, instead of by the insurance company. Example is here the PKV tariff change within the society
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2. The insurance intermediary or insurance agent
Insurance agents are most often commercial agents according to §84 HGB. Unlike the insurance broker described above, who has a brokerage contract with the policyholder, the insurance agent has an agency contract with the insurance company, in which all rights and obligations towards the insurance company are described. That means the insurance agent mediates exclusively the products of an individual insurance company. The insurance agent has the task to bring the in-house products of a company to the man or woman and receives for it a conclusion commission, as well as in the following years a portfolio commission / fee.
The exception is the multiple agent who has an agency contract with several insurance companies. The multiple agent has a greater variety of products in his portfolio, but legally always acts in the interest of the insurance companies to which he is bound and is therefore also NOT to be considered independent.
Can the insurance agent be "independent" at all? advise? No.
CONCLUSION: The insurance agent is absolutely NOT suitable for an independent consultation to insurance questions, since he is legally obligated to act in the sense of his society.
3. The insurance consultant or fee consultant
Insurance consultants are subject to the trade regulations described in §34e GewO. According to §34e Abs the business license includes. 1 sentence 3 GewO the authority to "legally advise third parties in the agreement, amendment or review of insurance contracts or in the exercise of claims arising from the insurance contract in the event of an insurance claim and to represent them out of court against the insurance company."Thus, insurance consultants belong to the legal advisory professions.
Insurance consultants act exclusively on behalf of the customer, whether private or commercial client. You will prepare risk analyses and find tailor-made or. Suitable solutions for the client. The insurance consultant negotiates the solutions found with the respective insurance company and, in the event of a claim, also undertakes extrajudicial representation vis-A-vis the insurer. The mediation of insurances against brokerage/commission is legally forbidden to the insurance consultant according to §34e GewO (German Trade Regulation Act). There is an unconditional neutrality for the insurance consultant, with the direct commissioning and remuneration by the client. As a rule, insurance consultants receive from the client a previously fixed or hourly and daily rate based remuneration. In addition to fixed fees, performance-related remuneration is also conceivable in individual lines of business, if possible. However, it is still not clearly established whether the Lawyers' Remuneration Act (RVG) can, should or even must apply to insurance consultants.
Is the insurance consultant the "independent Consultant? Yes with but.
The insurance advisor is possibly the most transparent possibility its questions concerning insurance to clarify. In most cases, you will be informed immediately about any correspondence with insurance companies and always kept up to date.
"You also go to the tax advisor and not to the tax office to save taxes"
But: You can't accuse insurance consultants of receiving money from insurers, but the possibility of dragging out a process in order to charge for a higher amount of work still exists.
CONCLUSION: Yes. The insurance advisor works independently in matters of insurance. As in "but described, the insurance consultant could deviate from the independence only in the context of own greed.
4. Consumer centers
Consumer centers are an important part of the German economic system. "The German consumer centers are associations, which dedicate themselves on the basis of a national order and predominantly equipped with tax funds to the consumer protection and furnish consulting services. They have been granted non-profit status." so the definition. Consumer advice centers receive fees for advice only in specified individual cases and are predominantly free tip givers similar to sog. "more independent" portals such as Stiftung Warentest or Finanztest.
The difference: nobody knows about the training and qualification of the consultants there. Unlike the previous three occupational groups, they do not have to prove any expert knowledge. As a policyholder, you can not know whether they give advice to someone who has ever worked in the insurance industry or. in which specification the consultant was active.
Is the consumer advice center the "independent Advisor? Yes and no.
The problem: For the consultations and advice they get the consumer center takes over in contrast to the other three professional groups no liability. In the case of a wrong consultation they are placed as a policyholder on itself, since neither a liability insurance nor an insurance company or one of the advisors for consequences can be responsible.
CONCLUSION: The consumer center is basically independent. If however for met wrong statements no adhesion is taken over and a sufficient qualification is not provable, one should reconsider this step in principle.
Which advisor is the right one for me?
One cannot give a general answer. A few parameters should be used to determine needs.
While the insurance broker can make a comparison in case of dissatisfaction, you have to put a certain trust in the insurance broker, because he is not paid by you but by the insurance companies. Provided that the broker acts rationally, he wants to maximize his profit and will make you the best offer for his wallet, despite a leap of faith.
The insurance agent is the most biased candidate as he is legally bound to his company. Provided they want exactly to this one company will be the right one. Regarding dissatisfaction with the product, the insurance agent will never deviate from his own products, even if there are considerably cheaper products in other companies, the insurance agent is legally bound to his company and thus not in a position to change the situation.
The saying "Good service costs does not mean that the insurance advisor is the only true advisor, because here too, as described, black sheep will be found. In order to get a neutral answer to any insurance questions it will lead however hardly a way past an insurance consultant.
You can go to the consumer advice center for independent advice, but you never know what you'll get and whether it's right.