Choosing an insurance company to protect you and/or your practice can feel overwhelming. There are a multitude of companies on the market, they all want your business, and it can be difficult to distinguish amongst them.

When buying your business insurance, it can be helpful to follow these guidelines to ensure you select the best insurance partner:

  1. Understand the difference between agents and brokers
  2. Determine the company’s carriers and their ratings
  3. Learn about their expertise insuring doctors of optometry
  4. Look for trusted reviews


How to Pick a Business Insurance Partner — Local Agent vs. National Broker

Not all insurance companies are the same. When researching your coverage, you will likely come across an assortment of potential partners—both agents and brokers. Before you choose, it can be helpful to understand each type. In general, agents and brokers are licensed professionals who help businesses and people get insured but there are some key differences:

  • Insurance agents work directly for a small number of insurance providers selling products for a commission. Agents represent the insurance company in the transaction while also helping customers find the right coverage.
  • Insurance brokers play a similar role selling insurance products from a variety of carriers for a commission. However, because insurance brokers operate independently of carriers, they have a primary duty to their client, rather than the carrier.

What is Lockton Affinity?: Founded in 1987, Lockton Affinity has become one of the leading national insurance brokers. We partner with a variety of highly rated carriers so we can shop around for the best possible coverage for our customers.

How to Pick a Business Insurance Partner — Carriers

Before choosing an agent or a broker, it is important to examine their carrier partners as well. Insurance carriers issue the actual insurance policy, charge the premium and pay for losses in the event of a covered claim. The carrier of your policy bears the financial risk of issuing you a policy, so it’s important to make sure they’re dependable.

You can learn about a carrier’s finances by checking their A.M. Best Company rating, a global credit rating agency that is the “gold standard” in the insurance industry. A.M. Best’s letter-grade rating gives you an independent opinion of the carrier’s ability to meet ongoing policy and contract obligations, while its financial size categorization tells you the size of a carrier’s policyholder surplus.

Lockton Affinity’s carriers: Lockton Affinity has built an extensive network of reliable, financially stable carrier partners. We only work with insurance carriers that have high industry ratings. Our attention to the carriers we work with helps ensure optometrists like you are covered with the best choice for insurance in your industry.

How to Pick a Business Insurance Partner — Industry Expertise

In addition to researching agents, brokers and carriers, it can be beneficial to look into a company’s experience insuring doctors of optometry. If an insurance company has worked with doctors of optometry before, they’ll have an idea of:

  • Types of policies you need
  • Industry insurance requirements
  • Various limit options that may be beneficial
  • How to assist with claims
  • Risk management resources to share and more

If the insurance agent or insurance company does not have experience insuring optometrists, your insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover you and your business.

Lockton Affinity’s industry experience: We designed the AOA Insurance Alliance with hands on involvement from the AOA and doctors of optometry. Plus, with more than a decade of experience serving ODs like you, our customer service representatives have the knowledge to guide your insurance experience.

How to Pick a Business Insurance Partner — Trusted Reviews

Talk to your fellow ODs. Perhaps your coworker had a favorable experience with one insurance company but a terrible experience with another. Perhaps a former instructor or mentor has a recommendation.

It may also be beneficial to see if trusted industry leaders have a preferred partner. Check with industry organizations, magazines, journals and more.

Lockton Affinity’s trustworthiness: Lockton Affinity is the only insurance company endorsed by the American Optometric Association. Chairman of the Board, Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., has favorable praises about the partnership:

AOAExcel is proud to have partnered with Lockton Affinity to provide AOA members with the most comprehensive liability coverages for more than a decade. We have worked side-by-side with Lockton Affinity to create policies specifically designed for doctors of optometry… and we continually keep Lockton Affinity up to date on the needs of ODs.


Trust Lockton Affinity with Your Business Insurance Needs

As one of the nation’s leading insurance administrators and the endorsed partner of the AOA, Lockton Affinity knows the coverage, limits and benefits you need.

Get coverage designed for ODs today at