Most companies that use an insurance broker have become accustomed to paying on a commission basis. The as much as 15% of a $10,000 premium, or $1,500 -- a hefty sum for a job that may possibly have taken the broker only a couple of hours to complete.

According to Paul D. Kohlenbrener, a consultant for William M. Mercer International in Chicago, which advises on employee benefits and compensation, more and more companies are attracting clients by working on a "net of commission" basis. That is, they will subtract the commission from the premium and charge an hourly fee for their services -- usually from $50 to $250.