Somerset insurance brokers: Save money on insurance by using an independent broker
- Credit: Jack Easterbrook
Avoid hidden costs and pitfalls, and get the best possible deal for your needs, through the expertise and market knowledge of an independent broker
When looking for insurance quotes, it may be tempting to go to a big-name insurer who offers a simple, one-size-fits-all package. But, whether it’s home and contents insurance, landlord insurance, motor insurance or insurance cover for your business, there are many advantages to using an independent broker.
An independent insurance broker has the market knowledge and expertise to find exactly the right cover for you at a competitive price, and help you avoid the pitfalls that could end up costing you more money.
Birnbeck Insurance Services, located in Worle, Weston-Super-Mare, is an independent broker. The company was established in 1974 and the current team have more than 80 years of experience in the industry between them.
Managing director Stuart Rose said: “Birnbeck has agencies with over 50 insurance companies. Our aim is to get customers the right cover at a competitive price. We don’t cherry-pick - we try to meet the customer’s requirements as they change.
“We are not a faceless call centre. Birnbeck offers personal service, with dedicated customer account handlers. We offer general insurance advice and risk management support, including health and safety templates and legal helplines.
“We also support our customers through the process of making a claim. We can assist customers and help fight their corner to get the best result possible and avoid unfair deductions by insurance companies.””
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He explained some of the pitfalls an experienced insurance broker can help customers avoid.
“For example, there are often high young driver excesses in motor insurance policies. Often they are hidden in the policy wording. Some of the cheaper policies do not include courtesy cars as standard, and remove the ‘driving other cars’ extension.
“In home insurance, one common problem is high escape of water excesses. Around 50% of buildings insurance claims involve escape of water claims from burst pipes or leaking fittings. A number of insurers have increased their burst pipe excess to £500, and this is not always clear on comparison sites.
“Another problem is that many standard home insurance policies will not cater for anything they deem ‘non-standard’ such as working from home, which is increasingly common. Any business use at the home needs to be declared to and agreed by the insurer. Care also needs to be taken covering personal possessions away from the home, including pedal cycles and jewellery. “
There are also very good reasons for small businesses to use the expertise of an independent local insurance broker.
“Every year we check the premiums from a panel of insurers, in order to keep offering you the most competitive prices,” said Stuart. “We are not tied to any one insurer, so we can give you honest advice in terms of which offers best value for money. The premium needs to be judged in conjunction with the terms and conditions being applied. For example, when assessing public liability insurance for a builder, the cheapest insurers will often apply a restrictive locations condition to their quote / policy. This limits the type of premises they can work on to houses and flats only. If they then want to do a job at a school then they are not covered.
“Over many years we have developed significant experience in insuring certain industries. Examples include construction, motor trade, education, property owners, manufacturing, metal fabrication, food and drink and sports and leisure. We are here to help customers try to overcome problems. This may involve a contract with higher risk work that is difficult to insure.“
So how much does it cost to use an independent insurance broker? Probably not as much as you would expect, for such a valuable service.
Birnbeck Insurance charges a £15 administration fee at new business, renewal or if a policy cancels mid-term. Our main payment is the commission from the insurers, depending on the type of policy as we do a lot of the legwork for them, ensuring details are correct, up to date and assisting our clients with any queries about their insurance.
To find out more contact Birnbeck Insurance. Phone 01934 522 252, email firstname.lastname@example.org
129 High Street, Worle