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  • Writer's pictureViktor Vukovic

The Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Insurance Broker

Choosing the right insurance broker is crucial in securing the right coverage for your needs. But with so many options available, how do you ensure you make the best choice? 

The key lies in asking the right questions before signing up with an insurance broker.

In this article, we'll walk you through the essential questions to ask to help you make an informed decision. These questions will provide valuable insights to guide your selection process.

So, let's dive in and discover the crucial questions you should be asking before entrusting your insurance needs to a broker.



Table of Contents

 

What Type of Insurance Policies Do They Offer?

As so many types of insurance are available, you must ask your insurance broker what insurance policies they offer. 

Some of the most common types of policies include:

Car Insurance

This type of policy will protect you in the event that you are involved in a car accident. Depending on your coverage, it can cover repairs to the other party's car or both cars. It can also protect you from theft and fire.

House and Contents Insurance

This policy will protect your home and belongings if fire, theft, or other natural disasters damage them.

Business Insurance

Business insurance will provide financial protection for your business. Whether it’s a building, contents, stock, loss of profits, or liability cover, your broker will be able to advise the right structure of policies to cover your business.

Specialty Insurance

The broker may recommend many different specialty types of insurance. For example, marine insurance, or trade credit, or professional indemnity. For every type of risk, there may be an insurance policy which your broker should be able to advise you on.

However, if you are after a specific type of insurance, such as strata insurance or cyber insurance, it's even more important to ask, as you will need a broker with expertise in that type of policy to make sure you are adequately covered.



Do They Have Experience in The Industry?

It's crucial to ensure your insurance broker has experience in the industry. You don't want to work with someone new to the business and doesn't know what they're doing.

Make sure they have a good understanding of the different types of insurance and how they work. Especially if you need a specialist, as discussed above.

Ask them about their experience dealing with different companies. Find out how long they've been in business and what kind of clients they usually work with.

An experienced broker will also have contacts in the industry and be up to date with the latest rules and regulations in the risk management field. Be sure to ask them questions about the latest changes and how they affect your situation to see what they know.

You should also ask about their process for handling claims. Find out how they would handle a claim if you had one. Make sure you understand their process and that you're comfortable with it. Claims can be complicated, so you must ensure your broker knows what they're doing.



Are They Licensed and Qualified?

It's important to ensure your insurance broker is licensed and qualified before signing up with them.

Insurance brokers in Australia need an RG 146 Tier 1 in Insurance Broking qualification to provide personal advice. An Australian Financial Services License is also required and held by the broker or the company they work for. 

However, the industry standard for qualification is quickly becoming a Diploma in Insurance Broking from a reputable provider.

ASIC manages the regulation of insurance brokers in Australia. You can check the professional's register or the banned and disqualified register, to ensure the person you are dealing with is authorised to operate.

Ensuring your broker is qualified to help you with your particular insurance needs is also essential. An insurance broker who deals with business matters may not be the right person to help you with your boat insurance. 

Make sure to ask them about their qualifications and experience.



How Frequently Do They Review Insurance Premiums?

A good insurance broker will keep up to date with the current insurance policies available in the marketplace. They should also know of new deals or bundles when they become available through their network of insurers.

Most insurance companies review their premiums annually, but some may do so more frequently. Ask your broker how often they check insurance premiums and whether they would notify you if there were a change in price or coverage.



What Are Their Service Fees and Costs?

Almost all brokers receive commissions from Insurers for placing your policy with that insurer. However, this is not the only renumeration they receive. In some cases, the commissions are quite small, so the broker will charge additional fees based on the time and effort they use when servicing your needs.

Ask about their brokerage fees and costs before signing up with an insurance broker. Many insurance brokers charge a brokerage fee for their services. This fee can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. Ask about the brokerage fee before signing up with an insurance broker. 

Also, be sure to ask about any other costs associated with the broker's services. These can include fees for policy reviews, claims assistance, and more.

You also want to know what commissions they receive for recommending products to you. 

When the broker provides you with your quote, the broker must give these fees and charges in a financial services guide. This guide details the costs of the broker's service and how they handle complaints. The FSG includes the broker's ASFL as well. Be sure to ask for it.

Conclusion

Selecting the right insurance broker requires careful consideration and thorough evaluation.

By asking the questions outlined in this article, you can gain a deeper understanding of the broker's expertise. You will know their range of insurance policies, their qualifications, and their approach to premium reviews. The fees and costs associated with their services will also be clear.

This knowledge will better equip you to make an informed decision. One that aligns with your insurance needs and financial goals.

The right insurance broker should possess knowledge and experience and prioritise transparency. Excellent customer service, and a genuine commitment to meeting your specific requirements are also highly desirable.

To ensure you find a trusted professional, seek recommendations, check references, and compare options. It's important to find a broker who can guide you through the complexities of insurance and provide you with the best possible coverage.

With the right insurance broker by your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that your insurance needs are in capable hands.


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