WHEN BUYING INSURANCE, WHICH WAY TO GO?
Whilst it’s true to say that the TV ads of the Direct Insurance Marketers are very ‘catchy’ and ‘humorous’, prospective buyers of these classes of insurance from these vendors should be aware that the product being promoted is actually ‘protection’: protection of the livelihoods, incomes and assets of individuals and businesses. Not something to be treated lightly.
Generally, the Direct Market will promote their offerings on a ‘price’ model and whilst this is always part of any consideration, claims service and Policy Wordings and Conditions are of equal importance.
If only the quality of the coverage provided by the Direct Insurance Marketers was as comprehensive as their advertising campaigns.
This is where an Insurance Broker adds value to the purchasing proposition. The insurance broker’s role is to ‘canvas’ the ‘market’ with a view to obtaining a recommended ‘product’ that is appropriate to the individuals needs, taking into account any specific requirements. Additionally, many brokers are members of insurance Cluster Groups and these have policy wordings that are far superior, and ultimately of more benefit to the buyer, than that of the Direct Insurers.
Why wait in the long queue of a call centre or attempt to navigate the hurdles of a direct seller’s website when a broker can make the transaction a much easier and safer option?
The main point of difference though is at claim time when the consumer is totally ‘on their own’ in respect of Policy interpretation as well as having to arrange and manage the claim from start to finish. Brokers understand and manage claims.
It’s what they do. They add to the process rather than detract from it. The broker will advise clients what information is required and then prepare and forward the claim to the insurer. A broker goes in to bat for you and manages the process from start through to settlement while their client can relax knowing he or she is in good hands.
Another major point that a broker offers over the Direct Marketer is the fact that at Renewal / Anniversary of the Policy time, the premiums are market checked to ensure that a client’s existing insurer is still providing the most competitive and comprehensive terms available. When dealing with a Direct Insurer, each year is just like starting over again.
As a client of a broking firm you are also able to access varied other services of your chosen broker. They have a range of valuable services and offers, available to you, all under the one roof and accessible by one phone call. Over time, clients of brokerages become trusted business partners and friends, thanks to the professional way their insurance business is transacted. To your broker, you are never merely a number.
On balance, when you weigh up the pros and cons of insurance from the Direct Marketer’s call centre or the professional broker alternative, the choice is clear.