Preparing for your annual insurance review? Why should you consider using the services of an Insurance Broker?
These days insurance is widely available and can be bought directly, through direct insurer agents, via online aggregators, captive brokers, financial advisors, banks and even at supermarkets. This is all very convenient but what is the best purchase channel for the customer?
The insurance market is a complex minefield of information but one which is very much driven by price with customers chasing the cheapest premiums. Whilst it is prudent to shop around and not pay over the odds, it is also important that you obtain ‘value for money’ cover. Other factors to consider are; after sales service, claims service, financial stability, policy coverage, standard limits, terms, conditions and warranties. Ultimately insurance is a promise on paper to pay a claim in the event of a loss, however, before parting with your hard earned cash for that super fantastic deal, ensure that there is substance to that promise.
So how can a broker help you?
Brokers are in the insurance market every day, therefore they understand the market trends and have general product knowledge. In other words, they know “who is good for what”.
An independent Broker will provide impartial advice and recommendations on a selection of products that will best match your needs. Conversely, direct agents, captive brokers, comparison sites and banks may only offer products from one or a limited panel of insurers.
What does this mean?
It means, by instructing an independent broker they will get to know your business, develop a working relationship with you and arrange a policy for a premium that you are comfortable with. Their sales are usually on an ‘advised’ basis which means they will make formal recommendations on products they believe best suit your needs. Direct Agents, Online Aggregators and Banks etc selling and promoting a single product or limited product range will usually follow a “one fits all approach” selling on a ‘non-advised’ basis. This simply means the onus is on the customer to ensure that the policy they are buying will meet their requirements.
Contrary to people thinking that it is easy to compare on the internet, choosing insurance online does have its pitfalls, particularly when it comes to buying business insurance. For example, comparison sites may only compare a specific range of insurers and may not ask specific questions about you or your business that an advisor may ask you. This can lead to gaps in your insurance cover and cause problems when you need to make a claim.
We believe you may want to consider placing your business with an insurance broker because:
- Unlike larger organisations, a local independent broker will more likely have the availability and willingness to visit you at your business premises and conduct a full insurance risk review. Larger organisations are more likely to do this for the larger customers only.
- An independent broker works for you and you only as your agent in sourcing and placing cover.
- Brokers can give risk management advice by identifying, measuring, managing and controlling risk and where appropriate can give advice on health and safety, fire prevention and premises security.
- In the event of a claim, a broker will be there to give you initial advice and to offer support as and when needed, liaising with the insurer on your behalf to work to a swift resolution that doesn’t leave you out of pocket for any longer than necessary.
Brokers can act as a one stop shop for all your insurance needs. Why not deal with the same trusted person to take care of your business insurance as well as your car, home, properties, healthcare and life assurance needs while benefiting from cover with multiple insurers.
By Thomas Whippy, our Commercial Manager