Where to look and what to look for when you’re searching for a broker.
While you might be tempted to bypass an insurance broker and go directly to the provider, the truth is brokers can save you money, as they can negotiate with insurers to get the best prices. Brokers are also experts. They can design an insurance package that covers the aspects of your business most important to you, giving you maximum peace of mind.
So how do you find a good one?
Start with NIBA
The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA)* represents more than 360 brokerages and around 2,000 independent brokers across the country. That’s about 90% of Australia's brokers.
Since 1982, NIBA has established numerous operational and educational standards for brokers. It’s most well-known for developing, administering and monitoring the Insurance Brokers Code of Practice.
The Code dictates minimum service guidelines for NIBA members. That means the brokerages and brokers they represent must abide by 12 strict standards, including:
- Explaining their fees
- Complying with relevant laws
- Responding to major issues in a professional, prompt and empathetic manner
- Adhering to the Code’s Complaints and Dispute process.
Basically, NIBA is a gateway to accredited, reliable brokers who are compelled to provide the best service.
Consider an authorised representative of QBE
An authorised representative is different from a licensed broker in that they operate under the Financial Services License (FSL) of another provider (either an insurance company, licenced broker or other AFSL holder) and provide financial services on behalf of that other provider. An authorised representative who provides personal financial product advice will still, however, be subject to same general conduct obligations that apply to a licensed broker. Often an authorised representative may be authorised by several insurance companies so can still offer you a range of product choices.
See QBE’s Authorised Representatives list.
Find a specialist
While all businesses need Workers Compensation and many need Compulsory Third Party (CTP) car insurance, some risks are unique to certain industries. For instance:
- Does your import/export business need cover for cargo in transit?
- Are you a farmer seeking to protect your machinery and livestock?
- Does your flying school need specialist aviation cover?
Whatever your situation, there'll be a broker who has the insight and experience to meet your needs. If you need help finding an industry specialist, another great resource is Need a Broker*. This site lists dozens of business types, from childcare to IT services, which can help you narrow down your search.
What should you look for in a broker?
The ideal broker adheres to a professional code of conduct, such as the Insurance Brokers Code of Practice, and has expertise in your field of business.
Getting the most out of your broker also means establishing a good working relationship, and you need to know they've got your best interests in mind. When you meet with a broker, keep an eye out for these qualities:
- Responsiveness - how quickly does the broker respond to your enquiries? Most importantly, do they provide you with helpful information?
- Persistence - if they don't have an immediate answer, do they demonstrate a willingness to find it?
- Honesty - are they a 'yes' person? Look for a broker who'll give you the truth rather than telling you what you’d like to hear.
To learn more about what you can expect from a broker, read How brokers work.
*The brokers on this site are not employees or agents of QBE, but are independent entities. QBE is not responsible for any advice provided to you by any broker on this site. Any such advice is the responsibility of the broker concerned.