The value of working with an insurance broker
An insurance broker is an exceptionally valuable person to have in any business’s armoury.
Because insurance is all about risk – and brokers are experts at identifying, and helping to minimise, the risks businesses face each and every day. Risks they face, on many occasions, without even realising it.
“During the pandemic, for example, many businesses ‘pivoted’ into offering new products and services, introducing different ways of delivering products and transacting business,” says Lorelle Hillman, Interim General Manager, Partnerships at QBE.
“This may have inadvertently opened up new risks, and unless the right cover is in place, it could have consequences for a business.”
The transactional act of buying insurance is something many of us are accustomed to doing online in our personal lives – for example, when our car rego is due.
However, business insurance can be a whole different proposition, and getting the right solution, tailored to your individual situation, is important.
Doing this yourself can be a time-consuming process.
Research1 shows that each customer who works with an insurance broker saves 11 hours – and that’s time which can be spent in other areas of your business.
There are many insurance products on the market, and being able to have someone navigate and evaluate them on your behalf can be beneficial.
“Knowing an expert has reviewed your business, has identified the right policies and limits for you – and you, therefore, have everything covered – is incredibly reassuring,” says Hillman.
“The right broker can become a trusted adviser for a business and can add significant value.”
The power of negotiation
Identifying risks is only one aspect of an insurance broker’s role. From there, they will find the right insurer to place your risk with.
And that’s a task that requires skill in today’s market. Having relationships with insurers, knowing how they work and what they’re looking for, helps place policies efficiently.
“Insurers want to see that businesses have an understanding of the risks they face, and they have mitigation strategies in place to deal with them,” says Hillman.
Naturally, insurers need to understand the risk they’re covering. So by really knowing what they’re looking for brokers can get your policy placed at a competitive rate, by ensuring you’re not being covered for things you don’t need.
Confirming you’re insured at the right levels
You may have insurance in place, but are you insured at the right values for today? Research1 has found that 40 per cent of clients are either underinsured or not insured at all before engaging with a broker.
And it’s easy to fall into an underinsurance trap. After all, the values of goods and services change, property prices rise, and sometimes there are hidden costs in returning you to the situation you were in before an event took place.
“An insurance broker will work with you to review your business risks on at least an annual basis,” says Hillman. “They’ll be able to advise you on market changes and anything that may affect your sums insured, and adjust them accordingly.
“The last thing you want in the event of a claim is to find you’re not sufficiently insured to get back on your feet.”
Support during insurance claims – navigating the process
During the claims process brokers also add value. Insurance is the one thing we buy but hope to never have to use – but if you do have to claim, it can be stressful, especially if it happens during an already busy period.
Brokers are well versed in the claims process, and can manage all the planning on your behalf.
Research1 has found that brokers save a client, on average, two-and-a-half hours in the claims process thanks to their expertise and 41 per cent of SME clients agreed the claims process would have been ‘much harder’ without their broker by their side.
“The broker really is the advocate for you during a claims process,” says Hillman.
“Effectively, they go into bat for you, and deal with everything the insurer needs to get your claim processed quickly.”
Insurance broker and client: in it for the long term
While an insurance broker can add significant immediate value to your business, the real benefit is working with a broker over the long term. They will get to know your business and can become a genuine trusted adviser.
“This is particularly important at renewal time,” says Hillman. “A good broker will pre-empt many conversations and begin the renewal process early, to ensure you’re getting the coverage you need for the risks you face today.”
Where can I find an insurance broker?
If you’re looking for an insurance broker to work with, a good place to start is the National Insurance Brokers Association. Its Need a Broker website* helps you locate NIBA members near you.