Insurance. It’s just another expense we all seem to have to pay, another tax on the cost of running a business and certainly on most motor traders could well do without! Unfortunately though, for people in the motor trade, traders insurance is pretty much essential to cover your business from risks and give you piece of mind.
The choices can sometimes seem overwhelming, there are hundreds of insurers and brokers who can provide cover and with so many companies vying for your business it’s sometimes difficult to know where to look so hopefully this guide will give you some useful insider advice and ‘tricks of the trade’ that the general public may not be aware of. Hopefully these simple steps will help you get the best cover that is perfect for your business at a price that is easy on your pocket.
Our first tip to getting the cheapest quotes is really straightforward when you are ringing around brokers and insurers for a motor trade quote. The first question you are usually asked is generally ‘what are you currently paying?’ or ‘whats the best quote you’ve had?’. Many folks don’t tell the insurer their best price as they think they are at an advantage if they hold their cards close to their chest where in fact the opposite is true.
If you tell an insurer your current premium they will know straight away whether the premium is too high, too low or just about right. Armed with this information they will be able to give you an answer straight away if they think they can beat that price. If they know they can’t beat it they’ll tell you straight away and save you time and hassle.
Another reason to tell them your best price so far is because most insurers wont give you a decent price unless they have something to beat. Let me say that again, if you don’t give the insurer a price to beat, the chances are you wont get the best offer from them. They will always load the price in their favour as much as possible. But if you do tell them, if it doesn’t save you money (ie they can’t beat it), it’ll at least save you time.
You may be tempted to give them a fictional ‘best offer’ a fair whack under what you’ve been quoted previously but from experience, this generally doesn’t work. The phone advisors are pretty clued up and will know you’re trying it on and try and get rid of you as quick as possible – why would they waste time with a skinflint like you when they have other customers on the line waiting to help them, achieve ther end of month bonus?
Seriously though, knock a few quid off your best price by all means, but don’t push it too far – they’ll see straight through it!
This tip seems like common sense many customers fail to make sure it happens because they are so focused on getting the cheapest price. The tip is this: make sure you use an experienced company who has an understanding of your traders requirements.
If they seem interested and ask plenty of questions about your company its generally because the more information they have about your business, the better service and cheaper price they can give you.
If it feels like you are talking to a robot reading from a script and they either dont understand what youre looking for or dont ask the type of questions you expect theres a good chance its because they dont have a real understanding of your business this could lead to you not getting adequate cover for your needs or paying over the odds for extras you just don’t need.
Most people shopping for insurance spend hours ringing around and spend the whole time repeating the same answers to the same old questions. You need to be asking the questions to make sure you are getting the best cover, the best customer service and the best price possible. Examples of question you should be asking are:
-If I need to make a claim on the policy what will you do to assist and make sure the claim is settled as quickly as possible?
-If I have to claim, Will you simply give me a claims line phone number and leave me to it or can I be sure I’ll have a personal claims advisor on my side, working to go get the situation resolved with the lease hassle and interruption to my business?
-What experience do you have in the motor trade sector? How long have you been in this business? Which insurers are on your panel? Can I speak to any of your existing clients to get a reference?
-If they are an insurance broker ask if they are independent and not just tied to a small group of insurers.
By getting answers to these important questions you’ll be better informed to see what they are like to deal with and wheteer you can trust them with helping protect your business.
This last tip is probably the most important – Cheapest is not always best! The old adage ‘you only get what you pay for’ rings particularly true when it comes to business insurance of any type and the motor trade is no exception.
We know times are tight and getting a low price is one of the most important things to look for but a really, really rock bottom cheap motor trade policy could well be cheap for a reason – it just may not offer the protection you’d expect for your business.
As well as a cheap price, other factors you may want to take into account are:
-What’s the excess on the policy going to be? You can get a really cheap motor trade insurance quote by having a really high excess on the policy, just make sure you can afford to pay this excess if you need to make a claim.
-Is the insurer a local company? It’s fine to do business with a national insurer but some folk want the reassurance of being able to speak to an advisor face to face.
-Do they seem competent, trustworthy and have a good reputation?
-Whats the name of the insurer underwriting the policy? have they got a good reputation?
You won’t go far wrong by paying attention to these simple tips when you’re next shopping for trade insurance for your business and with any luck you’ll save time and money and get the best possible protection that your business deserves.