As promised in my last blog, I am going to give you a few pointers in seeking out the right insurance broker to suit you. Like many product and service providers these days, there are many insurance brokers and it can sometimes be difficult to know where to begin and who to work with.
So here are what I consider to be key factors in that all important decision making process:
1. Make sure you are satisfied they have the appropriate experience and expertise relating to the type of insurance you are looking for. The best way to do this is to simply have a chat with them, get to know them as best you can. If you can actually meet with them, even better. Ask what qualifications they have in their field.
2. Make sure they belong to a firm that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority – this is for your protection (more info on the FSA can be found at www.fsa.gov.uk).
3. Ask them what sort of access they have to the insurance market; do they only go to one insurance company for a certain product, or are they able (if they see fit in their professional opinion) to shop around and approach a number of insurers, in order to give you a number of options to consider?
4. Read testimonials from their existing clients (if any are available). This will give you a really good insight from a third party as to how good the broker is and what sort of work they have done in the past. If they don’t have any, this doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t right for you, so instead ask them to give examples of similar work they have done recently.
5. Ask them how your relationship with them will work moving forward, should you take out insurance with them – are they sales people who then hand you over to someone else that you haven’t got to know or apply some of these points to, or will you be dealing with this broker personally at all times?
6. Where are they? If you go with them, will it be easy for them to meet with you throughout the year to discuss any concerns you might have or changes that might affect your policy? Or are they based some way away in an office or call centre? There is no right or wrong answer here, depending of course on your preference.
Hopefully the above will give you some good pointers when you are next reviewing your insurances.
Remember – just as the needs of individuals and businesses are wide and varied, so too are insurance brokers in terms of their specialisms, niches and ways of operating, so its essential you find the right one for you.