6 Questions To Help You Decide If You Should Use An Insurance Broker
You love to shop right?
Most of us love shopping, as long as it’s not for boring stuff like insurance. So, when it comes to insurance, should shop around for the best quote yourself, or should you consider contacting an insurance broker?
Read through the 6 questions below to help you decide.
1. Are you time poor?
How much is your time worth? Have you got the patience to call five different insurers to get quotes? Do you know who the leading insurers are, or even what insurances you need? A quality insurance broker does the shopping around for you. Most brokers will have 150 or more underwriters available to them, and you will have peace of mind that after getting a detailed brief on your personal and business insurance needs, will provide the right solution.
You can also use your insurance broker as a ‘one stop shop’. Having all your insurances in the same place makes a lot of sense – you get a variety of underwriters, but just one point of contact to manage your policies through. Your risk of having a ‘gap’ in your cover is much reduced once your broker looks after all your covers. They can see holistically where you might be underinsured (or where you don’t have any insurance at all).
2. Do you lack insurance expertise?
Do you read policy wordings? Do you know what you are covered for? Insurance brokers are professionals, they require continuous training to keep their skills up. They attend professional development days, webinars and industry discussions. They are registered with ASIC, belong to professional bodies and they hold accreditation in insurance broking. Insurance is very complex – the training a broker does keeps them abreast of changes in the industry and aware of new risks (like cyber and terrorism) and new products available.
Your insurance broker knows policy wordings inside and out. For fun, they read product disclosure statements (PDSs) – we get excited when we learn a new product and know how it can help our clients! Continuous study and training is part of a broker’s daily bread. Have you ever read one of those booklets cover to cover? A broker is trained on each product they sell. They have read the wordings and passed a test on it. They are specialists in insurance, are you?!
3. Do you need help or advice if you have to make a claim?
No one wants a claim, as it means someone is usually in a state of distress. Do you know where to even start with lodging a claim? What is your excess? Is what happened even covered? What supporting material do you need to make a claim? A broker will help you lodge your claim, follow up and guide you in the process. They know what information an insurer requires, so you can have your claim taken care of quicker and with better outcomes.
Statistics from the ombudsmen shows that they have less complaints from clients who use brokers for their claims, than clients who are with direct insurers. As an insurance broker, I can tell you that the claims process is one of the times when we feel like we can add the most value and support to our clients. Most insurance is considered a ‘piece of paper and a promise’ (or a PDF and a promise in the digital era) and a claim is when that promise becomes vitally important.
4. Do you run a business?
A broker will help you keep your business running smoothly. They make sure your insurances are paid on time, you have payment options that suit your business, you have easy access to invoices. They send certificates of currency for you and even liaise with financial providers if needed.
Your insurance broker is also likely to have a network of supporting professional around them. Accountants, financial planners, employment services, banks, mortgage brokers, web designers, and they may even know a great cafe for your coffee catch up.
5. Are you community minded?
Most brokers live in the communities they serve and work in the towns and cities their clients live and work in.
My dad used to say: ‘if you are not happy, you can walk in or call me and complain, try that with the direct/online only insurers of the world. You ring, we answer’.
A broker isn’t hidden behind a computer, a call centre or a faceless advertisement. They support the communities that support them, sponsor the local football and netball clubs, cricket clubs, school projects. Some take on work experience students, run fundraising programs and events.
We are part of the community. Believe me, it’s an added incentive to make sure they do the right thing by their clients when they face them every day. Personally, I had my sister–in–law’s landlord property burn to the ground, that is definitely something you want to get right!
6. Do you want someone who WANTS to help you?
Not sure what you have insured or what you should have insured? Not sure the values you have or need? A broker loves to help and educate clients. They are always happy to answer questions. They run information seminars, feature blogs, write about how to prevent claims.
A good insurance broker joins groups and offers services so people can understand their insurances. Your insurance broker will answer your phone calls, emails and messages about insurance questions. No question is ever too silly!
We LOVE helping people. Insurance is all about protection, relationships and trust.
Please note: The information provided in this article is only general in nature – before making business decisions you should consider seeking advice specific to your situation.