Despite what your mate at the pub says, insurance is not always simple. Policy wordings (coverage and T&C’s) are different with every insurer, and again between direct-market insurance and broker-placed insurance. There are so many variations, often in the fine-print, which can make a massive difference to you at claim time.
Your broker is your insurance expert; they will assess and review your risks and exposures, determine what covers you need to consider, identify and propose solutions to manage your risks more effectively, manage your claims from start to end, provide detailed and experienced technical policy and market knowledge, and above all, work in your best interests.
Absolutely. Most insurers now offer a monthly direct debit option, and for those that don’t – or where you want one payment for all your policies – I can arrange Premium Funding (great for cash flow and tax deductible to boot).
Just let me know if you’d like to know more.
An excess (sometimes called a Deductible) is your contribution to your claim, and most policies include them. Think of them as the portion of the risk or loss that you’re prepared to bare.
Sometimes selecting a higher excess can help to reduce your premium, as you’re opting to take on a higher portion of the risk or loss if a claim occurs. For example, a standard home excess might be $500 and your premium $1500 for the year. Your insurer may bring that premium down to $1200 if you take a $750 excess or lower still for a higher excess.
That said, not all policies and insurers apply excesses in the same manner, and sometimes you may be subject to multiple or additional excesses (think motor insurance and young driver excesses), so best to get in touch and let me do the wrangling on your behalf.
Your premium is made up of lots of different rating factors and variables and this is what makes no two policies exactly alike. Calculated using loads of actuarial data, the premium reflects the level of risk that the insurer believes they take on by covering you.
Factors like your property or garaging address, physical attributes (like brick vs weatherboard), age, security and fire protection, the sort of activities that take place (occupation) at the premises (or of your neighbours), any previous claims, driver’s ages, just to name a few variables that might apply to your particular situation. This is why insurers will ask lots of questions, to accurately assess your exposure to them, and price their cover accordingly.
The benefit of an experienced broker, is in fully understanding your exposure and then representing your needs and risk profile to the insurers, to source the most appropriate and competitive insurance premiums on the market.
I charge an annual fee for my services to you. In exchange, I commit to being your Insurance Advocate by truly understanding your business and insurance needs, providing you with risk reviews, technical policy and risk advice, sourcing and placing customised insurance solutions, facilitating and managing your claims, and all while being on hand whenever you need me.
The PDS (Product Disclosure Statement), sometimes referred to as a Policy Wording, is a legal document from your insurer that sets out the terms of the cover they are providing or offering you. It contains all the information you need to know including a description of the cover, features and benefits, excesses, and terms and conditions you agree to when you accept and pay for the policy. Using the PDS, you should be able to determine if the policy is right for you and know what to do if you have a complaint or want to dispute a claim decision.
The PDS is one part of the Insurance Contract you form (or intend to form) with the insurer. It is important to review this document when a quote is provided and when cover has been confirmed, and ask if you have any questions or concerns.
Every Insurance policy is a contract between you and the Insurer. Under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984, any Insured person under a policy is required to disclose all material facts and information relevant to the insurer taking on the risk and agreeing to cover you.
For example, if you’re applying for a car insurance and don’t disclose that you’ve had 5 fender-benders in the last 2 years, that’s an important piece of information that the insurer relies on to price your premium (based on the risk you present to them) or even to offer cover at all. If you didn’t disclose this and you later had a claim, the insurer is entitled to amend a settlement or even deny the claim on the basis of non-disclosure.
Acting for you as your broker, it is important that you let me know everything that you know or would be reasonably expected to know, that might impact the insurer’s decision to offer you cover and under what terms. If you’re unsure whether something needs to be disclosed, it’s better to advise it and I can determine whether it then needs to be disclosed to the insurer in order to meet your obligations under the Act.
Some examples of things that need to be disclosed;
any claims you have made in recent years for the particular type of insurance you are applying for;
cancellation, avoidance of, or a declinature to renew your insurance by an insurer;
any out-of-the-box aspect of the insured risk that may increase the chance of a claim;
any known circumstances which may give rise to a claim in the future.
Get in touch if you have any questions about your Duty of Disclosure.
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