The Middleman Meets the Internet
Transparency, personalisation, speed, ease of doing business and empowerment are the big drawcards.
So, what is the traditional brokers’ defence of their current way of doing business? How does the internet deliver a better experience when it comes to buying small business insurance online?
The Traditional Insurance Broker
When an insurance broker is asked “why should I do business with you?” many will say it’s because they manage risk, provide insurance advice and get the best products. That’s their pitch to you.
However, the feeling amongst small business owners suggests a different experience. Feedback from small business owners is that traditional insurance brokers are not meeting their needs. Many see them as unnecessary middlemen who aren’t transparent with them, doesn’t get to know their business enough. More so, many small business owners don’t know if brokers are getting the best prices for them, reducing trust. And, there are other reasons why brokers are not trusted.
For too long now, the biggest threat to traditional insurance brokers has been themselves. By concentrating on high commission, sales volume bonuses, profit bonuses and marketing fees, brokers have created a high-cost base, paid for by their small business customers. Few brokers deliver what their industry promotes and, by doing so, many have inadvertently encouraged their customers to look elsewhere for small business insurance.
So, let’s put your broker relationship to a test. When was the last time your insurance broker met with you to review your insurance needs, reduce your business risks or find better products and prices for you? Do you feel that your broker provides personalised service, are they fast and do they make it easy for you to do business with them?
We have set out ten questions to ask yourself about your insurance broker relationship.
- How well does your broker know your business and understand your business needs?
- Would you describe your relationship with your insurance broker as close?
- Does your broker meet with you face-to-face enough times in a year?
- Does your broker proactively update you on business issues and insurance matters affecting your industry?
- Do you source business risk advice from your broker or do you turn to your accountant, local business chambers, industry bodies and associations?
- Do you know how much of your premium your broker is keeping as commission?
- Does your broker charge you less than $50 in fees to process your insurance?
- Does your broker provide quotes from three different insurers every year?
- How fast can your insurance broker get you an insurance quote - in an hour or two or a day or two or more like a week or two?
- Can you contact your broker to buy, renew or update your insurance on weekends and evenings?
If you’ve answered negatively to most of the questions above, then your insurance broker is probably only having a transactional relationship with you. You may recognise that your traditional insurance broker is not getting to know you and your business or providing advice or presenting you with competitive quotes. But is there an alternative?
The Power of Insuring Online
We’ve all bought products and services through the internet. We find it easier and we can get more choice. It’s faster and more convenient. It’s available when it suits us and we can do our research before buying. We can personalise our purchase and our order is confirmed instantly. We feel empowered and informed, and we can save money.
When it comes to buying small business insurance cover, the internet brings the same benefits to small business owners. You know your business better than anyone else and you may be better off than with your traditional insurance broker. After you’ve taken our ten question quiz, you might well find that it’s time for you to insure online.
Read about what an insurance broker should do for you.