Insurance is one of those things that tend to fall into two followers, people who have insurance for everything and never think about it, and those that have only what they consider to be the bare essentials and shop around for the best deal on those few products. If you are an insurance broker you know you have dealt with both types of customer, and each has their own unique preferences that allow you to match them with the right insurance products.
The difficulty becomes with so many products on the market how to match the right insurance products to match your customer’s needs. Beyond this, your customers are coming to you, as a specialist insurance broker, because they don’t know the legislation, they don’t know who is offering the best deals, and they don’t know what questions to ask to ensure that they get the best insurance.
One of the options available to Insurance brokers that is not available to their customers is software solutions like SchemeServe at schemeserve.com which allows brokers access to a customized, branded, solution that runs on website and mobile – meaning your brokers can go to your clients and not need to go back to the office to sign up new clients.
Do Your Clients Know What They Need?
One of those marketing terms that gets bandied around is the “upsell”, however in insurance your customers are more likely to appreciate the down-sell. You are more likely to retain your customer as a long-term client, as well as building a relationship built on trust, if you are able to offer them good advice on what insurance they should take up in consideration of their circumstance.
Should your client with a car worth $2,000 get full comprehensive insurance, or are they better going with a lower premium that covers third party damage, and using the difference to save for a better car?
What about life insurance? What would be the best option for Miss 18 and single? Different to Mr 48 with 4 kids?
If they have their car insurance and household contents insurance with the same company will they get extra benefits?
Do You Know Your Clients Well Enough?
Nothing is going to do damage to your relationship with your client that the insurance company you brokered for them not paying out on their claim. As their broker you need to make sure you ask all the right questions to ensure that they won’t be denied because of prior history. Does your client actually have a full and clean license that is appropriate for the vehicle they are insuring? With some health and life insurances policies a history of depression can affect a pay-out, or their ability to get insurance.
Do Your Clients Know You?
No, you shouldn’t be on call 24/7, but your clients should know how to get hold of you in an emergency, and the difference between an emergency and an annual policy assessment. Do your clients know when you will be contacting them about renewing their policy? Do you have a standardised system where you let them know their policy is up for renewal and run through a quick questionnaire to make sure that they are still using the best insurance products? Do your clients know that you will be doing this for them? If not, let them know that this is part of the service that you offer, that you want to work with them.
Remember that you are a specialist in both insurance and risk management, and that you are a qualified professional whose job is to look after the interests of your clients. Don’t hide that you are a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute, and let your client know that this means there are checks and balances in place that you will abide by. Let them know they can complain here if they feel you’ve misled them. Often professionals shy away from letting customers know that there is actually a complaints procedure, but if you emphasis that the first step should be to let you know, then you are more likely to get feedback rather than just have your client go with another broker in the next annual review.
Insurance documents are notorious for being difficult to understand when it comes to reading the fine print. But, as above, ensuring that your client knows what they are signing up for means that they are going to be much happier with you as their broker.
However, make sure that any communication you have with your clients is recorded in writing, and in easy to understand language that is also accurate. There is no need to skirt around ‘bad’ information or clauses that mean they would lose their insurance cover. This is exactly the sort of information that will set apart a good broker that gets a portfolio of clients for life. It may be as simple as spelling out that Mr & Mrs Smith 15year old daughter is not insured to drive their car, or something more complicated that says if their unpermitted alteration causes any damage to their home or their neighbours that their insurance will not cover the expense.
Attentiveness And An Eye For Detail
If you don’t have an eye for detail, ensure that you have procedures in place that provide checks and balances for all of your work. This is where really good software can be brilliant. Being able to tick a few boxes and be provided with the information you need is great, but being able to go through a list of questions with your client and ensure that you have all the information you need to accurately provide them with the best service is better.
If you have software that you can customise then make sure you have customised it for your needs, to act as a double check system to catch all those little things that you might forget (like to ask if they have underage drivers in the house that might want to drive the car). If you haven’t yet invested in software designed for insurance brokers, then you may need to get out your excel spreadsheet or legal paper and manually work out where you need to focus on to ensure that you never miss an opportunity or required detail.