The vital role intermediaries play in delivering insurance good and proper

Advice Intermediary as a business owner 3 min read 11 June 2019

In a rapidly changing world, it is important to have an intermediary that deeply understands clients’ insurance needs and can guide them through life’s unforeseen challenges. We have been in the business of insurance good and proper for more than a 100 years and have seen first-hand how the expert advice of our intermediaries transform the lives of policyholders and their businesses.


Here are some of the reasons why every client should have an expert intermediary at their side:


Proactive in managing risk


Many intermediaries become experts in niche fields and are therefore able to give clients expert advice for their business, farm or personal belongings. 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 - such as putting 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.


If a client owns an agriculture business, this is another field where an intermediary can add huge value. Only an intermediary knows the rainfall a client received last season and the expected yield for each of their crops. They keep abreast of the latest trends and know which new tech will add value to a client’s operation. They can advise them on everything from drone insurance and legal liability to livestock and safer transport.


An intermediary is the one person who knows the ins and outs of protecting a client’s car and home, from the crime stats for their area to how much they’ll save on premiums if they install electric fencing. Whatever the client’s passion - 4x4 trips, riding their speedboat or investing in a vintage car - their intermediary will be a trusted advisor to help them plan for any type of risk.


Helping our clients better understand their policy


Insurance policies can sometimes be a bit confusing so it helps for clients to have an intermediary who can not only explain policy terms to them but also point out exclusions to watch out for. An expert intermediary will listen carefully to a client’s needs and help them combat risk in the best - and most affordable - way possible.


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 a 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.


Evaluating 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, an intermediary 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 insurance claims process as much as possible. Certain insurance 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 101 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. We believe that our partnership contributes to building a sustainable South Africa for all.


With the 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.


For more advice tailored to intermediaries, visit our blog.