Don't all insurance professionals consult or offer professional advice?
Yes, but SRMC members are independent risk management consultants who do not sell insurance and are not affiliated with firms that do. A fee-for-service arrangement exists with clients. No commissions are ever received. The potential gain or loss of commission income never enters into the counsel provided or the decision-making process, thereby eliminating potential conflicts of interest.
Can't insurance agents or brokers provide the same services as an independent consultant?
Agents and brokers may want you to think they can provide the same objective advice as independent risk management consultants, but they can't—since they facilitate the sale of insurance products. Sales represent the primary business activity of all agents and brokers.
We've used the same brokerage firm for years and would prefer to engage them for some consulting projects." "Is there any reason why we shouldn't?
Recommendations from agents and brokers may be viewed with skepticism if these individuals can profit from their recommendations. Agents and brokers retained for consulting-type projects may gain sensitive inside information that you may not ordinarily share with them.
Using an independent risk management consultant assures objectivity and fairness. Your projects won't be compromised by any ulterior motives or the perception that revenue-driven motives may exist.
My agent has several professional designations, shouldn't that count for something?
Yes, absolutely. But many agents and brokers are proficient in a limited number of insurance-based topics closely related to their area of sales, and lack sufficient knowledge in fields like alternative risk financing and non-insurance risk transfers.
An agency or brokerage firm is staffed primarily by "producers," charged with bringing more policyholders into the firm. Often producers lack the technical capabilities to solve complex risk management problems beyond the purchase of insurance. On the other hand, SRMC members are well-versed in all areas of risk management.