Being a business owner comes with many benefits, but it also comes with a lot of pressure to make decisions on anything and everything relating to your business. From deciding which coffee to stock in the office, to hiring new employees – all of those choices require your decision making.
One crucial decision you need to make for your business is picking the right business insurance broker. This is a decision that is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially for your business’ survival in the long run. No pressure, right?
Luckily, this article will help make this decision a little easier. In case you have any questions around what a business insurance broker really is and what they do, and if you’re looking for tips on how to choose the right one for your business, this article is for you.
What is a Business Insurance Broker?
A business insurance broker is exactly that: an insurance broker for your business. Like all insurance brokers, a business insurance broker acts as an intermediary between their client and the insurer. In this specific case, the client happens to be a business owner.
But what does a business insurance broker actually do? A business insurance broker can do the following:
- Ensures that your business is adequately covered
- Negotiates for better insurance premiums
- Acts as the administrator on any insurance claims you submit
- Processes or arranges insurance-related activities such as property valuations, endorsements, insurance certificates, and risk surveys
What’s important to remember about insurance brokers in general is that, unlike insurance agents, they represent YOU and your business’s best interests rather than those of the insurance company.
5 Tips for Picking an Insurance Broker for Your Business
Now that you know exactly what a business insurance broker is, and what they will do for your business’s insurance needs, it’s time to pick one. As you’ve probably come to realise, this decision isn’t an easy one. These 5 tips are here to help make your decision-making process just a little bit easier.
1. Enquire About the Cover on Offer
Your broker needs to be able (and licensed!) to offer you whatever cover your business requires. It doesn’t benefit your business when you aren’t covered in all of the ways you should be, since you truly have no way of knowing what will happen. Though it varies according to the individual needs of a business, at the very least a business insurance broker should be able to offer you the following cover:
- Property cover
- Business Interruption (BI) cover
- Computers & Electronic Equipment cover
- Glass cover
- Employee Dishonesty cover
- Broadform Liability cover
2. Test Their Industry Knowledge
Firstly, your insurance broker should have a solid knowledge of risk management and they should keep up with all changes in the insurance industry. But on top of that, your broker should be knowledgeable – or at the very least, familiar – with your industry. This is to ensure that they know exactly what cover you need and what industry-specific risks they need to manage.
3. Query Their Relationship with Insurers
Insurance brokers, business or otherwise, need to have relationships (or agency agreements if we’re being formal) with several insurers. This is to ensure that your broker can always offer you the best coverage with the best rates at the best pricing. If a broker is only tied to one insurer, run for the hills as there is simply no way they’ll be able to get you competitive offers.
4. Ask Them These Questions
The right broker will not shy away from answering any questions you may have for them, and if they don’t happen to know the answer off-hand they will come back to you with it. Make sure that the broker you plan on hiring is able to answer the following questions:
- What are your qualifications?
- Are there any client testimonials available?
- Do you have any clients that work in the same industry as me?
- What is your typical response time to clients?
- Are there any other resources that you use to manage risks?
- What happens after I hire you?
5. Judge How Well You Get Along with Them
It may sound strange, but how well you get along with a potential broker should be a real make-or-break factor. This person will essentially be handling the protection of your business and as such you will be spending time with them (in person or online) quite often – and not just at renewal time! The broker you pick should be a good communicator, trustworthy, quick to respond, and make you feel at ease.
Making the decision to literally place your business in someone else’s hands is a tough one, but hopefully this article has helped make this decision a little easier. Keep the tips you’ve learned today at the front of your mind, and you’ll pick the perfect business insurance broker and protect your business for the long term.