Declaration Pages and the Named Insured’s Agent or Broker

We have previously discussed about the name of the particular insurance company that is providing coverage is listed on the declaration page and now we are going to look at some other names that are listed on the declaration page. The name of the insurance agent and/or broker is usually found on the declaration page. If the name of the insurance broker is not the name of the broker you have been dealing with it is probably because your retail broker has gone to a wholesale broker in order to place the coverage or has partnered with another retail broker.

In realizing that your broker on the declarations page is not the same person you have been dealing with you need to be aware that this relationship can sometimes create delays and coverage issues. If your retail broker is using a wholesale broker that means that the retail broker does not have a direct contract with the insurance carrier. So your retail broker does not have the authority or ability to bind coverage and or change the policy by endorsement. There is nothing wrong with this relationship and sometimes it is quite necessary but you should be aware that there will normally be delays and an increased possibility of errors due to having a middleman in the process. Sometimes your broker has placed your insurance with another retail broker who has a relationship with an insurance carrier that your retail broker does not have. Again there’s nothing wrong with that relationship other than you do need to be aware that delays and/or errors are more prone to happen with multiple parties in the mix.

One appropriate question to ask your retail broker is why they have gone through a middleman to obtain coverage on your behalf. The reason you should ask that question is that it is almost always more expensive to go through multiple brokers in order to access a particular carrier versus going through one broker that has direct access to that carrier. There are exceptions but normally that is the case. If you do have a claim in the future it would be prudent to submit the claim to both the retail broker and the wholesale broker so that there is no miscommunication of reporting the claim to the carrier.

In a multiple broker relationship, the insured must pay more attention in your correspondence with all parties. Putting all responsible parties on notice is your best protection for any mistakes that are made by any of the brokers. Just by knowing on the declaration page who is the broker of record can provide you with the information that you need to know as to what type of contractual relationships you have entered into with your broker.

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