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Insurance Business | 13 Sep 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
As experts urge policyholders to review their cover in the wake of the early bushfires, do brokers stand to gain more business as the country braces itself for more blazes?
  • Scott | 13 Sep 2013, 09:43 AM Agree 0
    Fire is a defined event, and not one frequently written out like flood. I don't profess a total knowledge of the insurance world, but don't all home policies cover fire in Australia?

    I'm not entirely sure where the broker can step forward and show off their industry knowledge in that area. Most insurance policies even have the identical 72 hours bushfire exclusion for new policies, or catch it under the duty of disclosure.
  • Greg Cottrell - Insurance Professional Dinosaur | 16 Sep 2013, 04:35 PM Agree 0
    Scott’s perception of a “broker” is common in the public domain and mainstream media in that he sees us as a “seller of insurance products” only. I have been advocating for many years that until the industry puts in place one specific definition of a “professional broker” we will always been seen as salesmen and no different to that of an online aggregator, direct sales or a secondary line intermediary, such as the banks, Coles and Woollies, etc. or just an order taker and processing purveyor on behalf of insurers. I agree with Scott, what added value do these type of intermediaries perform other than deception to earn a commission? NONE………………..
    The current legislation between General Advice & Personal Advice is confusing so we as an industry have to make it clearer.
    It is at CLAIM TIME when an insured needs their broker the most, but like numerous other processes that have been forcibly transferred by the insurer on to the broker, we do not get paid for it. Therefore many “brokers” just act as a post office or do not get involved at all with claims, leaving their clients no better off than direct customer. Are you really then a “professional Broker” or just a salesman? How much real risk advice or policy advice do you give your clients or are you only collecting specific information to sell a policy?
    It is ironic that one body that should be pouting the establishment of the added value by definition of a professional broker to that of other insurance purveyors is NIBA, but who do they represent? Certainly not the “professional broker who adds value to their clients”, the whole industry knows they are only the puppets of the big internationals who themselves are the worst players of deception with their agency buckets (facilities). Are they a Broker or an Agent?
    So it is no point in complaining every time an article is written that portrays a “broker” as a cheap and nasty salesman, because that is all you are going to been viewed as until you differentiate the difference between an “Agent” & a “Broker” (like prior to 2004), but set standards & expectations beyond just the sale of an insurance product and make it legal.
    Now that NIBA is a failure as an industry body of ALL brokers in Australia, it would be a very opportunist time for a cluster group to take the initiative in this regard to differentiate their members and stand out from the Insurance Salesman image.
    Yeah I know, I am just but a dinosaur....!!
  • Scott | 17 Sep 2013, 02:07 PM Agree 0
    I agree with Greg that a broker can really stand out at claims time by helping organise the client's information, organising it in the right manner, and having the will to fight the insurer to get a fair (for the client) outcome.

    I think brokers can also make their mark by choosing for the client the appropriate type of coverage, or giving them the cover they need (eg: giving them a higher indemnity period for BI than the client suggested).

    That said, in a "basic" claim event that have universal coverage (as far as I know) I'm not sure where the broker can show off their professional knowledge - except for perhaps getting the claim paid a smidge earlier, or a smidge more.
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