Buying insurance direct is easy. Buying the right insurance, however, can be very difficult indeed and getting it wrong often proves costly.
We asked the Aon Private Clients team to explain why it pays to use a broker.
You can approach your broker with all of your insurance queries. Brokers who specialise in high net-worth insurance will understand the type of lifestyle you lead and have experience in arranging insurance to meet the individual needs that you and your family may have.
2. Personal service
You will be allocated a dedicated Client Manager as soon as you engage a broker. This person will create a bespoke policy based on an in-depth telephone interview and, in some cases, a visit to the risk address.
Insurance brokers set out to create a holistic approach for their clients. This often means creating a single, portfolio policy that incorporates home, travel and motor insurance with one renewal date.
4. Searching the market
A broker will take the onus off of you and will search the market on your behalf for the most appropriate insurance cover for you and your assets. The broker will collate a number of options and will explain the cover type and small print of each option to help you choose cover which meets your insurance needs.
5. Access to specialist underwriters
Brokers have access to specialist underwriters and syndicates which often aren’t accessible to the general public. If you have a specialist collection of art or jewellery then it is crucial that you have cover from an underwriter who understands the intricacies of the collection.
If you have a very rare or unusual collection or piece of art and your broker is Lloyds approved then they will have access to a number of specialist Lloyds syndicates.
6. Helping you through the small print
Insurance documents are complicated and it is easy to overlook the small print. A broker is an insurance specialist; alerting clients to vital details such as exclusions, and policy excesses is what they do.
7. Accurate valuations
According to the ABI’s guide ‘Is your Home Underinsured’, research shows that one in five British households do not have a sufficient cover. It’s a worrying statistic that proves just how difficult it can be to accurately assess the true value of your home and its contents. Below are some common valuation pitfalls that a broker would help you avoid.
Buildings insurance: If the re-build cost of your home is over about £500,000 then you may well find that a standard buildings insurance policy is inadequate. Market value and re-build value are very different things and it is perfectly possible for the latter to exceed the former. Factors such as Listed Buildings status, period features, expensive materials, local building costs and access can all add to the re-build costs.
Contents insurance: Many people are surprised to find just how much it would cost to replace everything in their home. When you engage a broker, s/he will help to ensure you have thought about everything from the contents of your wardrobe to the value of specific items to ensure that you have adequate cover. Your broker will also advise on whether or not any of your possessions require additional protection such as Collections, Fine Art and Antiques cover.
Unlimited General Contents insurance: Contrary to popular belief, this type of cover does not mean that you don’t need to assess the value of your home’s contents because your insurance company will just send out a big cheque in the event of a loss. They won’t. If the worst does happen, the onus will be on you to prove what you had and what it was worth – which is not an easy task if it’s all gone up in smoke. A broker would help you to assess and document the value of your possessions at the outset.
Many people simply tick the boxes when it comes to renewing their policy each year, but changes such as building works, acquisitions or dispositions may well affect the value of the risk. If you have gone through a broker, then your Client Manager will carry out a re-broking exercise before renewing the policy, asking questions about possible changes to your circumstances to ensure that the valuations are still accurate and you have the relevant level of cover.
9. Help with making a claim
Making a claim can be a stressful business. If you’ve gone through a broker, then you have someone working on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome.
In the event of a loss, you will also be asked to produce inventories and paperwork proving the value of what you are claiming against. A broker would not only have helped you ensure that this paperwork existed and was up to date before the loss but can also keep electronic copies if you wish.