A competent broker is a vital component in the short-term insurance chain. It is their duty to act as an impartial and objective intermediary between clients, underwriters and insurers. They make sure that you get the best deal, cover and claim service.
They also have the extremely important task of providing expert insurance advice to clients. A broker who knows their stuff will make sure that they understand the ins and outs of your business and the risks that it is exposed to. They will also have in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of the products available in the short-term insurance market.
However, the client also has a responsibility: You should make sure that you ask your existing or potential new broker the right questions so that you sleep tight knowing that your assets are taken care of. Remember, the final decision about your insurance cover is up to you.
According to Yolande van Niekerk, CEO of Ibiliti Underwriting Managers, they are only allowed to do business through financial intermediaries according to regulations. “We love working with brokers who know their stuff. They are an invaluable part of our business. We apply stringent criteria when evaluating a new broker.”
Says Van Niekerk, “The right insurance broker won’t be pushy or manipulate you into purchasing any product. A true professional will inform you of the drawbacks and benefits and lay out the very best options for you to decide.”
When it comes to selecting the right broker for your business, she shares these top 8 tips:
- Find someone you can trust
Trust is the biggest requirement for finding the right broker. Remember, you are trusting this person with your personal information and both are participating in a financial transaction. The credentials, personal references, skills and education of the intermediary should be available to you immediately. It is also worthwhile looking online for reviews of the company or the individual broker.
- Do they know their stuff?
Knowledge and experience are key. A truly competent broker can assist with in-depth knowledge on the best products for your business and give you solid reasons for their recommendation. A good financial advisor combines technical, legal and niche industry knowledge gained from years of experience to guide you. It also helps to find a short-term insurance broker that specialises in your specific industry.
- How the broker is supported for the sake of your business
The right intermediary will have good systems in place and be an orderly and reliable person. Ideally, your broker must be supported by an administrative team and/or other brokers. This gives you peace of mind should he or she be unable to assist you for whatever reason. A well-run office ensures your queries, policies and claims will be dealt with efficiently.
- Open communication
Find someone with whom you feel comfortable to talk. A broker should update you regularly about events and legislation that may affect your insurance cover. If there are any changes in your risk profile, they must be able to communicate the circumstances that may affect the risk to the insurer accurately.
- Be cautious when a broker tries to sell your company a product based on premium only
Ask yourself what will it really cost you in the end to take out the cheapest insurance product? Some insurance products attract a cheap premium and the reason for this may not be beneficial for your business. A great broker will not sell on price alone, but as a specialist and professional consider your unique circumstances and needs.
- Be suspicious when a broker offers you anything out of the realm of insurance
Professional brokers will not offer you anything other than an insurance quotation and insurance documentation to make their proposal more attractive.
- Transparency is vital
Remember that regulations mean your broker is obliged to disclose their commission and fees to you as their client.
- Speak to brokers who keep up to date with a changing industry
Insurance is an ever-changing and very competitive industry, with more options available to consumers every year. This makes it confusing and difficult for people outside of the industry to remain informed and up to date. For this reason, a well-informed broker who keeps up with all the changes and complies with regulation is a valuable asset.
If you don’t have a broker, you are welcome to submit the following information here: Contact number, area where your business operates, and which policy solution you are interested in. We will then send you details of approved brokers in your area.
If you do have a broker, ask them to request a quote on your behalf by sending an enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or provide us with their details so we can contact them and provide them with more information.