What is a broker?
Brokers guide their clients through various business deals within the finance and banking industries, such as investments, mortgages or insurance. They are professionals who act as intermediaries between their client and the relevant financial institutions by outlining and arranging the necessary details. With such a wide and varied availability of products in the modern market it can all become overwhelming, so a broker is well placed to offer advice and support to assist in finding the right solution for you.
An insurance broker should determine your needs, provide advice and explain clearly what your insurance covers and, sometimes more importantly, what it does not. When deciding on an insurance broker it is essential to check they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FCA), to ensure they maintain a legal duty of care in the advice they give and products they recommend.
How does a broker save me time?
A broker’s ability to quickly provide advice stems from their expertise within their field, their job is to fully understand their market and constantly research the latest products to remain up to date with industry knowledge.
For the last decade our lives have become more and more digitally weighted. With the rise of comparison sites and self-service online platforms the role of insurance brokers has changed immensely. Generally people don’t have time to talk to multiple insurance companies, they are concerned about repeatedly handing over personal details and then dread the multiple call-backs that usually ensue, hence why comparison sites have become so popular, overall they simplify the process and save the consumer time. A broker offers the consumer a comparable service, just in a far more informative and personal way. A self-service check-out can save you time, but a retail assistant will never utter the words “unknown item in bagging area”.
Will a broker always save me money?
Insurance brokers, for example, have access to a wide panel of insurers that offer a vast array of products. It is the broker’s responsibility to understand the needs of a client and then take those requirements to the market to find the best deal. This can sometimes save you money but it is important to note that the best deal is not necessarily always the cheapest but the one that offers you the best cover. There is little benefit in saving money each year on your premiums for example, if you discover that the policy you have been paying for is not adequate for your needs.
So comparison sites are pointless then?
Comparison sites have changed the insurance business landscape. They certainly have a role for standard needs, however not everyone has a standard need, and this is where consumers can really benefit from using a broker to find the best deal for them. The one-size-fits-all model feels less relevant as people’s needs are evolving. Brokers know the questions to ask to ensure a policy is tailor-made and sometimes can even access deals that people going directly to the insurance provider can’t. Independent brokers are not tied to any one insurer, so they have the freedom to source suitable products from any company in the market. While technology and Artificial Intelligence has become seamless in its processes in most cases, there will always be a need for reassurance from a real person on the other end of the phone who can put your mind at ease.
What other benefits can a broker offer?
Insurance can be a tricky conundrum. For people in all walks of life, appreciating what an insurer needs to know about the aspects that are important to you isn’t always obvious. Being able to approach a broker means that you can talk plainly to someone who not only understands what matters to you, but also understands what information an insurer requires. Brokers form an important bridge in understanding between businesses/private individuals and insurance companies. Insurance can be a confusing and detailed business so having someone that understands your needs and the cover available to cater to those needs can be of great benefit. It can also be crucial to have assistance deciphering any insurance jargon and small print, which can be prolific in most policy documentation. A broker should always take the time to establish that you have a clear understanding of the cover you are purchasing, including any optional extras that you may not have considered and important exclusions within your policy.
Can a broker also help if I need to claim?
A good insurance broker will also offer assistance when a claim arises, potentially achieving much better results in the value of compensation awarded. Although the claim itself is dealt with by the company that you have chosen to insure with, a broker can provide valuable advice and guidance regarding the details of the claim process. In the event of a claim a broker can be an indispensable aspect of the process and can offer support to achieve an equitable resolution.
If you require insurance for something unusual, you operate in a very niche market or are simply unsure of the level of cover required then choosing to use an insurance broker can be hugely beneficial. When required E&G work with specialist providers: such as home insurance for thatch properties, travel insurance with a medical condition or commercial insurance for small market stalls. Our experience and specialism mean that we can ask the most important questions to ensure your tailor-made policy provides only what you need and at the best price possible.