An insurer (formerly known as insurance broker), colloquially referred to as insurance, is the party in an insurance contract that provides insurance cover.
In all economically developed countries, insurance companies are subject to special state control owing to their important role in the national economy.
In Germany, Austria and Switzerland the insurer must always be a company (insurance company), mostly in the legal form of a corporation (insurance corporation), institution under public law (insurance institution) and organized under private law.
The sales organization plays a particularly significant role in the insurance business. The high product-related consulting competence, good accessibility and flexible working hours of the agents are traditionally important, especially for young families and salaried employees.
Unlike tied agents of insurance companies, insurance brokers are independent organizations who search carefully for the optimum solution on the market on behalf of their customers and check any solution using objective criteria. In particular, it is private customers, freelancers and tradesmen who highly appreciate the comprehensive, single-source consulting service provided by medium-sized insurance brokers.