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The Battle of the Brokers: Which Life Insurance Broker is Best?

comparing life insurance brokers

Get my 60 second summary into your ear holes!


Cast your mind back to History class in school and the epic battles of our time.

The Battle of Hastings.

The Siege of Stalingrad.

The Invasion of Normandy.

 Millions fought in bloody, awful wars.

And now we have the Battle of the Brokers, where a man on the internet will compare Life Insurance brokers so you can choose which one is right for you. 

It’s scintillating stuff, folks.

Comparing Life Insurance brokers

I know what you’re thinking.

But, Nick, you’re a Life Insurance broker. Of course, you’ll win.

Well spotted, eagle-eyed readers. 

Both of these things are true. 

BUT NOT because I’m unfair or biased towards myself. At lion, our policy is no bullshit – and we bring that into everything we do. We’re straight-talking, and we’ll give you the truth. 

Even if you don’t choose us, this article is still a good launching point for your research. Getting the best deal on Life Insurance or Mortgage Protection Insurance matters – and knowledge is the key. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to protect your family’s future.

That said, let’s dig in. 

So how should you compare Life Insurance brokers? 

A policy is a policy is a policy

One thing remains the same regardless of who you go to for your cover: Policies are identical no matter which broker you use.

So if a broker offers:

  • The first month’s cover free
  • Access to a second medical opinion
  • The moon on a stick

Rest assured, all brokers can do the same, it’s just that some aren’t as good at shouting from the rooftops as others.

Let’s say you’re interested in a policy from Royal London. If you come to me or to a broker on your street, the policies are the same although the price may be different because online brokers usually offer bigger discounts.

If you go to a bank, it can only sell you a policy from its preferred insurer (that’s Irish Life only from AIB, PTSB, Ulster Bank, and EBS while Bank of Ireland are tied to New Ireland only).

However, the price and the choice of insurers will differ. Which leads on to:

The number of insurers the broker goes to

Brokers pay the bills by earning a commission on the policies they sell. It’s how I make my money. I’ve written about it before, in the interest of transparency.

Some insurers pay more commission than others. This can, of course, skew the outcome.

From March 31st, all brokers will have to publish their commission rates on their websites so keep an eye out for this.

While we’re talking transparency, here’s where we placed our business in 2019.

We’re the only broker that publishes these figures every year.

If the broker doesn’t deal with all the insurers, bin them. ‘All the insurers’ here means Aviva, Irish Life, New Ireland, Royal London, and Zurich Life

We deal with all of them.

You may be asking “but what about Irish Life, they’re not in your chart”. Aha! We deal with Irish Life but their quotes are outrageous (see below) so we didn’t give them any biz last year.

The quickest way to find who the broker deals with, if they’re an online broker, is to run a quote and see who comes up. Count ’em. You want to see quotes from all 5 insurers or get outta dodge. 

By the way, Aviva bought Friends First in 2018 so it’s a bit sch-neaky to list Friends First as a provider. Also Standard Life don’t offer life cover even though you might come across them on some life insurance websites which is just odd, really.

Do they offer advice? 

Insurance is CONFUSING.

I’ve been in this game for a long time, and sometimes it still trips me up. Especially if someone has a complicated medical history or a job that means they’re a high-risk to insurers. 

In your quest to take out a policy, you’ll come across loads of jargon and terms that seem interchangeable. So make sure your broker is on hand to explain if that’s what you need. 

If you want a straightforward summary of quotes, then most online brokers are for you. However, if your personal situation is in anyway complex, it’s helpful to have someone in your corner going to bat for you. 

In our case, we can make a personalised recommendation for you or you can opt for a spot of DIY, run a quote and go ahead and choose the policy yourself.

However, we go one step further than all the other brokers in Ireland: we’ve written loads of articles to give you all the info you need to DIY. And we pride ourselves on being easily understood.

However, bear in mind that if you want a face-to-face consultation, your best bet is your local high street broker. As we’re an online broker, we’re happy to email or to talk over the phone, but it’d be a bit weird if you wandered into our offices for a chat.

We’d make you tea, don’t get us wrong, but we do prefer to do things the modern way. 

Are they really experts?

If you’re in excellent health with a clean medical history, you’ll breeze right through getting Life Insurance. If you have a dangerous job or medical complications, you could flag as high-risk to the insurers.

And insurers don’t like risk – which means a loading charge and more expensive premiums. In some cases, it may mean no cover or a postpone.

If you’re in this boat, inexperienced advice even if meant well can ruin things for you. Instead, you’ll want a broker who knows his onions and has advised all kinds of people in all sorts of situations. With Life Insurance, the magic is in knowing which insurer to choose for each medical issue or profession. It’s not just about getting cover, it’s about getting cover at an affordable price with the least amount of hassle.

For example, one insurer might be much more sympathetic to someone with heart disease. At the same time, another might be content just to charge you a boatload of money. In this case, they both offer cover, but you’ll pay thousands more over the term of your policy if you choose the wrong one.

It’s not enough to trust a broker who says they’ve helped people with tricky cases. Instead, look for proof – such as testimonials or real-life customer stories. 

You’ll find our testimonials right here. We have hundreds of them and a 4.98/5 average because we really do go the extra mile to help our clients out.

To save you a click, take a peek at a sprinkling of our reviews:


It’s simple: you’re going to pay a chunk of money every month to protect your family. Don’t skimp on it by going with whoever because life insurance seems like a lot of hassle or because you think it’s confusing. A good broker will clear it all up for you, and they’ll do most of the work as well. 

Are they user-friendly? 

If an online broker forces you to give them your details to call you back, back away. It’s because they’re going to call you to hard-sell you.

You should be able to get your quote without signing up for anything. Likewise, you should be able to complete your application form online. Who has time to find an envelope, buy a stamp and post a letter these days?

And make sure you get to choose from a range of quotes and that they don’t force you to apply for the cheapest quote available.

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t want to pay over the odds for this stuff, but if you have a health issue, you’re never going to get that cheap quote. You’ll complete the application form, the insurer will properly underwrite you and then offer you a “revised” quote which is 3x your initial quote.

To avoid this nightmare, make sure you get a “real quote” based on your health BEFORE you apply. That’s the service we offer, all you need to do is complete this questionnaire.

Buying insurance is a lot like any purchase. If you feel like you’re being strong-armed into a quote or insurer, it’s because you are.

Remember, the more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to actually get a good deal for you.

How much does it cost?

All else being equal, pull the trigger on the broker who offers the best price and the best advice. That’s it. It’s that simple. Price + advice = ❤️️

Let’s look at the same example, for a 40-year-old marketing exec who wants €250,000 cover across 25 years. They don’t smoke and have a clean bill of health.

Life Insurance:

life insurance broker quotes 

Mortgage Protection:

mortgage protection

That’s the information front and centre as of 18th Feb 2020.

Over to you…

Here’s the thing: you can take the cheapest policy you see – but make sure you know what you’re getting. Is it convertible? Does it come with indexation? Is it reviewable or guaranteed? Is it dual or joint? Who will get the payout?

If you can’t answer those questions, don’t take the leap – because each one equates to euros spent, down the line.

With Life Insurance, you’re buying peace of mind and security for your family. Don’t buy into the bullshit. Make sure you chose the broker who is honest with you, who explains everything, and who makes it seem effortless.

Hell, if that’s someone other than me, go for it (tell him or her there’s a job waiting for them here. Seriously, we’re hiring!)

However, if you like what we do here, give me a call on or fill in this financial questionnaire and I’ll get back to you with my recommendation.

Alternatively, you can schedule a call back at a time that suits.


I look forward to it!


Life Insurance
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