Many people often wonder why they should work through a broker and if it is even worth it to have a broker for your short-term insurance, especially with the technological advances and the ease with which policy changes and claims can be done from an insurance company's website or app.
For those who have not had a broker (or a good broker for that matter), it is sometimes hard to explain the benefits of having a broker for your short-term insurance.
A helpful comparison which came to mind while researching and learning about supply chain management is how a broker is similar to a "middle man" or distributer/wholesaler in a traditional product supply chain, which would generally make a lot more sense to the average reader. Below I will point out a few advantages/benefits which the buying/purchasing company (client) would receive from purchasing goods from a distributor (middle man) rather than the manufacturer. For each point explained, I will show how the advantages and benefits are similar to those received from having a broker administer and advise you on your short-term personal or commercial insurance.
1. Distributors have specialised product knowledge because they stock various manufacturers' products
As an insurance broker, we have specialised knowledge and experience with the different insurance companies and the policies (and t's & c's) that each offer. We (KIS for example), work with most of the insurance companies in the country, including a few that you have perhaps not even heard of before) and undergo extensive training to ensure that we know the benefits, exclusions and terms and conditions of each insurance company's offerings which in turn helps us provide you with professional and accurate advice and recommendations.
2. Distributors can often offer better pricing than the manufacturers can due to the fact that they have negotiated better pricing from the manufacturer. (They have the influence/power to do so because they are placing bulk orders of stock which they can almost guarantee will be sold - economies of scale).
As an insurance broker, we have formal agreements/contracts in place with insurance companies whereby we can often offer preferential premiums to our clients because we can gaurantee to the insurance companies that we are explaining their policy to you (the client) correctly and adequately so that come claim stage, there is no confusion on what is or isn't covered on the policy - which of course reduces complaints and policy cancellations.
3. Owing to greater variety, the purchasing entity has a wider choice of style, quality and packaging.
Because we as the broker work with majority of the insurance companies and have been doing so for a long time, we can obtain multiple different quotations for you with different insurance companies and with different policy benefits, excesses, exclusions, rewards programs etc. We only need to get your information from you once, and from there can already determine which insurance companies will offer you the best cover at the most reasonable premiums. In the end, you as the client get multiple different options to consider while being properly informed to be able to make that final decision.
4. The dispersed locations of warehouses (and total number of different warehouses) operated by distributors make it possible to offer much quicker lead times and better after-sales service.
As a broker working with majority of the insurance companies, and being very focussed on always ensuring that we offer the best possible service as well as stay relevant, we are live on many of the insurance company's systems which means that we can provide excellent customer service before and after the sale. We create quotations ourselves, make policy changes ourselves, and assist you with registering and finalising claims ourselves, right from our offices! Of course we're also not bogged down by high volumes of calls coming in (as the call centres at insurance companies are), so we can respond to your queries much quicker, and devote our undivided attention to helping you.
So, while the above doesn't cover every aspect of why you should make use of a broker on your personal or business insurance policy, it should give you a better understanding on the benefits that you can receive as well as WHY it is that you'll receive them.
Most people who have made use of a broker, often don't ever take out a policy with an insurance company directly again because of the lack of personal customer service and professional advice whenever it is needed.
Another misconception that people often have is that it is not worth their while to work through a broker for their small insurance policy which they have (for just their car for example). This is not the case, we can assist you no matter how big or small your policy is and pride ourselves on the fact that we treat all of our clients with the same level of excellent customer service. If your monthly premiums are R 100.00 or R 100 000.00, it doesn't matter to us!
If you don't currently have a broker, give it a go! It is as easy as sending us an email and asking us for a quote, or asking us to appoint ourselves as your broker on your existing policy so that we can help you with any queries, changes and/or claims in the future.
We at KIS won't charge you an additional broker fee or any other fee so the premium we quote is the premium you pay, you will not pay "extra" for our services as a broker.
At the time of writing this article, our country (South Africa), is currently in a nationwide lockdown due to the devastating COVID-19 pandemic which has shocked the world in 2020 so if you are perhaps reading this while still in lockdown (with some extra time on your hands), give us a call and have a chat to us about your insurance and maybe consider different options which we could perhaps offer, you have nothing to lose! Even if you end up deciding not to move your policy, you'll definitely leave understanding your policy a lot better and knowing exactly what you are and are not covered for (which sounds like a win to me).
Stay safe and stay home!
Calvin Simigianis Representative - Kern Insurance Solutions