With the online insurance market becoming increasingly popular, the role of an Insurance Broker for things like your vehicle or home may appear less relevant. When it comes to Strata Insurance however, it’s a very different story.
With complex legislation and the intricate, highly involved nature of managing Strata Insurance and Strata Insurance claims, the role of an Insurance Broker is more important than ever.
In what is becoming an increasingly litigious society, all Owners Corporation (OC) Committees should have the appropriate cover to protect themselves against risk exposures associated with Strata properties.
As a Strata Manager, your role is vast and varied, with responsibilities ranging from organising and maintaining insurance, to ensuring the legislative compliance of your OC’s.
With multiple complex tasks and legislative requirements to keep track of, many Strata Managers use the services of a professional Strata Insurance broker.
An insurance broker can help alleviate the significant workload and legal responsibility associated with managing the Strata Insurance for your clients.
Direct Insurer V Insurance Broker
As the direct Strata Insurance market becomes more established, some Strata Managers are choosing to forego the use of an insurance broker to navigate the complex Strata Insurance and claims processes themselves.
While we acknowledge there has been a huge push with online and television marketing for direct insurers, without the support of a qualified Strata Insurance specialist you could be presented with some significant challenges.
We have developed a simple overview summarising why, as a Strata Manager, both you and your OC clients would benefit from utilising the services of a specialist Strata Insurance broker.
Using a Whitbread Broker
Using a Direct Insurer
As qualified and licensed insurance brokers, we can provide ‘personal advice’ – advice which takes into account the specific circumstances and needs of your clients. This will ensure that the most affordable and suitable policy is obtained.
General Advice only
Direct insurers cannot provide you with ‘personal advice’. Insurance companies can only provide ‘general advice’ on their own products, which do not take your clients’ specific needs and circumstances into consideration.
Dedicated Account Manager
With a dedicated account manager, you can contact the same insurance broker every time you need advice. Through developing a strong rapport, we can better understand not only your needs as a Strata Manager, but the needs of your clients as well.
Lack of servicer continuity
If your direct insurer uses a call centre to handle enquiries, there is no guarantee you will be able to speak to the same adviser when you need help. The ‘general advice’ you receive could potentially differ from person to person as well.
A variety in providers
As standard practice for all states, our brokers will source multiple quotes from a variety of insurers at policy inception and upon renewal, detailing the differences in cover and benefits on offer. A number of the policies we offer are not available to the general public.
Only one product
A direct insurer will only discuss the benefits of the policy they provide, there are no comparisons to their competitor’s products. You will need to source this information yourself by doing extra work to obtain additional policy options. Note: keep in mind there are now legal requirements in NSW regarding how many different insurance quotes need to be provided upon renewal each year.
We handle your claim
Whitbread have an internal specialist team dedicated to Strata claims. Our claims consultants act as your advocate to ensure your clients receive the best possible outcome via mediation, and when required, escalation to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
You handle the claim yourself
In the event of a claim, you will need to deal directly with the insurer. Without proper guidance or a broker’s support and technical skills, the best outcome may not be reached.
Whitbread are experts in Strata Insurance
With over 36 years of experience, Whitbread are specialists in arranging insurance solutions and claims management for Residential and Commercial Strata properties.
Our depth of knowledge and experience gives us a unique insight into Strata risks, enabling us to provide the very best level of advice and service to benefit you and your clients.
Our primary objectives are to;
1. Arrange the right insurance coverage for your clients – as a broker we are qualified to provide professional advice and make insurance recommendations based on your OC clients’ specific circumstances. Personal advice is not accessible through the direct insurance market.
2. Reach the best possible outcome for your clients in a claim - our dedicated claims consultants manage and drive the claims process from start to finish, ensuring all parties involved in the settlement of the claim are collaborating effectively.
3. Keep you informed of regulatory changes – frequent regulatory changes in the Strata Insurance industry may affect your roles and responsibilities as a Strata Manager. Whitbread always aim to keep you informed.
In the interests of business efficiency and risk management, engaging the services of Strata Insurance broker makes sense for your Strata Management firm’s bottom line, as well as your value proposition to OC clients.
The benefits of having a Whitbread Insurance Broker
1. Insurance Advice & Service
Professional Insurance Recommendations
- Upon policy inception and at renewal, Whitbread approach the insurance market on behalf of your client to provide multiple quote options. We also negotiate with insurers to achieve the best premiums and customised coverage suitable your clients’ specific circumstances. Comparatively a direct insurer can only provide quotes for their own insurance product.
- Whitbread brokers provide professional advice and assistance based on years of training and experience. Our strata specialists can explain technical details, compare policies, make recommendations, and bring light to any special risks you need to be aware of.
- Whitbread assign dedicated account managers to your property portfolio enabling you to speak with the same broker every time you call. If preferred, we can also arrange face-to-face meetings to engage with Strata Managers on more personal terms.
- Our brokers undergo continuous training and development to ensure they are up-to-date with new products and emerging risk exposures.
- Whitbread’s Strata brokers will do the heavy lifting when it comes to insurance. Our team can minimise the workload for Strata Managers when it comes to insurance, while also ensuring your OC clients have the best possible insurance protection in place.
2. Claims Management and Consulting
Whitbread have a dedicated strata claims team to manage your clients’ claims from start to finish. This can help to reduce the overheads for your Strata Management business, removing the need for you to employ your own claims manager(s).
On your behalf we:
- Use our expertise to negotiate with insurers, assessors and repairers to ensure they are efficient in reaching a fair and accurate outcome.
- Advocate for you – as advisers, we are not influenced by external demands. Our goal is to reach the best outcome for your clients.
- Provide updates and information keeping you informed on the progress of the claim.
- Utilise in-depth technical policy knowledge when negotiating with insurers to achieve the best possible claims settlement.
- If a claim is denied by an insurer, we can debate the outcome via the insurer’s internal disputes resolution team.
3. We keep you informed
Empowering our clients to grow professionally through knowledge sharing is key to Whitbread’s ethos.
We regularly publish insight articles on all things Strata Insurance to help keep you informed and on the front foot when speaking with your clients. Topics range from legislative changes to advice on claims and complex Strata Insurance issues. See some of the popular articles we’ve published:
- Lia's Guide to All Things Strata Insurance
- Do You Live in a Strata Property? 3 Insurance covers that make common sense
- Office Bearers Liability – An option or a must have?
- Top tips to help ARs stay compliant!
- Strata Law Reform in NSW: Insurance
- Strata Insurance doesn’t cover items in your storage cage.
4. Not just Strata Insurance
Whitbread also specialise in formulating a wide variety of insurance solutions to protect the business risk exposures inherent to Strata Management firms.
Utilising our expertise and knowledge, we help Strata Management clients make informed decisions when it comes to insuring their business risks.
Click here to view more information on the Business Insurance services Whitbread offer Strata Management firms.
For more information on Strata Insurance and the benefit of using a Whitbread Strata Insurance broker for your clients, please contact our office. T: 1300 424 627 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
This insight article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal advice. Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd ABN 69 005 490 228 Licence Number: 229092 trading as Whitbread Insurance Brokers for further information or refer to our website.