When most people look to purchase insurance, they spend a lot of time examining different quotes, weighing the pros and cons, and checking the price 5-6 times before making a decision. But with so much time spent evaluating an insurance policy, most people don’t spend nearly enough time evaluating the insurance professional.
While it is important to make sure you select a suitable product, a broker can add real value to that process by helping you cover blind spots and offering curated advice based on their detailed understanding of your situation.
As the old saying goes: “always buy the seller, not the product.”
What Does An Insurance Advisor Do?
The job of an insurance broker is to represent you to the insurance companies and help you secure the best coverage and rates possible to meet your needs. A good insurance professional would have a deep knowledge of your industry/coverage area and have access to a wide range of reputable insurers, products, and other resources.
A great insurance professional will also act as your risk manager. A risk manager is responsible for first gaining a deep understanding of your personal, professional, and/or business situation and designing and implementing a risk management portfolio/plan with insurance as a key component.
Choosing the right insurance professional can save you headaches down the road. They are a key player in helping you obtain the right insurance coverage at the best possible price. A professional insurance broker can also alert you to possible blind spots and can highlight some pros and cons of an insurance policy or insurance company that you might not know about otherwise.
Choosing An Insurance Broker
Choosing an insurance professional to be a trusted member of your team can be a difficult task. Here are some things you should look for:
Knowledge & Credentials
Choosing an insurance professional to work with is a decision as serious as choosing your lawyer, accountant, or doctor. They play an important role in managing your financial well being so you want one that has experience in your situation/industry and has the credentials to back it up.
Don’t be shy about asking an advisor to outline for you their professional history or any professional designations or credentials they might have. Most will be happy to rattle off their hard-earned accomplishments.
For almost any situation, advisors will have access to many coverage options that might be a good fit for your needs. You will want to find an advisor who is knowledgeable, organized, and well-informed about all these different coverage options and how they fit into an insurance portfolio. This is important because you are relying on your insurance advisor to come up with the perfect plan for you.
They say that referrals are the most powerful form of marketing. This is certainly true when it comes to personal professional services like insurance. When you’re evaluating a new potential relationship with an insurance broker, take the time to go online and read impartial reviews about the broker and the brokerage. Take the time to talk with friends and trusted advisors about who they use for their insurance. And lastly, ask the potential broker if they can connect you with some of their previous clients and have a chat with them.
Know Your Niche
In Hong Kong, there are 82,665 licensed insurance agents and 26,641 licensed technical representatives working in the insurance industry. Nobody can know everything so most insurance brokers choose to specialize. Some specialize in working with high-net-worth clients, others with small businesses in the import/export sector.
You would be best served by going with an insurance broker that specializes in your niche as they would know the ins and outs of your situation and help you steer clear of common pitfalls.
None of the things listed above mean anything if the insurance professional you want to work with doesn’t have the time to help you. A great insurance professional always starts off their engagements with a needs and risk analysis; which, depending on the client, can be lengthy and complex.
An advisor with many many clients is no doubt successful but they may be spread too thin to help you. If your initial communications with the broker are prompt, consistent, and reliable, you can rest assured that they’ll be available when you really need them.
Finding An Insurance Broker
You should choose your insurance advisor as carefully as you would choose your other professional services partners like accountants and lawyers. A well-training and professional insurance broker can represent you effectively to the insurers. They can also give you access to more insurance companies and guide you towards the products that are the most suited to your needs.
This is doubly true in the commercial insurance space where risks are more complicated and your insurance broker has to be a trusted player on your team to help you protect your company’s bottom line from risk should damage or injury occur to clients, employees, or corporate assets.
If you want to learn more about Trusted Union and how we approach our work with clients, contact us because we would love to brag.