Brokers ... Are you "Springing" into action?

As Spring arrives, Sara Simmons outlines the added value brokers can give their customers at renewal

“Spring is the perfect time for brokers to blossom and really demonstrate their value to customers; and with the renewal transparency requirements coming into force this month – it has never been more important for brokers to showcase the critical value of the service they provide.  Policyholders rely on broker expertise, not only to arrange initial cover, but on an ongoing basis to ensure their policy remains fit for purpose.

From the beginning of this month brokers must provide details of current and renewal premium to their customers and also encourage them to shop around, not for the cheapest price, but for the best policy and service to suit their needs. 

This is where brokers have a chance to dust off a customer’s policy, give it a good polish to make sure it still perfectly matches their ever-changing needs and demonstrate that when protecting a customer’s home, service and suitability should never be sacrificed for price.

Brokers tend to have a really good understanding of the customer and their lifestyles, especially in the HNW space where insurance needs can be more complicated, and policies are less likely to be chosen based on price alone. But what of those in the mid-net worth bracket?  These individuals may not think of themselves as a being a potential HNW customer, they may be living comfortably if not particularly extravagantly, and perceive a “high net worth” individual as one who is affluent and living in luxury. Without realising it, they may hover just on the edge of being HNW, all it could take is an inherited piece of artwork here, or an extended conservatory there, to push them into this next category – renewal is a good time for a broker to touch base with their customers and fully re-assess their needs, it could be that their current MNW policy no longer adequately covers them, leaving them at risk of underinsurance.

Renewal is also a good time for customers to dig out their heirlooms and treasured possessions, clean them up and seek an updated appraisal. Customers often rely on the purchase price or an historic valuation that could be completely inaccurate. Fluctuations in the jewellery and art markets over the years also mean that the value of such items can change significantly; it’s important for brokers to recommend regular appraisals with a credible expert to ensure that the stated value is accurate and again avoid the potential risk of underinsurance.

It’s also a good time for brokers to work with their clients to review their property and ensure their policy is still fit for purpose; do they have adequate security measures to prevent theft?  Are their high value cars still secure within the property? Have any of their renovations or extensions significantly changed the risk? For example, some general refurbishments such as replacing kitchen or bathroom suites with high-end ones can cause the sum insured to increase – whereas customers know to advise their broker if they’re having major refurbishments done, these small alterations can still have a big impact on the value of the fixtures and fittings.

We know that many brokers are already actively engaging with their customers around renewal as standard procedure, but the new rules around renewal transparency should encourage those who don’t, to “spring” into action to give their clients the best possible advice and support on their policy.”

       Renewal Transparency in brief:

 

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