How to deal with insurance brokers
Brokers are aware of the terms and conditions, benefits and exclusions and costs of a wide range of competing insurance policies, so they can help you find the most appropriate cover for your own circumstances.
Brokers can help arrange and place the cover with the chosen insurer and can often provide advice on how to make the most of your insurance budget.
Insurance brokers have access to many different insurance policies and, because they deal with a range of insurance companies directly, sometimes brokers have access to policies that are not available to most consumers. Because the general insurance industry in Australia offers so many options, it can be quite difficult to choose the right policy. Some insurance policies can be complicated, and an insurance broker can help you understand the details of a policy and also work out what level of cover you need, so that you can make sure you are properly protected.
Depending on the type of advice a broker may provide, they may be required to provide that advice, in addition to other information, in a document called a Statement of Advice SoA. Brokers can often find you a good deal on insurance because they have a thorough understanding of the insurance market and can negotiate premiums on your behalf. A broker will explain your policy to you and advise you if there are any special situations you need to know about. Brokers can prepare a customised insurance and risk management program for you or your business, where they design the policies, negotiate the terms with insurance companies and place the cover with the insurer.
By including a risk management program, which puts some of the responsibility for risk prevention and loss minimisation on you or your business, you can reduce premium costs. If you need to make a claim on your policy, your broker will assist you through the process and will liaise with the insurer on your behalf.
Insurance brokers might charge you a fee for their services, or they might receive a commission from the insurance company. They are required to advise you of the fees that they charge or the commission they receive. This may be set out in the Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement or where a broker has provided you with personal financial advice, the fees and costs associated with their advice will be set out in your Statement of Advice.
Just as you would spend some time trying to make sure that the insurance policy you choose is the right one for you, if you decide to use an insurance broker you should make sure that the person you appoint is going to help you in your particular situation. To find a broker visit www. There are general conduct obligations that apply to all financial services licensees and authorised representatives and specific conduct obligations that apply to an adviser who provides personal financial product advice.
Where a broker provides you with personal financial advice then in accordance with the Corporations Act they must:. Brokers are required to be members of an authorised external dispute resolution scheme as a condition of their AFS licence. Brokers are bound by the decisions of FOS. If you do have a complaint about the services being provided by your insurance broker, in the first instance you should raise it with them. All insurance brokers should have an internal complaints and disputes handling process designed to help resolve any complaint.
If it is not possible to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction through this process, you can refer the unresolved complaint called a dispute to the free and independent external dispute resolution process administered by the Financial Ombudsman Service FOS. FOS will examine your dispute and if it is within its jurisdiction, seek to resolve it by liaising with you and the insurance broker. If the dispute cannot be resolved, FOS can make a determination imposing binding sanctions on an insurance broker after considering the available evidence.
While the above process is designed to make things easier for you, you still have your normal legal rights regarding any dispute. Reassuringly, there are very few disputes involving insurance brokers each year.
In the financial year, disputes against brokers made up only 2. If you have a complaint about the products or services being provided by your insurance company, please refer to the section resolving disputes. Insurance brokers work with their clients to understand their risks, and to discuss how to use insurance to protect their assets and businesses.
Brokers offer expert advice on the management and reduction of risk, and on the range of insurance products that are available. The same skills and networks are also used to help their clients resolve claims when they arise.
An insurance broker can save you time, money and worry. A broker can help you understand the cover you need, and can purchase that cover for you from the insurance market. If the claim is complicated, the customer can share the claim with the broker first and than the broker itself can share it with the insurer after review. All the updates are communicated with the claim case participants via automated emails or APIs.
Currently your customers, who keep record of their claims, must carry out a double work — to enter the claims into their system or spreadsheets and then enter the same information into reports for the insurers. This is followed by communication via email or telephone, what also takes the time and does not help to accelerate the process. ClaimsControl saves their time — here they need to enter information only once, and all the participants of the case receives it automatically.
And those, who use spreadsheets or does not account their claims at all, can start using ClaimsControl for free.
The most important thing for the customer is that ClaimsControl will be his own claims system. He will not need to change it if he will change the insurer or broker. And last, but not least — customers will be happy knowing that their broker gets closer to the claims process. They will decide for themselves which communication method to choose: The only thing a broker could take care is the integration with its policy system.
You can embed our claims report form into your website and ask your clients to report the claims there. After filling it, the customer will receive an email with the link to this particular claim case. He can chat, add data and follow the settlement process online.
You can choose if the reported claim will be sent to the insurer immediately or only after your review. Start with small steps. Create a free account , test the system and contact us to discuss what you are missing there. When we will implement your needs, start a pilot with some of your clients. So, gradually, your clients will start getting the new quality of service from you.