Is Using a Local Broker Important?

February 6, 2013

Qld Business OwnerIf you’re looking for an insurance broker for your business, is it important to have someone local?

Increasingly businesses are using online insurance services.  This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not going through a broker, but it may mean that the broker is located somewhere else in the country.

In this guide we’ll take a look at whether or not a business based in Queensland should use a broker also based in Queensland.

Do you HAVE to use a local broker?

Absolutely not!  In reality your business can choose an insurance broker located anywhere in Australia.

You cannot use an overseas broker though, as they won’t be properly licensed to provide insurance advice and services within Australia.

There are certainly benefits to using a broker from within your local area, but there are also benefits to being able to use a broker located elsewhere in the country.

Benefits of using a local

Depending on what type of business you run, it can be of great benefit to have a broker who can visit your business to get a proper feel for what is being insured.

If you business operates from its own premises and has a range of plant and equipment to be insured, it is generally a better option if the broker can visit your business to properly assess your needs.

Although the insurance requirements for most businesses are unchanged regardless of where you are in the country, there are some exceptions.

One such exception is Qld electrical contractors insurance.  Here in Qld electricians will need a special type of cover which is only available from some insurers.

If you use an interstate broker they may not be aware of the Qld requirements, and you may end up with a policy that is not going to meet your needs.

Benefits of NOT using a local

If you limit yourself to using a broker from your own locality you may be limiting the quality of service and advice that you can receive.

For example if you’re a tradesman living and working in Toowoomba and you only want to use a Toowoomba broker, you’re could be missing out by not dealing with a tradesman insurance expert who may be located in Brisbane or as far away as Perth.

Whilst on the subject of tradesmen and other service-type businesses, getting your insurance sorted out by a non-local broker isn’t generally an issue since you’ll most likely only be after basic covers such as public liability and tool insurance which can be easily done over the phone or online.

Another benefit to using a non-local broker that few businesses consider is the fact that they won’t be affected by local events.

Say your business is located in Brisbane and we suffer another flood event such as that in 2010, if your broker is also located in Brisbane they will be inundated with other claims which they have to deal with.

But if your broker is located elsewhere in the country they won’t be going through the same deluge of claims and will therefore be able to devote more time to looking after you and your claim.

More information

As we can see there are definitely advantages to using both a local and a non-local broker for your Qld business insurance needs.

We can’t really tell you which is best for your particular business, but the best option may be to speak with a few brokers and see what type of setup you are most comfortable with.

Choosing an Insurance Broker

October 16, 2012

Qld Business OwnerMany businesses in Queensland use an insurance broker or adviser for their business insurance needs.

If you are planning on using a broker, one of the most important parts of the process will be choosing a suitable insurance professional.

All brokers are different.  They have different levels of experience and qualifications, and different areas that they can specialise in.

In this guide we will take a look at some of those differences and the impact they can have on your choice.

Knowledge & Experience

As with all professions, insurance brokers in Queensland will have different levels of knowledge and expertise.

Generally speaking it will be better to deal with an insurance broker who has a higher level of experience and qualifications, but this isn’t always a guarantee of better service and advice.

It is also important to check the broker’s qualifications and their authority to provide insurance advice.  This information will generally be available in their Financial Services Guide (FSG) that all brokers are obliged to provide to you by law.

Areas of Specialty

Some brokers deal in all types of insurance, whilst other specialise in certain areas.

If you are just looking to insure your home or car virtually any broker should be able to assist, but if you are insuring your business it is more important to use a specialist.

Specialist insurance brokers exist in a variety of different sectors.  Common specialty areas include insurance for tradesmen as well as medical insurance.

Some brokers also specialist in specific types of insurance.  For example some may specialise in public liability insurance whilst others specialise in professional indemnity cover.

Although very few brokers specialise in a certain geographical areas, it is still important to ensure you broker has an understanding of where you business operated.

For example here in Qld there are some unique rules in place for public liability insurance.  Electricians in Qld must have special type of insurance which interstate brokers are often unaware of.

How Can A Broker Help?

A good insurance broker or adviser can help in many ways when it comes to sorting out your insurance needs.

Your broker will be able to assist you with assessing your business and its insurance needs.  They will also be able to assist with choosing the insurance broker who will be able to provide you with the best value.

Any insurance broker should be able to assist you with an appropriate insurance policy, however by choosing the right broker you can help to ensure you are getting the most appropriate cover at the best price.

For more information or to be put in contact with a Qld insurance broker please complete our online enquiry form.