How do you know if your benefits broker is the worst?  Here are five things to watch out for!

5. Acronyms, Acronyms, Acronyms

Okay, we all fall victim to industry speak. Even worse though are the sycophants of an industry’s subculture that treat you like only the elite are part of their in-crowd.  So, if your Insurance Broker can’t wait to drop the phrases ACA, EBITDA, MLR and others without taking a breath or without the self-awareness to know that you aren’t impressed and rightfully only care about how the implication of these terms affect your life–the worst.

4. Cufflinks at the farm

So you think you wouldn’t see cufflinks and pocket hanky on a 3 piece suit for an appointment on your farm. It’s happened. Plus, for 99.9% of consumers… strike that, 100% of consumers never want to see overly flashy representatives. Nicely dressed, well dressed, stylish – sure. Pretentious – never. If a broker is so self-important to not know who you are and at least a bit about your environment and culture before stepping foot in your doorway–the worst.

3. Their personal production

It’s never important for them to share their personal production. You are the client. You don’t need to know about the broker’s sales month. Confidence is well-designed products and a great implementation. That’s worthy of sharing in the conversation. Casually placed references to their personal sales achievements in term of their or the agency’s revenue this month or this year, not cool. Sure, a nice group of clients gives the broker leverage or influence, but you don’t want to hear about the money about to flow out of your pocket and how proud of all the money they are. If it’s about the money and not about the outcome–the worst.

2. Hostile language

So, you want a service provider on your side who doesn’t treat you with respect and value? Quit reinforcing their bad behavior. We’ve seen great people that are afraid to leave the services a broker for fear that they will be mean and hostile towards them personally. The broker that gets indignant with you for not actually listening to your concerns and needs–idiot. The broker that yells or berates–absolutely the worst.

1. Communications black hole

You express your desires. No response from your broker. You start to work with the insurance company directly and your broker smiles because they do less work. You then start to make plan changes to your benefits with the insurer, because let’s face it—you’re smart and you needed to take control of your own destiny. Then, you get a call or a meeting request to review a new product. One that you quite frankly don’t have any interest in and think it’ll be a waste of your time. And you realize that not only was your money not respected enough to get proper attention, but now your time isn’t respected either–the worst of the worst.

Don’t tolerate bad behavior. Brokers can be changed anytime during a plan year. Find a broker ready to show compassion, respect and downright decency.

Bret Brummitt

Bret Brummitt


Bret started Generous Benefits in 2019 after 20 years of working inside the Employee Benefits industry with the goal to create a company that focused on improving communities through benefits.  And the term Generous was no mistake, as Bret thinks in terms of broad scope ideas, processes, and technologies that can improve 1 person's life or the community as a whole. With this idea that Generous Benefits weren't just your typical checklist of commonplace insurance or wealth savings plans, but that a benefits package has room to be stretched, tailored, and curated to make a desirable long-term impact.

Bret also spends time coaching other insurance agencies with Q4Intelligence and participates with thought-provoking communities like Health Rosetta and the Free Market Medical Association to help expand his understanding and learn from others.

Oh, and he can be found around Austin running with Gilbert's Gazelles or denying his age with the Austin Metro Baseball League as a member of the Austin Blue Jays.