As a business owner, it can be tempting to seek short cuts to find your best-fit insurance cover. The internet offers you an overwhelming range of options, but it can be tricky to work out the right cover to suit your business needs (and cheaper is not always the best).
You could have then taken out a policy because it was quick and ticked most of your boxes. Maybe the impact of COVID-19 has belatedly made you take to the fine print with a magnifying glass.
For example, did you have a chance to check the independence of the comparison website? Social proof might have weighed in on your decision-making too, rather than doing your usual due diligence.
Spoilt for choice
With millions of individual insurance policies offered through multiple brands, and distribution channels across Australia, insurance brokers are a valuable guide to help businesses determine which policy offers the best fit for their needs.
It can be hard work finding the right one. A quarter of sole traders have no insurance, according to an Industry Council of Australia report. Meanwhile, one in 10 businesses underinsure their business assets, saying:
- “I can’t afford to pay more for insurance.”
- “Premiums are too high”, or
- “You can never be adequately insured.”
Maybe you’ve thought or said the same about your own business?
DIY insurance cover is not your best bet
In short, businesses need to protect their assets, customers, employees, business owners, and earnings. There’s plenty more that companies might need to insure, including compulsory coverage.
If you’ve gone for the Google ’quick-fix’ option, you could be paying higher insurance premiums after an initial honeymoon period. Chances are you’ll need to renegotiate with an insurance company for a better rate or elect to take a higher excess to reduce your premiums. This will need to be repeated for each of your policies.
Would it make better business sense to deal with the same person for all of your business insurance policies? Someone who’ll guide you when your policy needs reviewing, provide regular updates and take the stress out of insurance for you.
This is where we come in. Insurance brokers manage more than 90% of commercial insurance transactions in Australia.
What insurance brokers do
As insurance brokers, it’s our business to navigate the information tsunami. We offer professional advice with expertise in insurance and risk management. Our aim is to scaffold business growth – and support you in selecting your best-fit insurance cover. Once you’ve purchased the policy, we keep tabs on it, your circumstances, and how it relates to you.
We drill down into insurance products and policies for insights into the finer details such as the:
- Terms and conditions in the policy
- Benefits (also known as optional inclusions)
- Exclusions (these are critically important to ensure you don’t have nasty surprises when you need to make a claim)
- Costs of a diverse range of competing insurance policies, and
- Validity of the insurance cover when there are changes in the business.
We’ll also advocate for you when making a claim, seeing that process through and allowing you to focus on running your business.
A licence to broker
To become a broker, we’ve each undertaken training and must successfully apply to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission to secure an Australian Financial Services Licence. (Here’s how you can check if a broker is licensed.) We can also do this work as a representative of a licence holder.
This licence compels insurance brokers to provide “efficient, honest and fair financial services” and to comply with the Corporations Act 2001. We must also follow the Insurance Brokers’ Code of Practice.
Safety (and savings) in numbers
Licencing, laws, and the code of practice give a broker’s client great peace of mind.
Once we’ve discussed your insurance needs and risk management issues with you, we could suggest bundling policies together to offer you savings. But, if you prefer to spread your policies among different insurers, you’ll still do well to use a broker.
In fact, that process helps pre-qualify you for a policy in the eyes of an insurance company. They see you as a lower risk because you’ve taken on board your broker’s expert advice. That’s why brokers can access better rates for their clients than if a business dealt directly with an insurance company.
Having a broker on your side helps make you more savvy about risk management in your business. It’s a proven way to ensure you have sufficient cover for your risk exposure, leaving you to get on with what you do best – running your business.
Managing Director - Insurance Broker - R J Vaughan & Monaghan Pty Limited
I am the Managing Director at Vaughan & Monaghan with over 40 years experience in the handling and placement of all classes of General Insurance. I greatly value the importance of the client/broker relationship and the trust that it generates in servicing client's requirements. I am a Qualified Practising Insurance Broker and hold a Diploma in Financial Services (Broking). I believe people matter most in business, a philosophy we apply to our own and businesses we work with