Are you getting full value from your insurance investment? Has your current insurance broker demonstrated a willingness to go the extra mile and truly look out for your interests? Do you feel like your peers in Toronto are always getting the best business insurance deals?
If you struggle with these questions, it may be a sign your insurance broker isn’t pulling their weight. Could it be time to review your insurance needs with a new broker?
Shortly, we will discuss the tell-tale signs that you may now need to change your insurance broker. Before we do that, let’s recap on what the responsibilities of an insurance broker are:
What Is The Role of An Insurance Broker?
An insurance broker helps you manage and reduce the risks your business faces. They negotiate your insurance policies on your behalf. Between you and the insurance company, you are your insurance broker’s primary client.
Your insurance broker must help you understand how you can use insurance to protect your business and assets. They must review the different insurance products available from Toronto’s many insurers and determine which ones provide the broadest coverage at the lowest cost.
It is your insurance broker’s role to negotiate the best insurance terms for your business. They have to demonstrate the ability and enthusiasm to conscientiously mitigate the many risks you face from both a legal liability and property protection perspective.
When the time comes to make a claim, your insurance broker must guide you in this process and execute it so flawlessly that it is both painless and proves the insurance policy to be worthy of its investment.
Just as well, at the yearly renewal, your insurance broker must review your risk exposure and determine if the policy’s current terms still provide the broadest coverage possible. If it doesn’t, they must advise on what’s best between negotiating new terms and changing the insurance carrier entirely.
With this brief look at the role of your insurance broker, when does it become apparent that they aren’t living up to their mandate and that it’s time to switch to a new broker?
Top Signs That It’s Time To Change Your Insurance Broker
The relationship between you and your insurance broker isn’t cast in stone. If it’s not working, you should look for a new broker.
Your insurance broker is no longer fit for purpose if they exhibit the following characteristics:
1. Poor risk analysis skills
You hired your insurance broker principally for their expertise in risk analysis and insurance industry experience. Depending on the type of insurance you seek, your broker must prove they have specialized experience with it.
Your broker must ask probing questions on what you perceive to be your most serious risks. More than that, they must do a deep peer analysis at every renewal to expose any coverage gaps and find out if there aren’t better deals available.
As well as broaden your existing policy’s coverage, they must also review it against emerging risks and add extra coverages if there is a need. If they come back with the same policy terms and coverages at every renewal, it may be that they have a poor grasp of your risk exposure.
2. Limited coverage choices
One of the main benefits of buying insurance through an insurance brokerage is their access to multiple insurers and breadth of coverage choices they bring. While it isn’t always a red sign, it shouldn’t seem like your broker has a preference for one or two insurance carriers.
Your insurance broker’s loyalty must be to you, the insured. To prove this, they have to solicit quotes from as many carriers as there are and choose the one that gives you the best value and coverage.
A conscientious broker will compile all relevant quotes and their different terms and coverages. Only then can they justify going with the same carrier year after year. If they can’t do this, then it’s time to review your entire relationship.
3. Poor attention to detail
With your whole business, personal assets, and financial security at stake, you cannot afford to have any issues and inconsistencies in your insurance policies.
Your insurance broker must display unfailing diligence, poring over every detail so nothing falls through the cracks. Claims that are denied on technicalities are a sign the policy’s terms were not properly reviewed. It’s the clearest sign you need to rethink your choice of an insurance broker.
4. Unresponsive customer support
Your insurance broker must demonstrate an ability to discern what your evolving insurance needs are. They must also show a willingness to empathize with you but still help you see your financial reality and risks as they are. For this, they must communicate well.
Most importantly, your broker must always be available to you, whether it’s evening, the weekend, or the holidays. They must timeously respond to your inquiries and messages as there is no telling when you may need them to report an accident or file a claim.
If your agent is consistently unreachable and takes an age to respond to your inquiries, it is the clearest sign they are not putting you first.
5. Questionable claims expertise
Of all the stages of the insurance process, it is when you have to make a claim that the rubber meets the road. If your broker cannot show their A-game when filing claims, then there is no point in your whole relationship.
Your broker has to understand the entire claims process to the smallest detail. They are your claims advocate and must tick every box there is to remove any prospect of your claims getting denied. A catalog of botched and difficult claims are signs your broker lacks the required expertise and proof they aren’t giving you the right service.
6. Missed policy renewals
A missed policy renewal has grave consequences and is inexcusable. It is as bad as not carrying insurance at all. Unless otherwise stressed in your contract, your broker must know when your policies are due to expire so they can review your coverage and options well in advance of the renewal.
Just as bad as missing policy renewals is waiting until the last minute to renew. This shows a broker that’s only interested in their commissions and who has little concern for your needs. If they have to wait until so late to start the renewal process, how will they know if your existing coverages are still sufficient?
Do I Really Need To Use An Insurance Broker?
Understandably, the mere fact your current insurance broker hasn’t proved themselves worthy can seem a good reason to go it alone. The option is made more appealing by the common misconception that it will cost you less if you avoid the insurance broker and deal directly with the insurance company.
However, it is a little known fact that it’s often cheaper to buy through an insurance broker than directly from the insurer. Besides that, a good broker will use their experience to ensure you avoid unnecessary costs and to make the selection process faster and less painless.
There has to come to a point in your relationship with your insurance broker where you must reassess whether it’s been mutually beneficial. While the advice may be to buy insurance through a broker, you have to realize these benefits through superior risk management and savings.
There is no shortage of capable insurance brokers in Toronto. If your broker isn’t pulling their weight, it may be time to look for one who can.
For an insurance brokerage that will put your needs first and get you the broadest insurance coverages, look no further than the Able Elite Team. We have some of Toronto’s finest insurance brokers on our books. Contact us here for a free consultation.