Insurance brokers: how they can help you navigate the insurance maze

Insurance brokers: how they can help you navigate the insurance maze

To understand the many advantages insurance brokers have to offer, it's important to understand the role they can play in ensuring you, your family and your business are protected against potential losses.

Insurance brokers are professional insurance advisers who can act on your behalf to assist you in purchasing the insurance most appropriate for your specific circumstances. A good broker will get to know you, your business and your risk profile and appetite and be able to tailor insurance solutions for you individually.

Experienced brokers have in-depth knowledge of the market and available insurance products and are able to recommend the most appropriate and cost effective solutions for your circumstances. Your broker will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, assist with the completion of paperwork and finalise policy details for you.

Your broker will also guide you through the claims process should this be required and may be able to review contracts and leases where insurance requirements are included.

To ensure a high standard of advice across the industry, all insurance brokers in Australia are required to be licensed by the federal government’s Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Many brokers also belong to professional associations which require them to engage in continuous education programs to further develop their knowledge and expertise.

When dealing with your broker, you will need to provide personal information – keep in mind that the more detailed information you are able to provide your broker, the more tailored your insurance solution can be.

So – you are probably now wondering – how does an insurance broker get paid? Some brokers are paid a commission from the insurance company when a policy is purchased, others have a fee for service arrangement – where you pay for the brokers services directly.

Using a broker will not necessarily cost you more than dealing directly with insurance companies – a good broker has extensive knowledge, experience and is aware of market conditions, enabling them to negotiate competitive premiums on your behalf. Make sure you discuss any applicable fees and charges with your broker upfront.

To find out more about insurance brokers and other types of insurance advisers in Australia, you can check out the National Insurance Brokers Association’s (NIBA) website