The right insurance broker helps you choose the right cover. Here is a Q&A session from our members with PIB Insurance Brokers (PIB) giving some insight into making the right choice when it comes to choosing the right insurers.
HQP have been working with PIB Insurance Brokers since 2016 and we continue to renew our service framework with them because PIB offer market choice, great service and have a 30 year pedigree in this sector.
1. Why don’t we just miss out the middle-link (the broker) and speak directly to insurance companies?
Hospices are such multifaceted organisations and there are no ‘off the shelf’ policies that are suitable for hospices. A lot of work needs to be put into bespoking the arrangements based upon the individual hospices’ requirements, activities etc. Also, a broker seeks to remove the administrative burden from the hospice. PIB are proud to have access to the wider insurance market rather than being tied to one insurer. This in turn allows PIB to give an impartial view of the market but critically saves hospices time trying to shop around themselves and making several approaches to insurers direct. It is worth noting that some insurers only deal via brokers.
2. What guarantees are there that a broker will always work in the best interests of their customer, rather than the insurance company?
For PIB, this simply comes down to PIB’s remuneration arrangements. PIB prefer to work for a fee (payable by the Hospice) rather than take commission (payable by the insurer). PIB believe this is far more transparent and fairer for hospices, furthermore, the fee basis of remuneration ensures they don’t earn more just because your premium goes up (perhaps following a poor run of claims, or because market pressure is pushing premiums up). Ultimately it encourages a greater basis of trust between PIB and their hospice clients.
3. Until you have entered into an agreement with a broker (that could be too late), how do you differentiate the good from the ‘cowboys’?
Ask and take reference, or speak to your counterparts at other hospices – they will typically have been through the process and will be able to share their experience with you. Also take comfort from HQP and the procurement process we undertake as we have KPI’s and service standards against which we measure each of our providers.
4. If we ask for references, will we only ever be provided with references from those that are happy with the service. Is there an independent body with which we can / should be checking a broker’s credentials?
All insurance brokers are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and there are certain codes of conduct they are required to follow but references and word of mouth are the most powerful tool – speak to your neighbouring / local hospice. You can also ask for a broker’s client retention rate as an indicator (PIB are proud that their York based charity’s division’s retention rate is 95%).
Since then we have received an exemplary service and the premium paid have remained at a very competitive level. I would recommend PIB Insurance Brokers to any Hospice."
5. What is the state of the current insurance market?
Rates remain high but the pressure of rate increases is slowing slightly. This is borne out by insurers being more comfortable as they have underwritten risks again to ensure a more representative level of pricing. Insurers have been taking much more interest in clients risk management processes and also performance standards published by sector regulators and the responses to any adverse findings.