Do not underestimate the value that an independent, experienced broker can provide.
By Wade Profe
“Cut out the middle man.” This saying is well-known to many South Africans, and was popularised by certain insurers to market the benefits of dealing with an insurance company directly, rather than through a broker.
It is also reflective of the bad rap insurance brokers often receive. At best they are perceived as an unnecessary barrier between the insured and the insurer; at worst they are believed to be greedy salesmen who swindle vulnerable consumers to make a quick buck.
Whilst there certainly have been a fair share of dodgy insurers and brokers alike, many people are unaware of the value that an independent, experienced broker can provide.
The easiest way to summarise these advantages is that your broker works for you. There certainly are many insurers who provide excellent service to customers. Regardless of this, however, when you speak to any representative of the insurer, the truth is that they ultimately work for the insurer. A good independent broker is not partial to any particular insurer, and therefore can ensure that you are being treated fairly.
Part of working for you is reducing your administrative burden. Making a claim, or even just getting cover, can be a confusing and time-consuming process. A broker aims to minimise your administrative load by liaising with the insurer, as much as is legally possible, on your behalf, so that you can carry on with your life.
This is especially true when it comes to getting insurance quotes for cover that matches your needs. Who really has the time and knowledge to contact multiple insurers, analyse their offerings and ensure that their cover is appropriate? A good broker is equipped with both the knowledge, experience and online technology to complete this process better and faster for you the client.
Ultimately, having a good broker is like being the smallest kid in the playground, but being the sibling of a very protective, very strong senior. You know that they are looking out for you, and will be there to offer you guidance and protection when you need it.
You may choose to go at it alone and maybe you’ll come out unscathed. But life happens to all of us at some point, and it’s in these times that insurance changes from an unwanted obligation to a vital lifeline. Consider the risk of navigating these very complicated battles with the wrong weapons, or no allies.