Five minutes with… Chris Benson, director of Benson Insurance Brokers Ltd

by IBO 30 Apr 2014

Five minutes with… Chris Benson, director of Benson Insurance Brokers Ltd

Why did you get into insurance?
I was offered two jobs on the same day in 1984, one was as a trainee car salesman, the other
was with State Insurance.

How would you sum up insurance brokers in three words? 
Important Insurance Conduit
 
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever arranged cover for?
I used to arrange cover for frozen bull sperm on a major breeders farm renewal.

How would you change the industry? 
Making the ‘rules’ more transparent and effective, so that things like mid-term quoting can’t
happen, and then ensuring the punishments meted out are an effective deterrent.
 
What’s the most important thing a broker can do to develop their business?
Network, network, network, and then look after your referral sources!
 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Always retain personal control over your accounts, make sure the people you
deal with know who you are.

If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Fly somewhere nice and make a good excuse for doing it!

What has been the highlight of your career?
Starting my own business 15 years ago and still enjoying 99% of the job today.
The 1% can be anything from having to do the same email or phone call twice because the respondent didn’t do what they agreed; losing clients for no (real) reason, some paperwork, more onerous stuff from underwriters. But it’s far outweighed by the good stuff!

What’s your favoured style of coffee?
Mochaccino

Union, league, soccer or other?
Definately English soccer, but when it’s All Blacks time I get somewhat distracted.

If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Bobby Fischer – former World Chess Champion and eccentric human being – his 1972 match against Spassky is why I play the game
Jack Nicklaus – still the No 1 in major golf wins – his story book would be almost without peer
Ralph Hotere – one of New Zealand’s most recognised artists – I am an avid collector of his works

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
Selling cars?????