Be choosy about insurance in toughening times

Chris McKeown, Branch Manager, Queensland - Gallagher

An industry expert unpacks the hardening market

Everyone is talking about a hardening insurance market but what does that mean for insurance brokers and their clients? After a year of catastrophic weather events in 2017 global CAT losses are estimated to be in the region of US$306 billion, according to Swiss Re. In an environment where reinsurers and insurers alike are very much international players this matters because capacity is reduced.

Locally we are seeing a governmental crackdown on financial institutions, corporate governance is being made more accountable, insolvencies are on the rise, flammable cladding has increased risk in construction and Australia is one of the most litigious countries in the world when it comes to liability suits. That’s without touching on the cyber-crime wave of attacks on businesses that experts such as digital security specialists McAfee are predicting.

Generally most types of insurance are likely to be harder to place, the deals will be less advantageous and cover will cost more. That’s where a low claims record, sound risk mitigation strategy and good advice can achieve savings.

An insurance broker who understands how a business operates and the conditions it operates under, and who takes the time to run analytics on its risk profile, can make better informed suggestions about managing these risks and is a key asset in these kinds of market conditions.

Another major consideration is achieving integrated cover without gaps or loopholes that can occur when shopping for insurance on a piecemeal, separate policy basis. A tailored solution packaged into a single program ensures your business is comprehensively covered and offers its owner greater control with a preferred insurer.

Insurance is one area where the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best deal. Shopping around for a broker with experience in your industry and insight into your professional needs will pay off when you need to claim.

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