*Sponsored: This post was written in collaboration with Incompass Insurance
When I was just 19 I moved away from the safety of my family and came to live in Cape Town on my own. I moved out of my parents homes and into a flat on my own. On my own!! I had never lived alone, I barely knew how to boil an egg.
Here I was, all alone in a completely new country and I was suddenly forced to start thinking like an adult and that included cooking and cleaning and actually getting myself out of bed in the morning.
Now this may sound easy enough but when you’ve grown up in a really sheltered life and basically you’ve had no responsibilities, this can be a daunting task. To start off with, I was really shy and I still hate talking on the phone. I always felt like I was going to say or do the wrong thing and people would think I’m ridiculous.
So when I had to do the big stuff – of course I was completely overwhelmed. Then a friend put me in touch with his insurance company and I met Mark. Mark was my was my hero. I’m not even joking. He was an insurance broker that just completely understood what it meant to have no freaking clue. He held my hand through the whole process.
My first insurance broker literally changed my life
He explained all the forms to me that sounded SO complicated and that I couldn’t really understand on my own. He went through the details with me, he helped me find the best coverage he even told me where to find my cars VIN number because I really didn’t know anything.
It’s funny looking back on it now but joining the adult world can be really overwhelming. My dad died when I was 23 and I was handed even more responsibility but I can honestly say that having an insurance broker that I could trust really helped me.
Of course if you are 19 and you’re not used to dealing with insurance type things it’s a lot harder than if you’re a fully competent adult, which I am now and I still rely on having the right broker.
After a few years of bliss, with the absolute best insurance broker ever, I got an email to say he was moving on and wishing me farewell. A few months later, the company was sold to a larger corporation and my account was sadly shifted to them.
Small fish in a big pond
Instead of Jonelle, I became “Mrs du Pont” and I was treated in the most formal and impersonal manner. I didn’t know my broker, I was just put through to a call centre and worst of all, the company didn’t even introduce themselves to me. I met them when I called to enquire about the payment which had suddenly gone off my account. They treated me like I was just a fish in the sea.
I honestly felt so disappointed in my experience that I immediately set out to hunt for a new insurance brokerage. There was NO way I was going to get the right kind of service when my car has broken down at 3 in the morning from a company who didn’t know who I was. I have no regrets.
I think it’s so important to trust the people who take care of you and your assets.
You need to know what you can and can’t expect of them. Cindy from Incompass Insurance has answered all the questions I thought were relevant to help you understand what you can and can’t expect from your broker and why you need one. Because who wants to handle all that insurance stuff alone anyway?
What to expect and what you can’t expect of your insurance broker
What type of insurance cover do you provide?
We work specifically in the short term insurance field which means that we focus on car, house, business and short term letting (AirBnB, guest house) insurance options. As we are an independent insurance brokerage we are able to do the shopping around for you, ensuring that you have the most competitive cover at the most affordable premium. We work with a range of insurance companies that you can only access through a brokerage, and they offer a variety of comprehensive insurance options for all needs. We also work closely with a long term and medical insurance brokerage, so together we can provide you with full cover all in one place if that’s what you are looking for.
Does that/ do you provide cover in all circumstances or are there some cases where exclusions apply?
We work with a wide variety of the best insurance companies that South Africa has to offer as their cover is comprehensive. However, in all types of insurance there are exclusions that apply. So for example if you are driving without a valid South African drivers license or under the influence of alcohol, your claim wouldn’t be covered. Often people think that insurance is there to just replace anything that happens to their possessions but that’s not really the case. It’s there to put you back into the same position you were in before you suffered a specific loss or accident. This means things like wear and tear on furnishings or mechanical breakdown of vehicles is not covered. That said, if you are insured correctly and with the right company, there are less exclusions.
Why do I need insurance anyway?
Good question. If your house burned down and you could easily rebuild the entire house without batting an eyelid, then I’d say that maybe insurance isn’t something you would necessarily need. However most of us are not in the financial position to rebuild our houses if they burn down or even repair our vehicles if we were in a car accident. And let’s not even get started on paying for damage that you may cause to other members of the public that will hold you liable. Essentially insurance is protecting you from the worst case scenario, helping you to recover from a loss. Another aspect in our South African context is that not everyone has insurance in place and you won’t be able to get anything out of them should they be the one to cause your loss.
What is the benefit of having a broker over dealing with the insurance company directly?
Aside from doing the leg work of comparing the cover for our clients, we help them along the way while they are insured. It really starts at the beginning. We ensure that right from the outset you are aware of what the cover entails, whether it will be enough for your specific needs and that you understand what you are getting yourself covered for. Then we ensure that should you claim, your claim will be dealt with by a real person that knows what’s happening. We push to get all valid claims paid out by our insurers. Unfortunately in the direct market you are often left guessing as to whether market value or retail is right for your vehicle, whether your contents insurance is enough and what the average clause is if it isn’t. And claims often get repudiated and if you don’t know enough about insurance, you may not know that you should have been covered.
What do your services include?
Our business revolves around service and being there when you need to claim. We are essentially your one stop shop with a personal touch – the person that helped you to obtain cover is the one that you call if you have a claim. They will walk you through making changes to your policy or renewing it every year. We also source the most competitive cover with the most affordable premiums and check this annually at renewal.
What do you NOT do that clients often expect of you?
That’s a tricky one. I can’t think of anything off hand. Oh, maybe give values of what people should or shouldn’t be insured for. Of course we give guidelines and helpful tips along the way, but as we are not actually valuators, we cannot say that insuring your building for X value would be exactly right. We are not experts in this so that’s an obvious problem, but it’s also a bit of a conflict of interest. I could easily tell you that you need to insure for double the value so that we can get double the premium, but we don’t work like that.
What kind of relationship can I expect to have with my broker?
A personal one. When you join Incompass you are assigned a person that will assist you with everything that you need. From advice to renewals to claims. We are there for you.
Can I call you if my claim doesn’t go through?
Yes of course!
How do you make money off the services you provide to me?
Unlike a lot of brokerages out there we do not charge an additional administration fee as we feel that this is unnecessary. We solely rely on the commission that we receive through the insurance companies. It’s a standardised amount set by the South African government and not something that we change on a client by client basis. It’s often thought that if you go direct you save on the commission but if you think about how much marketing and money back the direct insurers do, you’ll see it just goes into a different part of their business.
Although they specialise in home, car, commercial, Guest House and AirBnB Insurance, their focus has always been and remains on 3 key areas:
- The correct advice from experienced and qualified consultants
- First class service
- Being there when it counts – you need to claim
When you join Incompass you are assigned a person that will assist you with everything that you need. From advice to renewals to claims. We are there for you. - Cindy Click To Tweet
Will we give you money back when we can’t beat your premium? No. But will we make sure that your valid claim is paid? Absolutely! Contact Incompass today and see just what a difference we can make to your premium!
So can you get insurance on your own? Yes, of course you can. Does having someone who is personally responsible for getting you the best possible rate and take care of all your needs, mean you you get to spend more time doing the things you love? ABSOLUTELY!!
This post was sponsored by Incompass Insurance but all views are completely my own