Intermediaries: adding value far beyond a good price

Intermediary as a business owner 3 min read 04 June 2018

Santam has been in the business of insurance good and proper for over 100 years. During that time we’ve seen first-hand how the expert advice of our intermediaries transform the lives of policyholders and their businesses. An intermediary plays a pivotal role in supporting clients by simplifying complex terms, assessing and addressing risk, providing expert advice and negotiating competitive pricing. 


In our increasingly complex business world, the intermediary has become incrementally relevant. The following are some of the reasons why every commercial client should have an expert intermediary at their side.


Understanding how a business operates


No business is the same, and requirements vary from industry to industry and from area to area. For example, a bakery in a busy urban centre and a bakery in rural area might both sell bread but they have very different needs and risks.


This is where intermediaries add value by engaging with businesses to familiarise themselves with their unique challenges and the risks they are exposed to. An intermediary will visit a business to do an in-depth risk assessment with a client. From liability to business interruption cover, only a trained eye will be able to tell where weaknesses lie and how to best protect assets with the right insurance cover.


Proactive in managing risk 


Many intermediaries become experts in niche fields, for example retail, manufacturing or technology-based businesses. With years of experience behind them, they get to know the nature of the activities of each type of business, putting them in the best position to help implement a risk management process for clients.


The best way to combat risk is to put good housekeeping procedures in place. For example, ensuring electricity and plumbing certificates have been provided, ensuring that alarms are in good working order and eliminating basic fire, flood or theft risks. An intermediary will work with a client to check all the boxes, as well as see that general property maintenance is kept to a good standard - e.g. waterproofing a roof or installing burglar bars or safety gates.


Evaluating a risk from all angles


Just as businesses vary considerably by their operations, industry or area, they are also at different stages of growth. An intermediary can assist with any size of business by properly evaluating the business and help establish the correct value of items to be insured. This will assist clients in avoiding the risk of being underinsured and will also evaluate if business interruption cover is required.  


They will also determine the turnover value of each type of business, enabling a more accurate underwriting process.  It’s about looking beyond physical risks to safeguard a company’s ability to stay in business. 


With these insights, a broker can ensure that a business is properly covered so that there are no hassles at claims time, and to streamline the renewal process.   


Ensuring a better claims experience for clients


Claims time is crunch time and an insurance intermediary will provide invaluable support throughout the process. As a partner and advocate, an intermediary will work with an insurer on an insured’s behalf to try and speed up the claims process as much as possible. Certain claims can make it an especially stressful time for businesses when they have to provide information and documentation in support of their claim.


This is a time when they will realise why an intermediary is such an essential part of their business advisory team.


Powerful risk assessment with Santam intermediaries


As the market leader in short-term insurance with over 100 years of experience, Santam continues to work very closely with intermediaries, in delivering insurance good and proper to their clients. We offer a wealth of support which includes ongoing professional education through workshops and conferences, constantly innovating technology platforms and offering tailored advice through this dedicated broker blog.


With the recent launch of the Santam Risk Assessment app, intermediaries can now conduct assessments in real time, and compile comprehensive digital reports - with all risk data in one centralised space.


To find an intermediary in your area, get in touch with Santam on 0860 444 444. For more advice tailored to intermediaries, visit our blog for useful product-related articles.