Business insurance can be complicated with far reaching implications. Ensuring that you’re adequately protected from unexpected events could make all the difference if you become the target of litigation.
There are different ways to obtain business insurance, some companies choose to use an insurance broker, others choose to go direct to an insurer under the assumption the policy will be cheaper.
Understanding how different terms, conditions and exclusions may impact the availability of cover, could significantly impact your business. An independent insurance broker can help you navigate the market and ensure you purchase the most suitable protection to meet your needs.
Below we’ve identified some important information on how you can best utilise the services of an insurance intermediary:
1) Understand what business insurance you need
There’s plenty of information available online regarding the different types of business insurance. Do some research and have an understanding what covers you think you might need before engaging with an insurance broker. Having a reasonable level of knowledge will assist in obtaining the best outcome for your company. Remember there are no stupid questions and brokers are there to assist you in identifying the best products to meet your needs.
2) How to find a qualified insurance broker
The British Insurance Brokers Association can assist you with identify an appropriate specialist to meet your needs. There are many different types of business insurance and some qualified brokers will specialise in a particular field. For example, marine or aviation is a speciality class of insurance and will require specialist knowledge and expertise. While general insurance products for the majority of businesses, will be available via a commercial insurance broker.
3) Provide as much information as possible
Providing detailed information will assist your broker to fully understand your business. It’s also useful to provide them with a copy of your current policy schedule, so they can appreciate what cover you currently purchase. Make sure any application forms are fully completed and signed. If you’ve had claims in the past, clearly detail any action you’ve taken since to reduce the risk of the same type of incident occurring again.
4) Ensure you prioritise your business insurance
Everyone knows that running a business can be incredibly time consuming. However, business insurance is an essential to protect your interests. Sufficient time should be taken to make sure you understand how your business is protected. If an incident occurs, you should appreciate how your business is protected and what you will be required to do. An insurance broker will act on your behalf and can assist you with notifying any claims to the insurer.
5) Understand the role of an insurance broker
Insurance brokerages act as an intermediary between insurance companies and your business and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They provide access to a wide range of insurers that only deal with intermediaries. In addition to identifying and negotiating insurance covers on your behalf, they act as a source of knowledge to assist you with purchasing the most appropriate protection. Brokers don’t make payment for claims, which ensures there are no conflicts of interest.
6) Provide your insurance broker enough time
You should provide your broker enough time to undertake an adequate search of the market. If you engage a day before your renewal date, they will not be able to provide your company with the same level of service than if they had a couple of weeks to undertake their due diligence. For an insurance broker to review of your business insurance and undertake a search of the market takes time.
7) Keep your insurance broker up to date
Businesses grow and change, when this happens insurance policies need to change too. Expanding your services into a new area or renting a new building will impact your policies, so let your broker know as soon as possible if there’s been a material change. If you ever have any questions about what you need to disclose to your insurer, your insurance broker can advise accordingly to make sure you don’t get caught out.
8) Some brokers now have digital onboarding
Traditionally meeting your broker to discuss your insurance policies was the first port of call. However, digital insurance brokers now have the capacity to capture data online from a variety of sources to onboard your business. This reduces the information requirements and time it takes to secure business insurance quotes. Video conferencing and other digital tools are becoming more common to provide the flexibility required in the modern world.