It seems like a long time ago that the emergence of direct insurers changed the insurance industry forever. Admittedly it was hard for us brokers at first. The millions of pounds they spent on advertising, telling policyholders to 'cut out the middle man', coupled with their amazingly cheap rates, certainly kept us on our toes!
It would appear though that things have now gone full circle and that the brokers are, once again, winning the battle!
What with the ever escalating costs of claims making them inevitably increase their rates to a more sensible level and their well publicised run-ins with the Financial Services Authority, policholders are again looking to brokers for a trusted way to buy insurance. For those of you that missed it, RBS, the owner of Direct Line and Churchill, were recently fined £2.17 million by the Financial Services Authority for tampering with customer complaint files.
So why deal with a broker?
Well, Insurance Brokers are specialists in their industry. All they do is buy and sell insurance. Most of them have years of experience and they would instantly know what type of policy would suit the policyholder the best. They can also access markets that it just isn't possible to access 'direct'. Insurance Brokers are incredibly passionate about what they do. They like to know their clients personally, and although they may not always be able to arrange you the 'cheapest' policy, they will always find you a policy that covers what you need. And if for any reason they are unable to find a policy that suits your needs, then they will tell you so. They would probably go on to recommend another broker that specialises in the type of cover you are looking for.
If you like to deal with a professional that has an incredible product knowledge, and that will never outsource their call centre to India, then I would suggest you look at BIBA's* website, and find your nearest local broker!
*British Insurance Brokers Association - www.biba.org.uk