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The Risk Adviser Advantage
According to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2012–13, over three quarters (76 per cent) of Australia’s 15.4 million internet users made a purchase or order over the internet.
A clear shift towards purchasing online coupled with the seemingly endless raft of information at consumers fingertips, one may suggest that the days of an intermediary are numbered.
I would argue, however, that now more than ever there is a need for an insurance risk adviser.
I think it’s important to look at why individuals take out insurance in the first place. The principle of insurance is protection for the consumer against loss to their most valuable assets, including property, vehicles and income.
Most clients don’t and shouldn’t be expected to know how each and every policy endorsement or exclusion operates. Unfortunately many online insurance providers and call centre based companies hone in on how quickly one can obtain a quote or worse still focus on price alone, with scant regard paid to product. Quality risk advisers can match a client with a product which is both cost effective, but also one which will meet their needs in the event of a loss.
Licensed insurance intermediaries are also required to have minimum qualifications and to retain certification as an insurance professional, they must complete a minimum number of hours professional development each year. This ensures that when the moment of truth arrives and one needs to make a claim, a qualified intermediary is there advocating their clients behalf to assist in achieving the best possible outcome. Without a risk adviser, clients are left to negotiate directly with their insurance company.
Finally local risk advisers know local business. Unlike a web based platform or call centre, your local intermediary can share experience and expertise through insuring like businesses within your community. I also think it’s comforting being able to walk in to your risk advisers office, sit down face to face and discuss your policy with the person who set the policy up in the first place.