How to Get Lower Quotes on Commercial Business Insurance

By: Don Bury
You can save a lot of money on business insurance if you insist on brokers forwarding quotations in advance of sales interviews. I've been helping buyers negotiate with insurance brokers for years, and I can report this one action is very powerful for negotiating lower rates.

These interview can waste a lot of time. Try my suggestion below, and see how much better use of your efforts results. When you follow these procedures, the need for traditional sales interview is largely negated. The earlier you take control of your renewal cycle, the easier your job is. When renewals are properly managed, such meetings become more celebrations of a job already well done over the phone, email, and fax machine, rather than a high-pressure last-minute negotiation session.

When a broker calls to announce a quotation is ready for delivery and asks to schedule a meeting, consider the following response in lieu of what you might normally say:

"Great. Thank you. Please (email/fax/mail) me the proposal so I have time to absorb it in preparation for your visit."

If you make that your standard response, brokers will come to expect you want information transmitted in advance. Getting quotes in advance protects you from being unduly manipulated by sales tactics. It does so because it helps to separate the commodity of insurance policies (the quotes, and their associated quality and pricing factors) from the professional relationship you have with your broker (the meeting, your broker relationship, the servicing of your account, etc.).

Insisting on getting proposals sent to you in advance, and even asking the broker to include an agenda for the meeting, will do you a great deal of good. You will have time to understand your options and prepare your questions. The meetings will be more professional and productive. Sometimes a quote is very disappointing. If you get it in advance, you can cancel the meeting and save yourself a lot of time and aggravation.

Eventually, professional insurance advice may be given, and purchased, separately from the financial commodity that we call business insurance. I think that paying for advice via commissions is a dangerously flawed structure, and also represents one of the worst conflicts of interest in existence in the world of business today.

There is plenty more to discuss on that topic...
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