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Are you getting what you need from your insurance broker?

The success and worth of many a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship can be attributed to trust, transparency, and a willingness for both parties to listen and take on information from the other. And when we’re talking about the often complex and time-consuming world of insurance and how they react and respond to the ever-changing hospitality world – there are few business relationships more valuable than partnering with an experienced and invested insurance broker.

So, in a listicle-formatted nutshell, what should you expect from a good insurance broker, and how do you ensure you’re really getting bang for your brokering buck?

  1. Saving time: One of the most onerous aspects to arranging, renewing, and checking insurance cover is the time is takes; that’s time that could be spent bolstering the bottom line, developing staff, and ensuring both your front and back of house is ship-shape. An insurance broker should be able to take on all of those reviewing days and hours, cutting to the chase of whether you should remain with the same insurance provider, increase coverage, or take out a new but necessary policy. For example, Cyber insurance – a product that has become increasingly necessary over the past few years in order to mitigate data breaches, malware, and even loss of devices and IT equipment.

  2. Saving money: We can’t overlook this, even though we’d strongly argue that the cheapest insurance option isn’t necessarily the correct one. However, sound insurance brokers are invested in protecting your finances. Of course, they will negotiate the best deal possible. Then they’ll present the options that provide the most suitable options and risk cover – which means paying due diligence to what it may cost in the event of a claim or rebuild. It’s their role and duty to make sure you’re never left exposed or underinsured, and to explain why cutting corners and costs may be more of a financial gamble in the long run.

  3. Clarity of information, data, and detail: A good insurance broker should deal in a specialism rather than being a Jack-of-all-policies – especially when it comes to something like the hospitality sector. It’s this quality of knowledge and breadth of insight about your industry – from being on top of relevant legislation to an encyclopaedic knowledge of what’s moving and changing in the hotel and restaurant world – that means you know your broker is the real deal. They’ll not only have you on speed dial (rather than you having to reach out to them) to relay how any of these developments may affect or alter your existing business insurance policies. If you’re heading up a multi-site operation, another important part of this is knowing your insurance broker has the capacity to handle large volumes of data and that sums insured are relayed to both the client and insurer in an easy-to-digest format. And of course, they’ll ensure your policy paperwork is up to date, and you know exactly what you need to be signing up for in order to protect your business.

  4. First-class negotiation skills: While saving time and getting the correct information to you is paramount, neither of these aspects can operate successfully without a seasoned negotiator propping up the policy arrangements and renewals. A great broker thinks way beyond securing the cheapest price; after all, if it were that easy, we’d all just go for broke and sort it ourselves, wouldn’t we? Negotiating and brokering the best policy is far more nuanced and involved. A specialist broker will understand risk inside and out, have relationships with insurance policy providers built on suitability of circumstance, and will always have the client’s interests and needs at the heart of any conversation.

  5. Excellent communication style: We can’t stress this one enough – it bolsters the four other benefits above. A really good broker speaks your language, hears your concerns, and goes into a negotiation battle on your behalf. And they build rapport with you, insurance providers, as well as key people within your industry. When risk gets complicated, that broker can simplify, and when a cover request seems all but impossible, they’ll be your best chance of finding a workable solution. Transparency is also an element of good communication – if there is an issue or delay in finalising a policy provider for example, a broker should relay the why, what, and when at all stages. And that same excellent broker should know you well enough as a client to challenge you when they think your business insurance isn’t sufficient or needs to change.

To sum up, insurance broking is far more than selling your insurance needs to the most convenient lead or cheapest provider. It’s a world that’s shaped by sound advice and insight, delivered by supportive specialists.

If you want to find out more about Commercial insurance from Howden – trusted by HOSPA – and how we support the hospitality sector, call Max Palmer-Jeffery, Client Relationship Manager at Howden on 07974 253 097.


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