Why use a broker?

Costs: Do you really save money by going direct?

There are some common misconceptions when it comes to the cost of Insurance and exactly what you are paying for. It “pays” to be informed about what you are getting for your buck!

Think a middleman’s a waste of time and money? Think again.

You’ve heard that cutting out the middleman – an insurance broker – will save you money but contrary to what advertisers would like you to believe, studies have proven that broker pricing is, in reality, cheaper than direct!

Don’t believe us?

Using a broker means reducing risk, which is why traditional insurers provide preferred or special rates to brokers. The reason for this is that brokers are qualified, experienced and equipped to select the right policy for you, ensuring that you don’t end up in a situation where you are under-insured.

A broker clears up any misunderstandings with their customer before submitting claims and has your best interests at heart, getting you the right premium for the right cover.

In short, the commission paid to brokers, an amount that stays the same as a result of regulation, is money well spent. Not just because you get what you pay for – insurance, but you get the benefits of sitting back and carrying on with your life while they, the ‘middleman’, runs around behind the scenes sorting out your claim.

This is where you really see the value of a broker, not only because you get the peace of mind of knowing that it’s being taken care of, but a broker has the know-how to get it done quickly and maximise any claim payout.

If you’re still not convinced then consider this: A dentist is, in essence, is a middleman. You could pull that tooth that’s been bothering you out yourself, in your kitchen, or you could spend the money and get the problem sorted out by a trained professional.

We know which option we’d choose. How about you?

Service: Personal service vs volume driven service...

Getting the service you deserve instead of becoming just another policy number.

Direct Insurers don’t take service personally. We do.

We’re just going to say it – there is nothing Direct about a Direct Insurer. You don’t go directly through to a person. You call a number, to press a series of numbers, to ultimately get through to someone for whom you are just caller number ‘x’. If you’re not satisfied with your call being important to them and would rather you were important to them, then we’re at your service.

You know the drill, you’re promised by Direct Insurers that you’re not just a number, you’re told that their call center consultants are ‘dedicated’ and ‘always there for you’ but when the rubber hits the road and you need to talk insurance, whether it be your premium or a claim, the best you can expect is a call center operator.

No matter how well trained this ‘operator’ may be, the fact is that they will have limited knowledge and a limited range of products at their disposal. They probably won’t be able to resolve your query, follow up on a claim or update your policy, at least not before it’s been escalated up the chain of command and cascaded all the way back down again. It’s at this point that most people think to themselves: “Whatever happened to service?”

The answer? Nothing happened to it. You just decided not to opt for it when you went Direct. Had you chosen an Insurance Broker, you would have chosen personal service. The kind of service that comes from looking at you as an individual, which means giving you a unique insurance solution, tailored to your needs, not an algorithm.

A broker’s services don’t end with the sale of a policy, that’s where they start.

An Insurance Broker gets to know you, building up a profile of who you are and what you need with the long-term view of keeping you as client. From offering you a wide range of products from reputable insurers, sourcing products and negotiating with suppliers so that you get the best possible price, to renewing your policy, assisting you with lodging and settling claims and keeping an audit trail on everything, an Insurance Broker is worth every cent of their commission.

Add to that the fact that you really deal with them directly, voice to voice, and what you’ve got is service – with a smile.

Claims: Think all insurance claims are treated equally? Think again.

When it comes to claiming, you want someone in your corner who understands the ins and outs of insurance and has the knowledge to argue on your behalf.

Think all insurance claims are treated equally? Think again.

Hearing a ‘no’ when we wanted a ‘yes’, especially when it comes to claiming from insurance is enough to make even the coolest customer a little hot under the collar. If you pay your premiums to a Direct Insurer you better get used to that two-letter word that starts with an ‘N’ and ends with an ‘O’ but if you’d rather hear ‘Yes’ then read more.

You’ve paid your premiums, you know the call center number off by heart and you find yourself humming that callwaiting tune in the shower. Your Direct Insurer was all ‘yes, yes, yes’ when you signed on the dotted line but now that’s it’s claiming time, it’s a different story.

Both Direct and traditional insurers have to disclose what percentage of all premiums collected, are paid out in claims. Q-Data for the year 2012 found that Direct Insurers definitely paid out significantly less of their premiums on claims. The facts show the difference between premium collected and claims paid out is far higher for direct insurers. Further to this, the vast majority of the claims in the Ombudsman’s office come from Direct Insurers. Why? Well, the bottom line is that by paying out less in claims, their profits are larger. Remember, their clients don’t have a broker to fight for a payout!

When it comes to claiming, you want someone in your corner who understands the ins and outs of insurance and has the knowledge to argue on your behalf. You want someone who dislikes hearing ‘no’ as much as you do and has the commercial muscle to be taken seriously. This person, the one that insurers struggle to say ‘no’ to, is the reason why you should say ‘yes’ to an Insurance Broker.

An Insurance Broker is an advocate – ensuring that insurance companies act promptly and fairly when claims are made, which means that if you have a fair claim, they will get you a fair payout, as quickly as possible.

An Insurance Broker isn’t a faceless voice on the other end of a headset in a call center in India, they’re a real person, with real value to offer and a real interest in your claim. Sound like someone you would say ‘Yes’ to? That’s the point.

Relationships: It’s not every insurer’s policy

Don’t settle for ‘anonymous’ insurance, put your insurance needs on a first-name basis with an Insurance Broker committed to protecting your family, your possessions and your business.

Building relationships. It’s not every insurer’s policy.

You may think it a little harsh to call Direct Insurers ‘anonymous’ but If you think about it, you’ll realise that it’s pretty accurate. Whether an operator’s name is Tim or Thabo, it may as well be ‘anonymous’ because it changes every time you call to talk about your policy or lodge a claim. If only there were a way to get on a firstname basis with your insurer? There is. It’s here.

We get it, you want your insurer to see you as a person not a piggy bank. You want to feel understood, valued, appreciated – all the things that come with a good relationship. You can’t expect someone who’s meeting you for the first time (the standard issue call center interaction) to know you or understand your needs. Add to that the fact that they’re not incentivised to listen, they’re incentivised to sell, and any expectation of a relationship with a Direct Insurer is unrealistic.

Right, that’s the bad news. The good news is that you can have a rewarding relationship with insurance. Two words – Insurance Broker. A broker’s goal is to keep you as a client for as long as possible. They’re not in it to make a quick buck, they’re in it for the long haul. The only way they can achieve this is by keeping you happy, which involves three things – building a relationship with you, gaining a thorough understanding of you and developing trust, possibly the most important thing of all in any relationship.

Insurance brokers work to a principle of utmost good faith, putting your interests first, before those of the insurance company. They’re one of your key advisors, along with your accountant, lawyer and banker. Just as with your other key advisors, you’ll get the best advice and service if you develop a relationship with your insurance broker. Whether it’s finding the best coverage at the best price or negotiating your next claim.

The bottom line? You wouldn’t task a babysitter you’d never met with looking after your children and you definitely wouldn’t jump out of a plane for the first time without a trusted skydiving instructor strapped to your back.

So, don’t settle for ‘anonymous’ insurance, put your insurance needs on a first-name basis with an Insurance Broker committed to protecting your family, your possessions and your business.

Because, after all, life’s too short for bad relationships.