07 Apr 2022
How to find the right insurance broker
Article

How to find the right insurance broker

Insurance brokers can help you understand the risks your particular business faces, design a customised insurance package that covers the aspects of your business that are most important to you and help you understand the details of a policy.

They may also save your business money because they can negotiate with insurers to get the best prices, reduce your premiums by working with you to implement a risk management program, and can save you time, too. So, how do you find the right broker for you and your business?

What to look for in an insurance broker

  • Specialist knowledge – Some businesses face risks that are unique to their industry, and you should consider working with a broker who has the insight and experience to meet your needs.
  • Responsiveness – How quickly does the broker respond to your enquiries? Most importantly, do they provide you with helpful information?
  • Persistence – If they don't have an immediate answer, do they demonstrate a willingness to find it?
  • Adviser, not an order taker – Are they a 'yes' person? If so, continue the search. A good broker will identify risks and advise you on what you need. They’ll tell you the truth rather than what you’d necessarily like to hear.
  • Proactivity – Being proactive is a hugely important skill for brokers to have, so ask them about how they approach the job. Do they suggest catching up and reassessing your needs on a regular basis, or will they wait for you to call?
  • Support at claims time – As well as finding you the right policy, a broker will really come into their own if or when you need to make a claim – including being able to advocate for you during any disputes. Quiz them about their claims handling process to understand just how they will help you. For example, will they guide you through it, or handle it all themselves?

“It’s also important that you find a broker you can comfortably work with – someone who understands you and your business,” says Lorelle Hillman, Interim General Manager, Sales and Relationship Management at QBE.

“Being able to have an honest and frank relationship with your broker is hugely valuable.”

Where to find an insurance broker

The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA)* represents more than 450 member firms and 4,500 individual brokers across the country.

NIBA is essentially a gateway to accredited, reliable brokers who are compelled to provide the best service. To find a broker visit NIBA’s Need a Broker website or call 1300 531 073.

Since 1982, the association has established numerous operational and educational standards for brokers. It’s most well-known for developing, administering and monitoring the Code of Practice.

A new Code of Practice comes into force in November 2022, which dictates minimum service guidelines for NIBA members. That means the brokerages and brokers they represent must abide by strict standards, including:

  • Disclosing what they earn
  • How they handle claims and renewals
  • Clearly explaining their role and terms of engagement
  • Adhering to the Code’s Complaints and Dispute process.

“Being a member of the national association is a good sign your broker takes the profession seriously, is committed to upholding the standards set by NIBA and is dedicated to continuous education, too,” says John Schroder, National Partnership Manager at QBE.

“The new Code of Practice has evolved from a rigorous process, and demands all brokers adhere to the very highest standards.”

Ask for a recommendation

Do you have contacts in your industry who can give you a recommendation for a broker? First-hand experience is always a good source of reference, so ask peers you trust to share their experiences.

If not, check out any online reviews – if they’ve got some good Google My Business and Facebook reviews, you can get some insight into how they work – and you may recognise some of the reviewers, too.

“Insight from clients about how the broker works – particularly during claims time – will be invaluable,” says Hillman.

“Also, understanding how they’ve helped businesses in other ways – for example, advising on future risks that a client may have been unaware of previously – will give you a good idea about the level of service you can expect.”

What sort of questions should I ask a broker?

As well as asking for references and understanding how they work, it’s a good idea to ask your potential broker the following:

What are their qualifications and professional memberships?

What range of services do they offer?

Who would be your point of contact with your account?

What experience do they have with businesses of your size and in your industry?

How do they bill for their work?

What makes them different to other brokers?

“It’s about asking as many questions as you need to get a full picture in your mind of what this will look like in reality.” says Schroder.

“By doing your due diligence at this stage, you’ll find the right broker for you.”

Consider QBE’s authorised representatives

An authorised representative is different to a licensed broker.

Authorised representatives operate under the Financial Services Licence of another provider either an insurance company, licensed broker or other Australian Financial Services Licence holder, and provide financial services on behalf of that provider.

An authorised representative who provides personal financial product advice is still subject to the same general conduct obligations that apply to a licensed broker. Often an authorised representative may be authorised by several insurance companies so they can still offer you a range of product choices.

*The brokers on this site are not employees or agents of QBE, but are independent entities. QBE is not responsible for any advice provided to you by any broker on this site. Any such advice is the responsibility of the broker concerned.

The advice on this website is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You must decide whether or not it is appropriate, in light of your own circumstances, to act on this advice. You should ensure you obtain and consider the Policy Wording or Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination for the policy before you make any decision to buy it.

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