Selecting the best insurance broker for your needs goes far further than just price. The South African insurance market is relatively sophisticated and brokers play a key role in delivering the necessary advisory service to clients.
Warren Bolttler, CEO of PFP Insurance Brokers, a wholly owned subsidiary of Price Forbes in London says a brokers’ role is to unite the client or consumer with the insurance market and to not only place a portfolio of insurance that is cost-effective, but more importantly, a portfolio that dovetails sufficiently with the client’s other risk management strategies to ensure a holistic approach to risk management.
An informed consumer needs to understand who the dominant insurance providers are in the market and which areas they specialise in. “An underground mining risk for example won’t be able to access the same markets as a warehouse risk. So while some markets may have excellent security ratings and credentials they may not be appropriate for the consumer’s risk,” notes Bolttler.
It is also important to understand on what criteria to rate brokers. “When purchasing insurance brokers will most likely approach the same markets, and provided they are submitting the same information, they will receive the same terms. Therefore competition between brokers needs to be based on an overall service offering as opposed to a pure price comparison.”
A very real issue for most consumers is the efficiency of the claims service. Consumers need to ascertain whether a broker’s claims handling system meets their internal requirements. “Is the broker for example able to communicate progress on a claim to the driver or only at head office level?”
Consumers need to understand that insurance is just one of the many risk mitigation strategies at their disposal and they need to have a good understanding of the limitations of the insurance policy and how the insurance policy dovetails with their other risk mitigation strategies.
Bolttler advises consumers to think laterally about their risk exposure and draw the risk exposure out to its logical conclusion. While it is difficult to foresee all circumstances that could arise at the time of a claim, it is nevertheless important to think laterally to anticipate any possible future risk exposures and this is where a bespoke broker can add immeasurable value to clients.
“Recognising that every client is different, every risk is different and treating every programme as a one-off has become essential in the current volatile environment and informed consumers need to feel empowered to drive this process,” concludes Bottler.
Prepared on behalf of PFP Insurance Brokers by Cathy Findley Public Relations