The things to avoid and consider when arranging general insurance

Select & Protect distribution director Bruce Reid offers advice on arranging general insurance cover.

BReid Hood Group

In an increasingly buoyant housing market with tougher rules surrounding the sale of mortgage products, it would be understandable if brokers focused on the big ticket item and put general insurance to one side – particularly if they are less comfortable with these products.

We do not want any broker to lose out on revenue generation opportunities and so have put together a few things to consider and pitfalls to avoid when arranging general insurance for your clients.

Considerations:

  • If you do not feel that you have enough knowledge at your fingertips, whether about regulation or what policies cover or the various add-on options available, then ask your GI provider, which  should be more than happy to help you build your knowledge and your confidence.
  • Understanding what different types of policies will and will not cover is essential to ensuring you can provide your clients with the detail they need to make an informed decision about what is the most suitable policy for them.
  • Taking the time to understand your clients’ requirements and what they want to protect will help you deliver the best advice, source the most appropriate products and find competitive quotes. Remember that clients probably will not fully recognise or appreciate the value of their policy unless they actually have to make a claim for something that mattered to them.
  • To protect current business and future sales opportunities, make sure you stay on top of renewals and not just for the products you have provided, as you can be sure that increasingly, someone will be contacting them around these times to offer help or a quote.
  • If you do find it is all too much in the post MMR environment, do not be afraid to introduce your clients to a trusted GI provider. They will take care of everything and will protect your client relationship meaning that you can continue to earn commission year after year.

Pitfalls:

  • You are dealing with individuals that have different requirements when it comes to what they want to cover. Standard policies may not give the right level of cover so look for policies that allow you to tailor cover to individual needs.
  • It is important to get the sum insured right so your client is not paying too much or too little. When it comes to buildings insurance, bedroom rated policies offer a simple solution but you can also register to use the BCIS house rebuilding cost calculator. For contents cover, ensure your client undertakes a detailed inventory of contents including valuables.
  • Do not fail to discuss add-ons such as home emergency or legal expenses cover. These may not be included as standard in many household policies but can provide valuable coverage if suitable for your clients’ needs.
  • You could encounter future problems if you assume that your client has fully understood the cover they are buying. Take the time to explain what the policy will and will not cover and that it is appropriate to meet their specific requirements.
  • Allowing clients to arrange their own cover by using a price comparison website or going direct to an insurer exposes them to future approaches from others and could mean that you lose business down the line. If you don’t have time to arrange GI, think about referring your client to a trusted GI provider.

Selling home insurance and other types of general insurance products does not have to be difficult and can deliver significant reward so if you do need help, just ask a trusted GI provider to provide you with some training tips and point of sale material to support your efforts.