Typing ‘business insurance’ into Google brings up a staggering 975 million results. A quick glance over those results soon reveals a vast range of comparison sites and various other platforms through which it’s possible for businesses to arrange their own insurance cover. Yet despite the fact that the internet offers businesses access to thousands of different policies, 79% of all commercial insurance business in the UK is still arranged through brokers.
“Does this service add value to my business?”. As with any professional service, this is the key question to ask when thinking about whether to use an insurance broker. Here’s why so many UK businesses reject the DIY approach to arranging insurance in favour of expert help.
A good broker starts by looking at the specific needs of your business
Apply direct to an insurer and the emphasis moves very quickly to your eligibility for coverage under one or more of the policies that provider happens to sell. But just because your business happens to be eligible for cover, it’s not necessarily the case that the policies available from that particular provider are the best fit for your business.
The consequences of this could be either over insurance (i.e. paying for a level of coverage that’s significantly in excess of what your business actually needs) or under insurance (where you don’t have enough protection or where areas that you are exposed are overlooked).
For a broker, by contrast, the starting point is not any particular policy or bundle of policies. Instead, the focus is squarely on your business. What’s the precise nature of the work you’re involved in? Where is your business heading? What risks are you exposed to? Once these questions are answered with the help of in-depth sector knowledge, the emphasis then shifts to finding the right type of coverage for you – rather than shoehorning your business into any particular policy.
A good broker can help you protect all parts of your business
When it comes to the types of cover they require, most businesses have the essentials on their radar already, such as employers’ liability, motor and property cover.
But are there areas you have missed? For instance, is the profitability of the business reliant upon the existence of a handful of key individuals? In this case, key person protection may be highly desirable. A move towards a stronger online presence may expose you to new cyber risks against which you are under-protected. Alternatively, ploughing lots of resources into servicing a handful of big contracts with new clients in untested markets raises a number of credit risk issues. A broker can highlight areas of exposure you may have overlooked and provide you with options for mitigating the effects of that exposure.
A good broker has access to specialist solutions
Through a combination of marketing and ad spend, some policy providers are more focused than others on making their services directly visible to businesses and individuals. Not using a broker may mean your pool of options consists solely of those providers who happen to be clever at positioning; not necessarily the best options for your business.
A specialist broker such as Bluefin Group has access to world-leading business insurance underwriting specialists and insurers that simply do not show up in a general search. As such, a broker can widen your pool of options to include solutions that are more cost effective and a better fit for your business.
A good broker can steer you through the small print and guide you through the application process
This includes helping you make sense of key details such as excesses, exclusions and optional extras, flagging up areas of concern. In areas such as professional indemnity insurance, the application process can be particularly daunting. Here, an experienced broker is invaluable for ensuring your application is credible yet accurate; helping you maximising the chances of meeting the policy provider’s specific criteria for acceptance.
A good broker can take the headache out of the claims process
The value of the broker/client relationship reaches far beyond the application process. In particular, a broker with an effective in-house claims department can be a godsend to any business. It means that if a claim lands on your doorstep, you notify your broker who can then handle and manage the entire process.
This is especially useful in the current climate, where UK insurers are uncovering 350 frauds worth £3.6 million every day. When it comes to weeding out fraudsters, getting key information from you, evaluating the merits of claims and giving you no-nonsense advice on your options, your broker is invaluable.