2015 Broker of the Year awards

2015 Broker of the Year awards

Insurance & Risk Professional: What is your greatest strength as a broker?

Brian Salisbury: Perhaps the single most important strength is an ability to find solutions. You have to know where to find answers the client gets the best results. I would also like to think I have a sense of empathy for clients and others with whom I work.

IRP: What part of the job delivers you the most pride?

BS: I am particularly proud of strong and long-lasting relationships. We have clients who have been with us for 40-plus years and staff who have grown with us over 25-plus years. This only happens when you do a great job at all levels. It’s a trust thing. Business success, the growth and welfare of staff and business associates are also sources for satisfaction.

IRP: When have you most felt a vital partner for a business?

BS: We have acted for various businesses, associations, affinity groups and bodies that sought specialist help to create tailored insurance programmes. These programmes have grown successfully and proved their value over many years. Each of the programmes required the advice and experience of a broker who acted in the best interest of the entity and its management, members or shareholders. In our profession there are many examples of this real and vital broker-added service.

IRP: What advice would you have for the rest of the industry?

BS: Accept change – it’s inevitable, particularly in our business as it relies on ever improving communication and technology. In recognising that change, understand that opportunities will accompany it. Surround yourself and associate with the right people who can help take advantage of those opportunities. In the meantime act with integrity in everything you do.

2015 Broker of the Year awards

2015 Broker of the Year awards

Insurance & Risk Professional: What is your greatest strength as a broker?

Anna Sayers: Relationships. I take a customer-centric approach to all my business dealings. The customer always comes first in my approach to insurance. Our clients know their business inside-out. Being an effective insurance broker requires you to relate to them and work with them.

IRP: What part of the job delivers you the most pride?

AS: Being able to deliver for the client. Whether that’s finding a policy solution that works, educating a client about the risks they face and need to consider, through to saving them some money along the way. Most importantly, the best satisfaction comes from being able to provide a positive outcome should it come time to claim.

IRP: When have you most felt a vital partner for a business?

AS: The best example I can think of is when a client referred a friend to us for assistance as they were having difficulties with a direct insurer over a claim. The insurer claimed the client was under-insured for their commercial property that had been totally destroyed by fire. We contacted two independent valuers through our own insurance contacts and we able to prove they were not under-insured and give them the settlement. They have now been a loyal client of AMS for over 4 years now.

IRP: What advice would you have for the rest of the industry?

AS: Service before sales! We are professionals that provide a service and we shouldn’t lose sight of that. As the direct market and comparison market sites start to increase, service is what will continue to make us stand out. Our business is the customer so they have to come first – its costs a business a lot more money to gain new customers than it is to retain them. We can be experts in our field and have considerable negotiating power with underwriters, but if that is not used for the client’s best interests, it’s pointless.

2015 Broker of the Year awards

2015 Broker of the Year awards

Insurance & Risk Professional: What is your greatest strength as a broker?

Clive Higgins: Having both an enquiring mind and the ability to listen to clients. Clients love talking about their businesses. A few simple questions and all you have to do is sit back and listen while taking plenty of notes. Then armed with what you have learnt you can spend the time putting together a well-structured insurance program.

IRP: What part of the job delivers you the most pride?

CH: The ability to pass on your knowledge to others, whether they are clients or the next generation of insurance professionals. I have enjoyed participating in the mentoring programs of both NIBA and ANZIIF as well as conducting internal training sessions for clients and in the past lecturing in insurance subjects at TAFE. Learning is a life-long process and your personal knowledge should always continue to grow.

IRP: When have you most felt a vital partner for a business?

CH: The property and BI claims that followed the gas crisis in WA several years ago. One of our clients suffered a significant loss but over the following months we demonstrated not only our advocacy skills for the client but also the fact that insurance is truly a tripartite relationship between client/broker/insurer. Over numerous meetings, we not only worked through the loss with the client, but also the restructuring of their operations to minimise their loss and ultimately negotiated a settlement that all parties were comfortable with that also produced a side effect of reducing some of the interdependency risks that the client had.

IRP: What advice would you have for the rest of the industry?

CH: To be regarded as a profession we must learn and constantly show others core values of respect, integrity and trust in all of our actions. When these values are combined with our desire to develop our technical abilities fully through both constant learning and an enquiring mind about our clients and their risk exposures we will always be able to demonstrate our value to our clients.

2015 Broker of the Year awards

2015 Broker of the Year awards

Insurance & Risk Professional: What is your greatest strength as a broker?

Andrew Benda: The importance I put on my client relationships. Doing this, I gain a comprehensive understanding of their business and exposures, enabling me to portray their risk to the insurers in a way that accurately reflects the exposures.

IRP: What part of the job delivers you the most pride?

AB: Supporting my clients in their time of need and exceeding their expectations in the result gives me the most satisfaction. It is very rewarding when clients call and say after a claim they are so grateful that I was there for them.  With the unique niche business we handle, being able to arrange cover for clients who have not been able to and have them acknowledge that without me, they wouldn’t be or the event wouldn’t be happening is also a proud time for me.

IRP: When have you most felt a vital partner for a business?

AB: A client has over 55 farm vehicles and every year we review the list. This year I changed insurer and a few months later the client called to advise one of their harvesters had hit a stump and sustained a lot of damage. Unfortunately, the client had not advised us of the harvester and they had had it for two years. I advised the client there is an issue, but I had put a case to the new insurer and they agreed to cover the item once the premium had been paid for it. They were able to have the harvester back in time for harvest.

IRP: What advice would you have for the rest of the industry?

AB: Exceeding your clients expectations is achievable when you fully understand their business and exposures. Building a strong relationship with your clients is imperative to gaining the trust and insights to comprehensively understand their needs. Be prepared and do research when meeting with clients to assist yourself and show that we are professional and interested in their business.