This is advertiser content for Grampians Insurance Brokers.
Insurance. Something we all need for a range of reasons and in various aspects of our lives. But who ever really reads all the fine print and understands exactly what a policy does and does not cover?
And who feels confident that it's going to be an easy and successful process when preparing to make that call to lodge a claim for a recent catastrophe?
David Hosking, from Grampians Insurance Brokers, says not too many.
And that's the reason why, he says, in this day and age, a wise move would be to use a broker to find the best policy for your individual needs.
Mr Hosking highlights the recent royal commission into various sectors of the financial services industry as a compounding reason to make sure you are considering your options before signing on the dotted line.
"I think it's more important than ever that people deal with a broker because it seems fairly obvious that it is difficult to trust insurance companies or banks," he said.
"One of the key areas I believe was highlighted in the royal commission is that cheap insurance is cheap for a reason.
“It’s not much good. Another big take away for insurance consumers is that complaints from people dealing with a broker make up less than two per cent of total complaints in the general insurance industry.
“That’s a compelling statistic."
So, why use an insurance broker instead of making time consuming phone calls and combing through reams of perplexing documents to make sure you are on the right track?
"Let me put it succinctly – how many everyday people are insurance experts? Well, we are – so let us do the work.
"At the buying phase a broker will do the shopping around and find the best cover to suit a person's needs - and this is not always based on price – because a lower price can often mean an inferior product.
"What is important is finding out what protection you need, then finding the right product that will respond the way you want it to when an insurable event happens.
"An insurance policy is a contract under law, so the key thing is to make sure the policy wording will provide a benefit should the worst occur. Then the broker will explore the options and provide them to you.
"And when it comes to claim time, once again we represent the client, so if there is an argument to be had with an insurer, then we have it on our client’s behalf."
And that, he said, can make a huge difference to the bottom line when you have someone on the end of the phone who understands the legalities, lingo and liabilities involved with your policy.
Take the Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park.
Owners Josephina and Rohan McDonald took over the park in 2012 and had Grampians Insurance Brokers recommended to them.
“In January 2014 there was a major fire event in the Grampians which forced the evacuation of our park during the peak holiday period,” Mr McDonald said.
“Whilst we did not suffer any property damage, we suffered a significant financial loss.
“Fortunately, Grampians Insurance Brokers had recommended we take out business interruption cover and our loss was covered under the prevention of access clause.
“Had we not had this cover, the effect on our business would have been extremely damaging,” he said.
Mr Hosking’s advice for new business owners speaks for itself.
"Find a broker or broking firm that has been in the industry for some time. Like in most industries, if a broker is not doing their job they won’t last long.
"Ask questions! About everything – what is covered, what isn’t covered, what happens if I have a claim, what is the process, what is the cost?
"Remember everyone is unique and what is important to you may not be important to the next person.
"By asking questions of your broker, and hopefully he or she will be asking plenty of you, then you will discover what is important to you and then the broker can get to work finding a solution."
Grampians Insurance Brokers have just launched a new website which will answer many questions you may have. Go to Grampians Insurance Brokers.
This is advertiser content for Grampian Insurance Brokers.