If you’re keen to find an alternative solution, looking for something unusual, are involved in multiple activities, or you’re unsure of the level of cover required, engaging the services of an insurance broker is almost certainly right for you. The extra peace of mind that obtaining insurance via an objective professional can provide, will enable you to concentrate on your business.
Insurance is based on contract and law, and, in the same way a solicitor or accountant would, an insurance broker provides advice and explains clearly what your insurance covers, and, crucially, what it does not cover. It’s important to note that they should be authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FCA), meaning they have a legal duty of care in the advice they provide and products that they recommend. Independent brokers are not tied to any one insurer, so have the freedom to source suitable products and services across the available market.
An independent broker provides access to a range of products and insurers and offers impartial advice. Unlike direct insurers, they are not tied to any one company and act as your agent. Some brokers will have their own negotiated products or enhanced covers, limits and other features and benefits, in addition to the insurer’s main policy. That way, a broker can tailor your insurance to meet your specific requirements.
A broker can use their expert knowledge to highlight areas of cover you may not have considered, such as cyber, environmental or trade credit insurance, or alternative flood cover options.
Brokers are responsible for explaining insurance policies in plain language and making sure any optional extras or exclusions are clearly disclosed. It’s important that you have help to cut through the insurance jargon, which can unfortunately be plentiful in long and complex policy wordings.
A broker can ensure your business and associated risks are presented to insurers in the correct way, enabling them to offer the appropriate terms.
Brokers can help to identify areas of improvement or mitigation and introducing specialist partners or access to insurer services that best support, which can also include negotiated risk management bursaries from insurers. They can also arrange for experts to advise on sums insured and limits, as well as business interruption periods and supply chain disruption, to avoid the dangers of underinsurance and gaps in cover, whilst also ensuring you aren’t paying for unnecessary cover.
Your broker can advise you on the financial strength and quality of different insurers to help you make an informed decision. A good broker will know which insurer(s) have the knowledge and expertise to be able to provide the cover that you need. This is vital when it comes to making a claim, as the understanding that the insurer and broker have of the policy, and the risks that are insured under it, make the process of settlement of valid claims much easier.
You might assume that engaging the services of a broker will result in you paying more for your insurance. In reality, insurers may actually provide lower rates to brokers, due to the fact that business through a professional broker, and the value they add with expert advice and support, is a lower risk for insurers. Also, with cover specific to your requirements, you will only pay for what you need. Most brokers can also offer a number of flexible payment options including direct debit instalments through premium finance providers at a variety of instalment periods.
A broker will be flexible on how you want to communicate, whether that’s the frequency or method (face-to-face, telephone, video, email and more).
After a policy is sold, a good broker will continue to provide ongoing support; performing valuable day-to-day services, monitoring the adequacy of coverage limits and policy terms as market conditions fluctuate.
A broker can provide valuable advice and guidance as to whether you should notify a claim or circumstance to insurers. In the event of a claim and your time of need, a broker can be an integral part of incident response and act on your behalf and provide support to achieve a fair settlement.
A broker from your region will have a depth of knowledge about the possible challenges facing your business that could prove useful, as well as making it easy to do business with them.
Entrusting your insurance needs to a broker provides peace of mind knowing that an expert is working on your behalf to secure the best coverage and deal for you.