Small business owners are quite often very optimistic and have a positive outlook on life, which can be useful, but may also breed false hope that things won’t go wrong.
It is for this very reason that you should engage an insurance broker to help safeguard you from yourself and make sure you have the correct risk mitigation strategies in place to protect what you have worked so hard for.
It is commonly stated by anyone who has taken on the daunting challenge of going online to search and compare simple insurance products like motor, home, travel and health insurance policies that it is not only time consuming but also very confusing trying to understand the differences each insurer is offering and recognise which is the best deal.
This problem is greatly amplified when looking for an appropriate business package as they are far more complex and offer several different sections of cover under this policy type.
“Small business owners are great at what they do, whether it’s running a café or a consultancy. But they are rarely insurance experts. What they may not understand is the broad range of risks they face,” says Dallas Booth, Chief Executive of the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA).
In addition to this, the coverage available to a client who engages an Insurance Broker is generally far greater than the scope of cover available to them had they purchased the product directly through the same Insurer.
A business insurance broker will help identify the risks your business faces, then get the insurance package that matches those risks. “There is no point buying a business package off the shelf if it only covers some of your risks,” says Booth.
“I don’t think you can do that on your own. You may think you know what can go wrong but you never realise how much [an adverse event] impacts on your business going forward,” says the Harrison Family, who recently engaged an insurance broker after previously trying to manage their insurance directly and having a claim declined due to them not correctly understanding the coverage they had in place.
Too often people buy insurance policies based purely on which option is the cheapest, without understanding the differences between the policies they are reviewing.
Unfortunately, buying the wrong insurance cover cheaply can be an expensive exercise, whereas paying a bit more for the right cover can save you money. In some instances, an insurance broker may even be able to negotiate a better deal in terms of both price and coverage.
A broker will find the business package that covers their client’s risks at the best value for money.
Furthermore, a good insurance broker will seek to keep their client’s business insurance needs up-to-date by informing their clients when new policies become available, and advising them when their insurance needs upgrading.
Back-Up When You Need It
If you have to make a claim, it’s good to have someone on your side for your business insurance needs.
Your insurance broker works for you, not the insurer. A good broker can prove invaluable if a claim needs to be made, by co-ordinating the claims process and knowing what is and isn’t covered by your policy.
In general, a business will average an insurance loss that could be claimed under one of the various policies they may have purchased at least once every 3 years. When this occurs, having a broker is definitely useful. They will inform you about which of your policies will respond, lodge the claim for you with the insurer and assist with managing the claim to make sure there aren’t unreasonable delays on the claim and, most importantly, make sure the claim is paid.
Many insurance brokers are also members of certain Insurance Groups, which affords them the benefits, power and wealth of knowledge this affiliation brings. For example, if an insurer turns down the initial claim, the group can determine, based on the facts of the claim, if there are grounds to go in and provide additional strength.
It’s worth investing some time and effort into finding an insurance broker with a good reputation. Look for one who you trust and are happy to have a long-term relationship with. As you grow, they grow with you and enable you to focus on the aspects of your business you do best, whilst giving you the comfort that comes with knowing you have the right protection in place to be there when you need it most.