One of the questions we are asked a lot is, "Why do I need an insurance broker?". We've compiled 7 signs that indicate your business needs the help of an insurance professional.
1. You don’t know anything about insurance
Actual total loss, ceding insurer, deposit premium, interim cover – insurance is an industry with its own language. Insurance brokers speak it fluently, which is why they’re useful to you; they can help you interpret and understand the myriad of insurance terms, concepts and documents that you’ll come across.
But insurance brokers are more than translators: they’re experts with deep technical knowledge of insurance products, markets, policies and processes too. If you don’t know anything about insurance, an insurance broker is one of your best assets.
2. You’re paying too much for your insurance
Think you’re paying too much for your business insurance? Enlist the help of an insurance broker. Not only will they be able to help you understand what the cost of your insurance should be (based on current market conditions) they may even be able to save you money by negotiating a more competitive price with your insurer on your behalf.
Insurance brokers have relationships with a range of insurance companies and can access policies and rates that may not be available to most consumers. So if you think you’re paying too much for your insurance, take it as a sign that you need an insurance broker.
3. Your organisation has a complex risk profile
Every business faces a unique set of risks but, depending on your industry and services offered, your organisation may have a more complex risk profile than others.
This is a sign that you need an insurance broker. Why? Because identifying and mitigating a complex set of risks takes skill and technical expertise. Having basic business insurance won’t be enough if, for example, you’re a specialist jeweller or a construction company engaged in contract (or sub-contract) work. If you have a complex risk profile an insurance broker can:
- Identify and assess the full range of your risks and exposures;
- Advise you on the best insurance solutions available to help you manage those risks; and
- Help you predict, manage and reduce emerging or future risks.
4. Your business requires tailored or specialist insurance policies
If your business has a unique or complex risk profile, it’s likely that you require specialist insurance policies that are tailored to your business’s needs. This is not something you should attempt to arrange yourself. Instead, take it as another sign that you need help from an insurance broker.
Some ‘off the shelf’ insurance policies may not be enough in either amount or scope to cover all your risk exposures. That’s why you should talk to your insurance broker about what your business does and what kind of risks you face. Every business is different and some professions required tailored or specialist policies - take these professions, for example:
- Automotive technicians need toolbox and income protection insurance in addition to general liability cover
- Recruitment agencies need professional indemnity insurance
- Construction companies need cyber insurance and trade credit insurance
- Restaurants and caterers need management liability insurance
And that’s far from an exhaustive list. What specialist or tailored insurance policies might your business need?
5. You’re underinsured
Australian businesses are underinsured relative to their counterparts in the UK and the United States. According to SwissRe this is because many companies aren’t covered for risks like business interruption or machinery breakdown, despite having cover for other things like property assets. Underinsurance is particularly widespread among small and medium-size businesses in Australia.
If you think you’re underinsured, you need to call an insurance broker. They will help you identify and address any gaps in your coverage to make sure that your business can financially survive any (insurable) event.
Not sure if you’re underinsured? Ask yourself:
- Do we have cyber insurance?
- If we were unable to trade for a period of time, would the business survive?
- Would we survive if any of our key clients went into external administration or liquidation?
- If our premises or company were destroyed in a disaster, could we afford to rebuild?
If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s possible that you’re underinsured and need an insurance broker to arrange the appropriate cover for all your risk exposures.
6. You need help with premium funding, risk management, claims and other insurance-related matters
In addition to arranging the right insurance for your business, an insurance broker can help you with other insurance-related matters like premium funding and risk management reviews.
If you need to spread the cost of your insurance policy, talk to an insurance broker: they’ll help you understand what your premium funding options are and how it can regulate your business’s cash flow. They’ll also be able to arrange this for you when you take out your insurance policies.
Likewise with risk management reviews, your insurance broker can provide valuable insight into the strength of your company’s risk identification and mitigation strategies. This kind of service and expertise also comes into play during the claims process, in which your insurance broker is your number one advocate.
7. You don’t have time to research and arrange your own insurance
Arranging the right type and amount of cover for your business isn’t a five-minute task. It takes time and skill to evaluate all your current and future risk exposures, to find the best available policies on the market and to negotiate rates with insurers.
So if you’re pressed for time or don’t have the resources to arrange your own insurance internally, call an insurance broker. They will save you time and, more importantly, ensure that your business is not underinsured, inappropriately insured or paying too much for insurance. You may save money but, more importantly, you’ll be putting the best protection in place.