A good broker understands your business and works on your behalf
Most people who start their own business, do so because they’re passionate about something. And when you are trying to build and grow your business, it’s good to be supported by others who understand what you’re doing and know where you’re heading.
So, before you start talking to a broker about specific insurance solutions, talk to them about your business, you industry, your customers and your aspirations. This knowledge will help them analyse your needs, identify gaps in any existing arrangements and if needed, introduce you to other experts in their team such as specialists in workers’ compensation, property valuations or other risk management professionals.
What does a broker actually do?
The role of a broker is to act on your behalf and recommend both risk management strategies as well as insurance solutions. Your broker should help you:
- Understand the various risk exposures of your business
- Identify ways that you can reduce any of those risks and therefore potentially pay lower insurance premiums (perhaps through better maintenance programs or through upgrading locks or security systems)
- Determine how much risk to transfer to insurance and how much (if any) you might retain
- Ensure you fully understand your legal obligations as a business or employer of people.
Based on this information, your broker will prepare a thorough submission that includes insurance policy recommendations and details of what every policy covers.
In the event you need to make a claim on your policy, your broker will make sure that your claim is filled-out correctly, and then advocate on your behalf with the insurer to ensure speedy settlement.
Things to ask your broker
It’s very important that you feel confident with the recommendations of your insurance broker, and one of the best ways to do this is to ask a few questions, such as:
What does this policy exclude?
When buying insurance, you don’t want to be paying for surprises. Understanding what’s not covered under the policy is as important, as what’s covered. You don’t want to wait until you’re lodging a claim to find out that you’re not actually covered for that particular incident, because it’s part of the finely printed exclusions of your policy. Many brokers are able to repeat the standard spiel on why an insurance policy is absolutely perfect for your business. The true experts will talk you through the details, ensuring you understand what cover you do and don’t have.
What do other insurers offer?
Asking this question will check if the broker has actually done their job of approaching several insurers to negotiate the optimal risk management program for your business. You don’t want your cover to be given to the first insurer the broker may have a relationship with, or the one who pays the highest commission.
Have you covered other similar businesses? Do they have exposures that might be relevant to mine?
Highly resourceful brokers are able to provide benchmarking data that compares your business to other competitors within your industry, and tailor the insurance program to your industry risks. Even if this is not the case, an experienced broker would be able to show their familiarity of dealing with similar businesses and provide knowledgeable insight into other exposures you need to consider.
With the right insurance broker in your corner, you can have the confidence that your business is properly protected, and the peace of mind to focus on the things that matter most.