The cost of getting advice

4 April 2016
As Insurance Brokers we are asked to prepare plans and quotes for clients on different insurance products. Our primary concern when making a recommendation is having clients covered adequately and their expectations met at claim time. We base the recommendation on our knowledge of different agencies and their products with the priority being the claims statistics of the agency ie what is the “willingness” of the agency to pay the claim. 
 
Recently we saw an example of bad practice in the industry which came from a lack of awareness by the clients resulting in expectations not being met at the time of claim.  YOUI Insurance agency has just been investigated by the Commerce Commission – they were alleged to have initiated unauthorised direct debits from credit cards belonging to people who called for policy quotes.  While it is stated by the agency that this practice has stopped in a recent interview there are further claims from previous employees that the general practice within the company saw alterations on the level of covers so that the premiums would seem a lot cheaper in comparison to another quote (www.interest.co.nz ).  In other words when comparing different quotes Youi would appear cheaper but they were quoting inferior cover
 
So often clients get products over the phone or on the Internet without knowing what they are getting because it is cheaper or perceived to be less hassle.  They don’t seek advice on the product and think that they are just getting cheaper cover.  Yet upon closer inspection the cover is not comparable.  It is either different or covers different things or doesn’t cover for things that a client really needs (and assumes is actually covered).    
 
Sometimes we have even been contacted by clients who had arranged cover themselves complaining that their claims were not paid out by an insurance agency and wanting advice.  The problem with insurance is that if it’s wrong and you find out at claim time there’s generally not a lot that can be done.  
 
To ensure that your expectations at claim time are met you should go through all the fine print of your policy and the policies from other agencies yourself when you are looking to take up cover.  Of course who has the time or the inclination to do this?  The other way to ensure that your expectations are met is to have an insurance Broker who deals with different agencies.  Insurance brokers have to comply to a strict code of conduct to be able to offer the advice that they do. They train and use a lot of resources showing they adhere to this level of conduct.  This is so that clients are protected and can make informed decisions.  So if you want to protect yourself against this sort of behaviour from Youi find an Insurance Broker who is good and who you can trust.   Someone who when a claim is going to be made has done everything possible to ensure that your expectations are met and the claim is paid out.

Published In Whakatane Beacon

This post was written by

Trish Marsden - who has written 96 posts

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