Why choosing a specialist insurance broker makes a big difference

Working with a specialist insurance broker not only helps you understand your exposures and arrange comprehensive cover, but will also enable you to access specialist markets that can provide you with competitive cover. Each industry sector has a diverse range of circumstances to take into consideration when arranging insurance. There are many aspects that are exposed to risk. From property damage, business interruption, employers liability and public liabiliy through to motor insurance and more. Consequently it is unlikely that an off-the-shelf insurance policy will provide the cover for many of them, or the best value for money (see our recent case study). It can also be difficult managing numerous polices with different renewal dates throughout the year. This is how an insurance broker that is dedicated to local business can add value in terms of protection and cost savings. We will know what questions to ask and guide you through the process to ensure you are fully covered, painlessly and easily. Being under insured can be catastrophic The risks of under-insurance are very real and all insurance brokers have a duty to make their clients aware of such implications and help them find the most appropriate cover for them and their business. There was a recent legal case involving a very serious injury to a member of the public visiting an insured premises. This tragic incident rendered the member of the public paraplegic when some fully stocked racking collapsed and struck them. The personal injury claim, close to £9M, was almost double their public liability limit of the farmers’ policy (£5M). In these circumstances an insurer may invoke a provision in their contract which in simple terms means they can hand over a sum equal to the limit of indemnity (£5M) and leave the policyholder to foot the bill for the remaining costs (£4M). Legal fees up to the limit of liability would likely be covered under the policy. However once the claim has been settled up to the insurers limit, any further legal costs thereafter would become the responsibility of the policyholder, including the claimant’s costs if successful. Freedom to prosper Insurance isn’t just about protection though. It can also provide the necessary peace of mind to help businesses prosper through growth or diversification. So what should you expect from an insurance broker? Specialist knowledge From private individuals, small businesses through to large corporations. No matter the type of industry you will all benefit from specialist support from a broker who understands your circumstances and environment. Choice New products and services are coming into the market all the time. A good broker will be researching these to secure the most appropriate deal, demonstrating how and why they have done so. If they can’t, ask why – it could save money or reduce the risk of being under-insured if circumstances have changed. Don’t fall into the trap of simply renewing your existing policy year on year, as it may no longer provide the protection you require if it does not reflect any changes in your circumstances. There are very few true open market brokers - we are one of them. Negotiating power Depending on the product you require, we can access different insurers in order to find the right solution and offer more choice. We have long standing relationships with certain insurers, this enables us to provide unique terms. We have earned the trust of insurers and their underwriters, so even if the market or sector is challenging, we will be able to secure terms that others perhaps couldn’t. The best brokers are market known individuals and are not just post boxes - they are the very people that visit you and also negotiate your terms with the insurers - directly. Independent advice Insurance brokers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which means they have to follow strict protocols and demonstrate they are always acting in their client’s best interests. This means providing completely impartial advice appropriate for each individual’s or company’s circumstances. A specialist broker acts as a trusted advisor for the you.  If renewal premiums have gone up or say, cover for water damage has been withdrawn following a series of claims, a broker can often negotiate to secure the right balance between premiums, policy terms and excesses. Hands-on claims support Claims are the real moment of truth – when clients know whether they have the right cover in place. A good broker should act as your advocate, proactively working with you and your insurers to get claims resolved promptly and fairly. Transparency around charges Fees should be very transparent between the broker and their client and discussed from the outset so the most appropriate arrangement is agreed.  With smaller businesses or individuals more often than not the arrangement is done on a commission basis, whereas with some larger clients, they may find a one off fee is a suitable alternative. We provide all our clients with a transparent model based upon the work we do for you. Our interest is in reducing your exposure for the most competitive cost. Our top 10 tips on securing the best terms in the market explains more on this subject. While general insurance can be very transactional and completed on a standalone renewal date every year, the best insurance brokers can bring more to the table, especially in highly specialised areas. They can save you money; protect you, your people, your property and your reputation. Not all brokers are the same. Contact us to find out more. 01245 449061 info@ascendbrokingold.co.uk

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