WARNING:

Most so-called financial advisers in Germany are actually tied agents and primarily sales personnel!

 

Expats, especially those from the UK, Ireland, or the US, where the financial advice market is strongly regulated, are often shocked when they find that they have become an easy victim of hard-selling German insurance agents, or „Finanzberater“. This is in part due to the long-standing reluctance of the German government to implement tough regulation on financial advice. If you believe that someone who is advising you on an insurance or pension plan in Germany will generally have your best interest in mind (as a financial adviser at home would), you can sometimes find yourself to be sorely mistaken. Below you’ll find a video that explains the difference between the insurance advice providers in Germany and why going with an insurance broker or insurance consultant might be your best choice. If you rather read some info, scroll down below the video for more text.

    

Generally speaking, you need to understand the difference between the two main types of financial advisers in Germany. You need to be able to determine the reliability of an adviser in the first few minutes of a meeting.

All financial advisers have to disclose this information right from the start when offering insurance advice – failure to do so is punishable by law, and also a sure sign you should go ahead and leave. No trustworthy adviser will fail to disclose his or her status. You’ll find our status information with all our licenses shown either in the imprint section of this website or by clicking HERE

First off, you should find out which of these three categories your potential adviser falls into:

Independent financial adviser:

There are two kinds of independent advisors:

the insurance consultant (Versicherungsberater) and the insurance broker (Versicherungsmakler)

Both can advise you on products from the nearly the whole of the market. And both have to advise you based on the „best advice“ principle, and can be held liable if failing to set you up with the best solution for your particular needs. Consultants and brokers are representing your best interest towards insurance companies and banks. The main difference is that the consultant is entirely paid by fees directly from you whereas the broker usually receives a commission from the insurance companies (but can also work for you based on fees if so agreed).

Restricted advisors/tied agents

Multi-tied adviser (German: Mehrfachagent)

Most large financial distribution organizations belong to this group. These advisers can only advise you on products from a limited range, preselected by the organization to which they are tied, though they are still obliged to choose and recommend the most suitable products from this diminished selection. Legally, though, they are only representing the interest of the insurance companies they are tied to. The company they work for will often limit the selection to only those insurance companies which offer them the highest commission.

Tied adviser (German: Gebundener Vertreter):

This group of advisers can only recommend the products of one company to which they are tied, usually by direct employment. Tied agents can have an important role in the market as they can offer specialized services, such as direct claims settlement. You always have to be aware, however, of the limitations in what they offer to you and know that they are not representing your own best interests but those of their company.

 

We at Chambervelt, Rooselain & Cie. are licensed and registered as truly independent insurance brokers and financial advisers. We are in no way bound to any insurance company, bank, or financial sales organization.

If you have questions about our work, or about some financial advice you have received from others, you can use our Contact form

We will be happy to explain things in more detail to you, or provide you with an unbiased second opinion