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10 Insurance Broker FAQs.

Feb 4, 2014


1. What do Insurance Advisers do?

Insurance Advisers work with their clients to understand their risks, and to discuss how to use insurance to protect their assets and businesses. Advisers offer expert advice on the management and reduction of risk, and on the range of insurance products that are available.

They use their in-depth knowledge of risk and the insurance market to identify and arrange suitable insurance cover – both for businesses and individuals.

Advisers have an extensive knowledge of the range of insurance policies available in the market, and a network of industry contacts, allowing them to negotiate the best deals for their client’s individual needs. The same skills and networks are also used to help their clients resolve claims when they arise.

2. Why use an Adviser?

An insurance adviser can save you time, money and worry. An Adviser can help you understand the cover you need, and can purchase that cover for you from the insurance market.
Often consumers and businesses will make a decision based purely on the lowest price – and that can backfire in the event of a claim if you find out you’re not adequately covered, or even not covered at all for the loss that occurred.

Whether it’s business, home or motor insurance, Advisers provide advice and assistance to make sure you are properly protected. The advice is tailored to your needs.

3. What types of insurance do Advisers offer?

According to the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA), Insurance Advisers place almost half of all general insurance premiums in Australia – about $17 billion a year* – and are typically involved in helping arrange commercial insurance.

The most common types of insurance Advisers arrange are business packages, commercial motor and professional indemnity.

However, nearly all brokerages also provide assistance for everyday types of insurance, such as home insurance, private motor, and travel insurance, for clients.
* APRA Intermediated General Insurance Statistics, June 2012.

4. Do you have to pay for the services of an Adviser?

Many insurance Advisers get paid a commission by the insurance companies when the policies are purchased. Other insurance advisers act on a fee-for-service basis, and negotiate the fees they charge with their clients. Ask your adviser to explain the situation to you.

5. What’s the difference between an Insurance Adviser and an Insurance Company representative?

Insurance Company Representatives can only provide guidance on that particular company’s insurance products.

Because Advisers are not aligned to any one company, they can explore a range of products and services available on the market and offer you tailored advice.
Some advisers do work on behalf of insurers but they are obliged to inform you if this is the case.

6. What sort of questions should you ask your Adviser?

Like any business partnership you enter into, it’s important to choose an Adviser that is a good fit for you and one you feel you could develop a close and long-lasting business relationship with.

It’s good to find out:

  • The Adviser’s qualifications
  • The range of services
  • Who would service your account
  • Experience with your type of business
  • The size of the advisers’s typical client
  • How they bill for the work
  • References from satisfied clients

If you run a business, you might then ask the Adviser to make a presentation. At the presentation you should look for:

  • Business compatibility
  • Level of commitment
  • How the Adviser proposes to solve your insurance problems
  • The competitive advantages of that Insurance Brokerage compared with any others you may be considering

7. Can a Adviser help you work out what risks you have?

Yes, particularly with regard to business insurance. Many Advisers are skilled risk managers who can advise you on the risks you face, and how to manage them.

Insurance is just a part of the overall risk management strategy, in that it transfers risk to another party (the insurer) at an agreed premium. Having effective risk prevention and loss minimisation strategies may help reduce premium costs.

8. Should you let your Adviser know if your circumstances change?

Yes, and straight away. New circumstances can have a great bearing on the risks you face, and these will need to be factored into your insurance requirements. Not doing so could result in your insurer reducing or refusing your claim.

You should also ask your Adviser to provide written confirmation that any changes have been passed on to your insurer.

9. Can your Adviser help you make a claim?

Yes. In many cases an Adviser can negotiate a settlement with the insurer on your behalf to swiftly get the best result for you, and to ensure your life gets back to normal as soon as possible.

10. How will you know if an Adviser is qualified?

Advisers go through specific education and on-the-job training to earn their qualifications.

In particular, look for an Adviser who has earned their Qualified Practising Insurance Broker (QPIB) or Certified Insurance Professional (CIP) status. If in doubt, ask. Advisers will be happy to let you know of their qualifications and explain what it takes to attain them.

Advisers are required to show evidence of continued professional development each year to maintain their qualifications.

Call AustBrokers Comsure today on 1800 122 194. Should you have an enquiry, we provide Insurance advice, quotations and can Insure you or your business anywhere in Australia, using our extensive panel of Insurer’s.

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