After 30 years working in the industry, it’s become clear that small and medium-sized businesses in Somerset need a different type of broker. Insurance broking should be taken back to its grassroots. Back to the old ‘insurance man’ concept.
The last 10 years has seen a big move in the broking world, with larger national firms forming by acquiring smaller regional brokers. This has resulted in less choice for businesses that want face-to-face advice.
Insurance is now seen by many as a commodity – just another bill to pay – and the buying decision is solely based on price. But insurance is more important than that. It’s there to protect businesses and livelihoods when things go wrong.
We wouldn’t buy a house or enter into a legal agreement with advice we’ve bought online or through a call centre. Insurance should be no different. A broker needs to spend time understanding a business to properly assess the risks to which it is exposed.
Taking insurance back to its grassroots means face-to-face contact and personal relationships, where brokers see themselves as advisors rather than salesmen.
Cost is of course a factor and any good broker must make sure it has the market access to be competitive with the national firms.
Personally, I really enjoy listening to people tell me about their businesses and how they have evolved and if you heard the passion behind it, you would understand why I want to make sure their businesses are properly protected.