The Right Fit – Why choosing your broker is key to you and your business

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Louise Chagas

Vice President
Global Professional & Financial Risks Lockton

 

It must be incredibly difficult for the Legal Profession to determine which broker they should trust to place their professional insurances with, especially when being approached by multiple brokers all reporting to be specialists.

 

Your Professional Indemnity premium is likely to be the third largest spend annually after staff and premises costs. However, it is possibly one of the most critical spends as your PII provides you with your certificate to trade. In light of the importance to your business it is incredibly important you select the right broker. After all, you are entrusting them with your livelihood, and they should appreciate the seriousness of this task that you are entrusting upon them. So how do you differentiate one broker from another, and why is it important to ensure you find the right fit for you?

 

The financial aspect is just one consideration why finding the right broker is important. Perhaps of equal importance is consideration of the fact that a broker also manages your firm’s reputation within the insurance market which you could argue is more valuable. A good broker will be one whom you feel confident will represent you as you would represent your practice when speaking to insurers. You should feel confident that they not only understand you and your business, but can evidence to you that they are experts within their field, as you and your associates can for your clients.

 

You should feel confident that your broker understands the ethos of your practice and will relay this fluently to insurers. Importantly, does your broker take the time to ask you questions and listen in order to understand what is important to you? If not, how can they be selecting the right insurers for you or representing your firm adequately?

 

The relationship between a client and broker should be a true partnership of guidance and support which is utilised throughout the year and should not be purely transactional. A good broker will have strong and direct relationships with the leading insurers in the market so that your message does not get diluted due to unnecessary links in the chain. They will be able to guide you through the minutiae of your insurances with clarity and transparency.

 

They should take measures to protect you and your balance sheet by only recommending and placing your insurances with an insurer who not only has secure financials, but whom also demonstrates the right behaviour in the event of claims, which goes beyond simply accepting an insurers A rating.

 

They should be providing you with year round support and guidance on claims prevention or changes in the legal and regulatory landscape that could impact your practice.

 

If they pass the initial test for you and you feel intuitively that you could work with them, you may wish to consider the following factors prior to making your selection of representative:

  • Are they actually a Specialist?
  • What is their experience in the market place? Can they evidence to you that they understand Solicitors PII?
  • What direct access do they have to leading insurers?
  • Having too many links in a chain can be problematic in both placement of a policy and also in the event of a claim
  • What is the size of their team? Who can you contact in the event of that your key relationship person is unwell or unavailable?
  • What is the size of their portfolio? Do they have a weight of account?
  • What similar sized practices do they represent?
  • What Claims support and advocacy services do they provide, should you need it?
  • What value added and support services will they offer to you as their client?
  • Do they provide an advisory or purely transactional service?
  • Market security committee – as part of their service do they consider monitoring insurers as part of their duty of care to you?

Ultimately, when deciding on which broker is the right fit for you, you should be confident that you can: 

  1. Trust them with one of your largest investments each year; the insurance protection of your firm, enabling you to continue working each day with peace of mind
  2. Trust them to represent the integrity and ethos of your firm to insurers whom you may not have an opportunity to meet
  3. Put faith in them as trusted advisers who are expert in their field of profession
  4. Rely on them to be there for you when you need guidance and support

At Lockton we work hard to build valuable relationships with both our clients and the insurers whom we work with. Trust and integrity are paramount when negotiating the best terms for our clients and managing long term client/insurer relationships.

 

We are very conscious that, as brokers, we are the conduit linking our client’s to their insurers and we work hard to maintain our reputation within both the legal and insurance professions. We pride ourselves on our consistency and long term relationships.

 

Our team are dedicated exclusively to the legal profession of England and Wales all year round. We are acutely aware of changes that could impact upon our clients and look to provide them with support and guidance throughout the year as the trusted advisers to our client base.

 

We are truly Independent and have unparalleled access to leading insurers meaning that, regardless of your size and profile, we can present options for your practice.

 

As the broker partner for DASLS, we recognise that some members may already be in the appropriate insurer home right now. If that is the case we are committed to provide you with an impartial view, which means if change is not right for you we will tell you so, and we will be available should circumstances change.

 

Should you wish to explore if Lockton could be the right fit for you, please contact one of our dedicated team.

 

Email: solicitors@uk.lockton.com  

Tel: 0330 123 3870

Or visit our website: www.locktonsolicitors.co.uk

 

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