The first question you are probably asking is,
“why would I use an insurance broker, when I can go online and get insurance cheaper myself?”
That’s a great question and one we’d like to answer!
· We are independent…we have no shareholders.
Why is that important to you?
We can go to any insurer to find you a great. We have access to the whole of the market. The large insurance companies you are probably familiar with can only offer you their own insurance. Even companies you think of as independent may be owned by one of these large organisations and can only sell their owners’ insurance products.
· We look at all your overall insurance needs.
Established in 1996 and with many prior years’ experience, we have the knowledge and skills to sort out even the most complex cases.
We find that many people take out insurances gradually, starting with a standard policy, adding and cancelling different policies as their needs change. This can lead to gaps in cover and dual insurance.
Few people take the time to review their covers to see how all their insurance products work together.
When we review covers with a new client, we often find that they are insuring the same risk twice, which can lead to complications if a claim arises involving more than one insurer. Although this is not as bad as having no insurance, it is wasting money, year after year.
· We work for you, our client.
At the time of writing this, there is a much discussion about who bears the responsibility of filling in insurance applications accurately.
Take the example of you making a mistake in filling in your form. The first you could know about it, is when you make a claim. At that point (not usually when you buy the insurance), the insurance company will look at your application with a “fine-toothed comb” to make sure the application covers all your details accurately. If you have not been completely accurate, the company may not pay your claim. They could cancel your policy and may refund your premium (after deducting an admin charge), but this is of little use if your car is written off or your factory is under water.
Policyholders know if they are ‘adjusting’ their age to reduce a premium. They might be less aware that if they are describing their work inaccurately, they could invalidate their policy and claims would be rejected.
Often, you will not know what you need to declare and what you do not need to declare. As an example, for most commercial policies, you will need to declare if anyone connected with the business has been made bankrupt or has any CCJs.
– If you fill in your application form inaccurately – it is your problem… If we fill in your application form inaccurately – it is our problem…
Yes, that’s right. We have our own indemnity insurance, which means if we have been inaccurate with your application, you have recourse against us and you will not be out of pocket.
· We can correct errors about you.
Insurance companies refer to an insurance claims database that contains details about you, your past claims and so on. We have access to this database via insurers and we can liaise to correct any errors in the information. This is vital if, for example, a large claim is incorrectly logged against you because someone who previously lived at your address incurred it. Individuals cannot access this database and cannot correct inaccurate information…as brokers, we can.
· Your renewals are our responsibility.
If you buy insurance from a company, it is your responsibility to renew your policy. If you don’t, you are not covered. If you buy insurance from us, it is our responsibility to send your renewal and we will not just leave it there….
· You will receive a polite reminder from Anna!
This is so important these days, when it is common to have an online account and not receive paper bank statements – sometimes a client is unaware that a direct debit has failed.
No problem…our clients will receive a call from us to let them know and we can liase with insurers to ensure the policy cover is unaffected while the problem is addressed.
· Renewals – how do I know my insurance will still be competitive.
Of course, before renewal, we go back and re-evaluate which insurer is offering the best deal for you and this is the perfect opportunity for you to remember those changes you meant to tell us about last month!
· We have great rates on instalments.
This is one reason we are contacted by clients annoyed by online companies. Typically, they fill in an online form and receive a competitive quote, only to find out that when they choose the option to pay by instalments, they find an additional charge of over 15% being added! This makes a previously competitive premium seem much less attractive.
We will give you the annual premium and the premium to pay by instalments at the quotation stage, so there are no nasty surprises.
· We help you with your claims.
If you need to claim against your policy, we are here to help you every step along the way. We will call your insurance company to give them details of your claim.
If necessary, we will negotiate with the company on your behalf. If your company rejects your claim, we will work with them to help sort out any problems and make sure your valid claims are paid.
We do not charge for these services.
· We have no targets.
No one here has any sales targets at all. We just do not work that way. We are focused on getting the best deal for you…not on selling you something you don’t need, just so we hit a target.
We work on the principle that we want you as a client for many years, and the reason you will stay with us is that you get great service, at a reasonable price.
As most of our customers stay with us for more than 15 years, we must be doing something right!
· We do not charge large admin fees.
Large insurance companies/brokers charge various admin fees. We keep our charges as low as possible and do not charge for advice or quotations. One well-known broker charges £50 for a copy of your insurance certificate. As long as they have set them out in their Terms Of Business, they can charge what they like.
Have you ever ticked that box to say you have read and accept Terms and Conditions…without looking at them…?
· 14-day money back guarantee.
If you decide that you didn’t need any insurance you have bought from us, you have 14 days to change your mind and we will refund your premium, subject to no claims being made.
(Certain insurers will make a pro rata charge for time on risk and there may be a minimum charge, but all this will be advised before you take out the policy – again, no surprises).
· Mostly, you will pay less.
As we don’t need to keep finding new clients, we don’t have the advertising expenses of many brokers, who typically only keep clients for one or two years. Most of our clients come from referrals and stay with us for a long time (please look at our Testimonials or our Linked In profile).
Some recent examples to think about:
-Driving other cars on a third-party basis using your Comprehensive car insurance policy – many policies no longer offer this extension – if you need to be able to drive other vehicles please check your certificate of insurance.
-Allowing your employees to use the company van to move to a new house at the weekend – do check that they are covered to use the van for social, domestic and pleasure purposes as well as for carriage of own goods – many policies do not.
-Higher excesses. This is the biggest shock to clients! When they ask us for a quote, they are often surprised to find that the policy they are comparing it with (usually from the internet) has a massive excess, often £750, sometimes even £1,000. Of course, that is fine if you have chosen it, not so good if you find out when you need to make a claim.
· We do what we say.
We work for you, our clients and want to surprise you with the level of service you receive, so you’ll stay with us for years…and tell all your friends!
Recent examples include one of our clients saying he wanted to change his car insurance. When we asked when he wanted the new car covered, he said that he had just bought it and was about to drive it off the forecourt… minutes to sort that one out!
One of our business clients rang us to say that she needed to raise her high-risk liability insurance from £5M to £10M. That was more relaxed; we had a whole afternoon to do that one!
· Your letters do not get lost.
As anyone who has visited our office will know we all work in the same room. This gives us massive advantages over large call centers.
We hear each other’s conversations, so we can “pipe up” if we can contribute anything useful and, we never lose paperwork. Your enquiry cannot sit at the bottom of various in-trays…we don’t have in-trays…
· We like a challenge.
Over the years, we have built up relationships with many insurance companies, which means we can insure all sorts of risks.
Our greatest challenge was to insure a fire engine that was being donated and travelling from Gloucester to Bosnia…no problem…
We hope these points have helped you to form a good opinion of us and our service levels.
We would love the chance to help you with your next insurance requirement.
Many thanks for your time…we hope to hear from you!
Sandra, Dave, Anna