Do I need an insurance broker? 5 questions to help you decide

do i need an insurance broker 5 questions to help decide

Most of us understand (albeit begrudgingly) that we need to have insurance for certain things, like our car, home and business. What isn’t always so clear, however, is whether or not we should go through an insurance broker or just Google and compare solutions online.

To help you decide, Allsure Insurance has prepared 5 questions for you to consider.

  1. How well do you understand insurance (really)?

When we say do you understand insurance, we mean that you understand things like the definition of underinsurance (and no, it doesn’t just mean a little less insurance than what you needed). It means you need to be comfortable reading policy wordings and product disclosure statements to understand the difference between what one insurer is offering versus another (like what is included and often, more importantly, what is excluded.)

Insurance brokers have to have a diploma and maintain their knowledge with continuous training to keep their skills up and stay across emerging risks like cyber and terrorism risk and the implication that can have on clients’ risk profile and insurance solution requirements.

Brokers undergo comprehensive training on each insurance solution that they offer, and passed a test to prove it. If you have that level of comfort and expertise in insurance, then perhaps you don’t need an insurance broker. If you don’t, then perhaps it’s worth having a chat or getting a quote from one at your next renewal.

  1. How much spare time do you have?

It can be quite time consuming to get three to five difference quotes from insurers. And you need to know who the leading insurers are (assuming you know exactly what insurance products you need). You need to ask yourself how much your time is worth, and whether an insurance broker would be better placed to make those calls on your behalf. An insurance broker has 150+ underwriters or underwriting agencies available to them (some exclusively deal with insurance brokers and do not deal with customers directly).

Before all of that, an insurance broker understands and analyses your needs to recommend the right insurance solution. And they can do that for all your insurance needs – truly providing a one stop shop and one point of contact for all your insurance policies. This can also help to reduce the risk of having a blind spot or a ‘gap’ in your cover.

  1. Do you want someone to advocate for you in the case of a claim?

For those of us who have had to make an insurance claim, that’s when we realise the value of an insurance broker to its fullest. And for those of us that didn’t have an insurance broker and had to make a claim, we often don’t make that mistake again!

A claim is often made in a situation that is already quite stressful, and many people don’t even know where to start! You need to know who to call, all your policy details, what additional materials to provide with the claim. And sometimes you’re not even confident about whether the incident is covered!

With a broker, they can be your first port of call and guide you through the steps of the claim, including negotiating and following up with the insurer, saving you countless hours (seriously, hours) of time on the phone. A broker can often reduce the time a claim takes to be processed, and perhaps with better outcomes.

Ombudsman statistics show less complaints from clients who use brokers for claims rather than going direct to insurers.

Most insurance is considered a ‘piece of paper and a promise’ and a claim is when that promise can be fulfilled.

  1. Do you run a business?

If you’re a business owner or operator, an insurance broker is an important member of your team, working to keep your business running smoothly. They make sure your insurances are paid on time, you have payment options that suit you, and that you have easy access to invoices. They send certificates of currency for you and even liaise with financial providers if needed.

Your insurance broker can also be a good contact through to other quality professionals, like accountants, financial planners, mortgage brokers, marketing professionals and maybe the best coffee joint in town!

Insurance brokers are often like you – living and working in your local community. A broker isn’t hidden behind a computer or an overseas call centre. They support the communities that support them.  Some sponsor the local football and netball clubs, cricket clubs, school projects. Some take on work experience students or run fundraising programs and events.

My dad used to say: ‘if you are not happy, you can walk in or call me and complain, try that with the direct/online only insurers of the world. You ring, we answer’.

Being part of the local business community means it’s an added incentive to make sure we always do the right thing and the best we can for our clients when we face them every day.

  1. Do you want to learn more about your risk and how insurance works?

A good broker loves to help and educate clients. They are always happy to answer questions so that you understand things like what values to estimate for your insurable items or how insurance responds to things like natural catastrophes. They run information seminars, feature blogs, write about how to mitigate risk and prevent claims.

Your insurance broker will answer your phone calls, emails and messages about insurance questions. We agree that there are no dumb insurance questions, and we love helping people and protecting what they care about.

Please note: The information provided in this article is only general in nature – before making business decisions you should consider seeking advice specific to your situation.

6 Ways to Minimise Your Hospitality Risk

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Allsure Insurance’s Melissa Donaldson will be featured in Insurance Adviser magazine next month for her expertise in hospitality insurance. In the meantime, here’s some tips on how to minimise your hospitality business risk.

There are plenty of measures you can take to help protect the future of their business – here’s 6 you can start with today!

  1. Having your canopies cleaned regularly is not only a great idea, in many cases it’s a condition on your insurance to have a maintenance program.
  2. Take steps to minimise fire risk, such as installing an automatic fire suppression system and portable fire extinguishers, and scheduling regular electrical equipment maintenance and exhaust system inspections for grease build up.
  3. Tea towels have also been known to spontaneously combust, so keep them where no damage will be done.
  4. You also can reduce your risk with good policies and procedures. Keep good documents on cleaning, food supplied and staff training.
  5. Take temperature on new food stock into the business, record it. If you keep food warm, you should keep regular checks on temperature. Know when food went in, and when it should be thrown out.
  6. Make sure all your staff have food handling training. Have regular meetings with your staff about potential areas of risk, and record the date and topic of those meetings.

Have questions, need help or want a quote for your hospitality insurance? We’d be happy to help.

This information doesn’t take your personal or financial situation into account and may only be regarded as general advice. You should speak to us or your insurance broker before taking action. And, of course, always read the fine print (i.e. product disclosure statement) before purchasing any financial product.

Merry Christmas from Allsure Insurance

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Best wishes for a merry Christmas and happy holiday season to all our clients and friends!
 
Please note that our office will be closed from the end of business on Friday (22 December) and will re-open on Monday 8 January 2018.
 
If your policy is due during this period, cover has been extended until 8 January 2018 accordingly.
 
Payment can be made by posting a cheque, money order, credit card slip or electronically via BPAY. Details can be found on your invoice.
 
If you have any enquiries during this time, you can catch us via email at [email protected]
 
Our phones are regularly monitored, so you are welcome to ring the office on 03 5278 6808, and leave a message for non-emergencies.
 
If there is an EMERGENCY, you can contact Aaron on 0459 902 266.

No insurance? No peace of mind.

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Allsure Insurance Director Melissa Donaldson talks about the biggest insurance issue that keeps her up at night. “It honestly terrifies me how many people have no insurance. Its one thing not to have adequate cover, it’s another to have NO insurance.

I believe it’s your social responsibility to have insurance, just the same as it’s your responsibility to stop at a red light.”

Why is insurance important? What are the risks of having no insurance?

If you have insurance, you are taking responsibility for protecting yourself (and sometimes others). It takes your risks and helps to spread them out so that you and your business are positioned to financially survive any insurable event.

It also lets you get on with your life and business. You are protecting  your assets, your livelihood and your sanity. Sometimes it is there to help protect your family, the future of your business and therefore your employees and THEIR families, too.

Insurance shouldn’t take up all your brain space

I’m sure it must sit in the back of your mind… I don’t have insurance for the business I am running. What if my product hurts someone? What if someone sues me? What if there is a fire and I lose everything? What if I have to close my doors for a few months due to things that are out of my control, like bushfires or floods?

Imagine if you could clear up that head space for productive things like, how can I grow my business more? What is the next product I can develop? Who could I work with on my next project?

Free yourself from some of your worries about the business so you can work in and on the business instead.

Insurance gives you peace of mind.

It protects, replaces and encourages business growth.

Have questions about your insurance situation, or want a free quote? Contact us.

Insurance, disasters and embargoes, oh my! Don’t let procrastination put you at risk.

bushfire, fire, procrastination

What is stopping you? Seems that procrastination plays a big part in not protecting your assets. Let us give you some insights into why you should take action before it’s too late.

What is an insurance embargo?

Insurance companies will often place an embargo on areas if there are events such as a fire, cyclone or flood. It’s basically a restriction the insurer applies where they won’t accept new policies in certain areas/circumstances. It can stop people from purchasing insurance when an event is known to be extremely likely or already having an impact.

What does this mean for you? If you think that the moment you know of a real fire threat coming your way, you can then go and place cover on your home just when you need it, you may find that you cannot!

We’re not able to place most insurance covers in areas that have an embargo on it. Once the threat has passed, the embargo is lifted and we can then look to place cover for you.

Don’t gamble with your risk

Did you know that some policies have time frame exclusions to events like bushfire? So if you’ve just gotten insurance, as we’re heading into summer. However, if there was a fire on your property within three days of binding cover, you may not be insured. Policies can vary, so you do need to read the policy wording.

Did you know that some insurance claims will be investigated for fraud? This is one way to keep things fair for those that have legitimate claims, and can help to keep the costs of insurance down.

Insurance is in place to share the risk with you. It allows you to go about your life and have your assets protected.

Mitigate and manage your insurable risks – and maybe save some money, too!

You can help yourself!

If you take measures to reduce your risk, insurance companies reward you.

  • Have a monitored alarm system? You could get a discount.
  • Is your landlord property looked after by a professional? You could save money.
  • Store your car in a garage and not on the street? Again you could get a discount.
  • Don’t have any young drivers? Another factor taken into account to lower your costs.

This information doesn’t take your personal or financial situation into account and may only be regarded as general advice. You should speak to us or your insurance broker before taking action. And, of course, always read the fine print (i.e. product disclosure statement) before purchasing any financial product.