At Senior Patient Advocates, we make it clear to our clients that we operate as licensed insurance consultants, not agents. We believe this serves our clients because we provide knowledgeable, unbiased advice about healthcare plans and options. Since we don’t sell insurance, a conflict of interest is off the table. We strictly provide guidance because, in our educated and experienced opinion, it’s what’s best for you. Although there are critical differences between consultants and agents, it’s easy to get confused about what the role of each is and when to seek one over the other. Both insurance agents and consultants can provide advice and guidance, but below we’ve provided a list of important differences.
An Insurance Consultant:
- Does not sell insurance.
- Represents and works on a fee that is paid by you.
- Is hired to provide advice and guidance that will uniquely benefit you.
- Has a contractual agreement with you.
- Can unbiasedly help ensure that you have or will select the right insurance plan for your medical needs.
An Insurance Agent:
- Sells insurance.
- Works on commission from an insurance company.
- Is obligated to work in the best interest of the insurance carrier he/she represents.
- Has a contractual agreement to represent an insurance company.
- Has a conflict of interest when providing advice and guidance as he/she has an opportunity to profit from your choice.
Why This is Important to You
While both an insurance consultant and agent have their place, it’s critical to have an unbiased, conflict-free voice providing guidance and advice as you make important short and long term healthcare decisions. Without this, you can easily end up in a plan that is too expensive; doesn’t provide the necessary coverage to meet your medical needs; or makes it difficult or impossible to get out of or switch coverage. As you make these critical decisions, make sure you’re aware of the interest of all involved parties.