Having suitable insurance at the right level of coverage is an important part of every business. Being underinsured or having the wrong business insurance broker can have devastating consequences.
The vision of a quality business insurance broker is to bring and restore trust and faith in the process; empower clients to engage in the decision-making process and know their advisor of choice is working in their best interest.
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It’s not common for businesses to regularly put their attorney and CPA out to bid, so why is it some companies rely on this process when choosing their insurance broker? There is significant value to the business when the right broker is in place.
Business insurance is complicated. It requires compliance and industry expertise. It must also adapt as the business evolves. Companies expect business insurance to be there in the most dire of situations.
In order to restore trust and faith in the process, hand pick your advisor rather than allowing the lowest bid insurance carrier to determine your broker.
Reasons to work with an independent broker
Working with an independent broker provide you with access to a wide range of insurance companies to meet the needs of your business. An independent broker will tailor and negotiate coverage on behalf of the client.
They are professionals in analyzing risk and stay on top of current market conditions. An independent broker will always be there for you.
Reasons to choose a broker vs. the bid process
This is a professional relationship similar to what you have with your CPA and attorney. An insurance broker is not just another vendor. He or she will also be a valued business advisor.
Keep in mind that a qualified broker and his or her team will supplement your own administrative team. By doing so you will avoid rushing in the final days to issue binders, certificates, auto ID cards, and payment, to name a few business items.
You will feel as though your company is being taken care of for the financial investment you are making. Rather than only feeling relieved that this exhausting process is over you will feel confident about your decision and who you have chosen to work with.
Tips when selecting a broker
Take control and begin the process about five to six months prior to renewal of your policy. Meet with brokers you would consider working with on a day-to-day basis; those with whom you can forge a partnership.
During the interview process query them about their experience, level of client involvement, services, capabilities, the insurance companies they represent, and industry-related clients they already serve. Narrow the field to not more than two brokers (including your incumbent).
At this point you will have one to two qualified brokers from which to choose. Allow each broker to assemble their proposal for your insurance program and include new ideas and suggestions. Meet the broker’s service team. These individuals are key to the selection process and will handle most of the day-to-day processes.
Finally, discuss with your team which broker you prefer. Do not allow the low bid to determine who you select. Select the broker you feel will best complement your team.
Author: Andrew Martinez is an Insurance Consultant with The Arizona Group. For more information call Andrew at (480) 633-6679 or visit arizonagroup.com.
Based in New York, Stephen Freeman is a Senior Editor at Trending Insurance News. Previously he has worked for Forbes and The Huffington Post. Steven is a graduate of Risk Management at the University of New York.