General Insurance: How mortgage advisers can make themselves an indispensable asset
Simon Hird is head of broker and intermediary at Legal & General
For many homeowners across the UK, the expression that “a man’s home is his castle” continues to resonate.
With a challenging housing market and difficult economic conditions, including stagnant wages and job insecurity, purchasing a house is no mean feat.
Which is why it is all the more surprising that some consumers still haven’t learnt the value of protecting their home with the right insurance.
The perception in the general insurance industry is that consumers are disengaged with the buying process or often misunderstand the product features offered by general insurance products. And for those who are proactively seeking cover, an overwhelming number look to do so on comparison sites.
This is where mortgage advisers can play an integral role in raising awareness and adding value to the customer journey in terms of knowledge, advice and recommendations of the different options available.
How can an adviser help?
Customers often underestimate the value and peace of mind that insurance can bring. However, advisers are in a unique position to combat this and ensure clients are properly protected in case of any eventualities when it comes to their home.
Despite a lengthy and sometimes expensive mortgage process, too often customers ignore the importance of protecting what is likely to be their single biggest asset.
As such, advisers need to ensure clients are aware of the risks involved if protection is not sought. Many homeowners have probably not considered how their property could be damaged by events such as a flood or fire, or more likely think it will never happen to them.
This attitude can put their property at risk, however, so it’s crucial for brokers to raise awareness of the importance of insurance and how it can help mitigate this threat.
Advisers also have the knowledge to provide comprehensive advice on the best insurance solutions for their clients based on their individual needs – and often far more effectively than the favoured comparison websites.
By using aggregator sites, customers could find themselves paying a higher bill than expected in the event of claim if the right cover is not in place.
By comparison, advisers can use their expertise to make sure clients are fully supported in understanding all aspects of the insurance they are purchasing and that they are not caught out at a later stage.
For advisers, selling general insurance not only represents an opportunity for an extra revenue stream, but also for developing a rapport and building loyalty with their clients.
Through the mortgage process, brokers have already done much of the work in identifying customer needs and building a relationship with their clients.
This places brokers in a fantastic position to cross-sell relevant products, and also to look into whether clients require a higher level of cover.
One small step for advisers, one giant leap for homeowners
Mortgage advisers offer guidance on the most suitable mortgage for a buyer every step of the way, but the advice they offer should not stop there.
Raising awareness of the importance of insurance is vital and spending just a few extra minutes discussing general insurance with a client could help them save hundreds of pounds in the long-run, if they do ever unfortunately need to make a claim.
Going that bit further will not only maximise income potential for brokers from an already established relationship, but will also ensure that customers do not purchase insurance from a competitor or buy cover that isn’t entirely suitable for their needs.
However, most importantly, by providing advice on how to protect their property, advisers can make sure their customers know they can answer all of their home insurance needs now and in the future.