There are two ways you can be insured in Ontario. One is through a specific company or franchise; they are called agents or direct writers. The other is through an insurance broker, like the brokers at Johnston & Mackie.
Brokers and non-brokers operate a little differently.
Choice of Coverage
Agents and direct writers are authorized to sell only the products of the companies they work for. They are employees of that particular company, and they can only provide you with a quote from that one company.
A broker can access the options of several companies, and find the one that best suits the client’s particular needs. Brokers can also make a customized policy for you.
Assisting in a Loss
When you have a loss, it is a difficult time. There are several decisions that need to be made, and there is an emotional component that goes along with the process as well. Clients tell us they couldn’t imagine going through the process without the assistance of their broker, someone who is immediately available to help, and someone who knows about you and your life. When you deal with someone who is not in your community, that instant accessibility is not available and the service is substantially less personal. That matters when you have a loss.
Licensed Insurance Brokers must demonstrate full complement of technical and personal skills as mandated by the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO). Established by the Ontario government in 1981, RIBO is a self-governing body that regulates the licensing, professional competence, ethical conduct and insurance-related financial obligations of all general insurance brokers in Ontario.
To remain licensed, a broker must demonstrate a full complement of RIBO requirements in a daily practice and obtain additional education credits annually. Brokers are also required to adhere to a professional Code of Ethics. If you have a complaint, there is an organization to hear your complaint and a disciplinary committee to follow through if required.