Australia’s insurance market has certainly hardened over the last few years, but what does it mean for policyholders? In short, especially for high-risk assets, it means higher excesses, stricter conditions and, in some cases, being unable to find cover at all.
Local brokers say it comes as a result of ongoing weather events and natural disasters, resulting in reinsurance costs, increased personal injury claims and a low value on the Australian dollar.
As insurers become more and more choosy, this Canberra firm believes change is needed for policyholders to better know where they stand.
Looking to breed “certainty in times of uncertainty”, Allinsure’s independent advisors want to change the way insurance brokers and their clients interact.
Managing director Peter Chamberlain said even though rising costs, reduced capacity and less competition between providers are to blame for widespread concern, it’s the broker’s job to pick up the pieces.
“Many clients have very little knowledge of what their broker is responsible for, or how they can help mitigate uncertainty,” he said.
“In many cases, this leads to financial losses, simply because policyholders aren’t aware they can make a claim.
“A broker doesn’t just advise which policy to choose. We also explain its technical conditions, review contracts before they change hands and help plan for your future movements. Most importantly, we advocate for you in the event of a claim so you get everything you’re entitled to.”
Peter said more claims are being made now than ever before, so knowing when to contact a broker that understands your business is crucial.
“Industries facing particular challenges include those exposed to greater slip and fall claims. This includes entertainment, commercial property owners and services such as shopping centres, cleaners and the like,” he said.
“It’s a difficult spot to be in, but this isn’t anything new. Insurers tighten their grip when lots of businesses are making claims to minimise impacts on their bottom line.
“Insurers are starting to report underwriting profit again, so we will see competition increase and the market stabilize before softening in time. Until then, it comes down to how well you and your broker communicate your business’s needs so they can advocate for the best possible outcome.”
Allinsure has taken a proactive stance to change the status quo, working to reduce business owners’ anxiety by building their knowledge and keeping them updated on the current market.
The company has also invested heavily in its staff over the last six months, hiring decades worth of talent and moving into a new office in Fyshwick. Peter said this has boosted morale on both sides of the desk.
“We have diverse clientele across property, construction, transport, hospitality, and various professional services. Their individual sectors do affect insurance needs, so we have adopted a tailored approach that creates confidence and trust,” he said.
“The new building has received great feedback so far. It’s an open, attractive space that is enjoyable for the team and encourages clients to come to us for in-person meetings.
“Communication has never been more important to us and should be a priority at every firm. Your broker needs to deeply understand all facets of the business to represent it properly, and in turn, it’s your responsibility to know their role.”
If you’d like to learn more about how brokers benefit your business, get in touch online at Allinsure.