A type of insurance broker who acts as an intermediary between a retail broker and an insurer, while having no contact with the insured. Wholesale agents place business brought to them by retail agents. Unlike a retail broker, wholesale brokers have direct contact with the insurer, whereas the retail agent who produced the buisiness does not. The same broker can function as a retailer or wholesaler, depending on the specific situation.
Wholesale brokers often possess specialized expertise in a particular line of coverage or in a line of coverage that is unusual and/or have greater access to or influence with certain insurance markets, which is especially valuable when dealing with a difficult-to-place risk.
In North America, there are generally two types of wholesale brokers:
Whereas the Surplus Lines Broker works with the retail agent and insurer to obtain coverage for the insured, unlike the Managing General Agent, they have no binding authority from the Insurer.