Many people see Insurance as an integral part of managing their business, whereas others see it as a necessary evil. Either way, until you need it, you are simply buying a promise; a promise that says, within certain parameters, in return for your premium every year, the insurance company will pay in the event of a claim.
So, the ultimate moment of truth is when you have a claim – it’s as simple as that. It is vitally important that you make the right choice of insurance broker. Consider this – the price might be cheap, but will the Insurance do what it’s supposed to do when you need it?
You need a Broker who knows your industry and takes time to understand your business so that the insurance that they put in place fits your business as closely as possible. It needs to be right because the time to find that you’re not properly insured should not be when you have a claim.
Many insurance policies have all kind of limitations, exclusions and conditions that you need to adhere to. All too often though, clients come to us having had a bad experience where their broker has failed to point out things in the policy that if they had been made aware of it, they would have said at that stage that it was completely unworkable.
Believe it or not we’ve seen instances in the past where Groundworks Contractors have been sold public liability insurance that actually excludes the use of excavators or even more ridiculous, includes the use of excavators but excludes any digging below the wheelbase of the machine – what did these people think the customer was actually going to use the machine for?
So let’s assume that the insurance has been arranged correctly and is appropriate for your business but another thing that often bothers me is the ‘Claims Department’. The majority of Insurance Brokers have a ‘claims department’ and I’m sure they do a good job but for me, the best person to deal with a claim is not someone in a claims department who you have never spoken to before and who has no idea about your business. What could be worse than when you actually need your insurance to come good on its promise, to be passed to someone who is completely cold to your business insurance and needs to quickly get up to speed by having a look through your file?
The best person to deal with a claim is the one that knows who you are and knows how your insurance is arranged – because they arranged it. That’s what we have always done here at JCB Insurance and we continue to do because our clients tell us it works.
On the question of understanding your business, it is never more important that your Insurance Broker has a firm grasp of your business, its processes and the equipment used, than when you have a claim.
For example, if you’ve loss a piece of plant or equipment, how can your Insurance Broker negotiate effectively on your behalf with insurance companies and Loss Adjusters to get you the best possible settlement, if he doesn’t fully understand the kit that he’s talking about? It could be even worse than that – it could mean the difference between a claim being paid and not.
As you would expect from JCB, we really understand plant and businesses that use plant, and are confident that in the event of a claim we can achieve a better settlement than a broker that is something of a generalist and has no real specialisms.
The British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) published research in January 2013 which showed that almost 70% of the brokers they surveyed had achieved a claims payment that was better than the initial offer made by the insurance company – in some cases as much as 30% better. This clearly demonstrates that it pays to work with a professional Insurance Broker who truly understands your business.
Insurance claims are the moment of truth. When deciding which Insurance Broker to use, don’t just look for the best price, look for the best value taking into consideration what expertise the Broker has and how likely are they to be able to deliver the promise when you need it most.
Director and General Manager
JCB Insurance Services Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)800 141 2877