Meet a Broker: Taidhg Flanagan | Director, City to Coast Insurance Brokers

Meet a Broker: Taidhg Flanagan | Director, City to Coast Insurance Brokers

April 04, 2022 Views: 768
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Taidhg Flanagan is a Brisbane-based insurance broker and Director of City to Coast Insurance Brokers. Advisr chatted with Taidhg about his experience as a broker, his drive to help businesses succeed and his plans for the future.

 

Tell me a little about yourself

I joined the insurance industry in 2013, working for one of the now very well-known brokerages in SEQ. It was during this period that I obtained a diploma in both insurance broking as well as finance & mortgage broking management and developed my understanding of the insurance industry. Working closely with the Directors and Senior Account Managers allowed me to develop my skills as a broker but also learn how to run a broking business and build/manage a book of SME clients. 

 

How can business owners benefit from working with an insurance broker?

The typical answer involves educating your clients on their coverage, arranging comprehensive cover, and managing their insurance claims – and of course, these are essential.

However, the simple answer is efficiency and effectiveness.

Business owners are busy and juggle a myriad of matters daily. In much the same way you have an accountant lodge your taxes, or a real estate agent sell your property, it makes sense to have an experienced professional arrange and manage your insurances. 

 

Who makes an ideal insurance client and why?

An ideal client knows the value a great broker can be to their team and understands that without the appropriate protection for their assets, there could potentially no longer be assets to protect. They understand that we work for them, not a specific insurer/underwriter and trust us to arrange the most effective portfolio specific to their requirements.

 

What do you love about being an insurance broker?

It is rewarding to learn how a business in a certain industry operates, and then using your knowledge and experience to tailor portfolios and educate clients on things which may not have previously been brought to their attention.

The knowledge that you develop from dealing with a variety of clients from different industries is not only beneficial to being a great broker but also in how you run your own brokerage as well. There is a lot you can learn from people who have started and grown a successful business.

 

How do you go above and beyond as an insurance broker?

Great service and communication are our priority, and our business is focused on identifying what each individual client considers most important and servicing them accordingly. 

Curiosity, reliability, and consistency are key for us when it comes to servicing our clients.

We are also just unrelentingly dedicated to delivering the most effective result for our clients as efficiently as possible.

 

What has been your experience of marketing your services online?

Given the age we live in, it is essential for businesses – particularly service-based businesses – to have an online presence. Potential clients want to know you are legitimate and often perform some research prior to contacting you. I know I most certainly do some online “stalking” with any of the businesses I engage with, so this is where a quality website and google reviews can be beneficial.

Instagram and Facebook ads aren’t going to be very effective for our type of clientele, however, a presence on LinkedIn where we can engage with decision-makers and referral partners has proven to be valuable so far and we will continue to build our online presence as we grow.

 

Do you have a particular area of expertise?

While we are a general broker, our business is evenly spread between SME and commercial property within the metropolitan and regional areas of QLD, NSW & VIC.

Most of our SME clients are businesses within the manufacturing and wholesaling industries with turnovers between $4.0M-$20.0M, while the commercial property consists of industrial and retail anywhere from $2.0M to $25.0M.

 

Why did you choose it?

We recognised that while most businesses within the retail, trades and hospitality sectors were receiving great service, there was a gap in the service being given to the larger manufacturing businesses. 

Several of my initial SME clients are also heavily invested in commercial property and from here we have been able to build a network of professionals who work in the commercial property space who regularly refer us business.

Our goal is to become the brokerage investors think of when they need to insure their commercial property assets.

 

Which skills are most important for an insurance broker to succeed in today's market?

We are a service-based business, not a sales-based business. An increase in sales is simply a by-product of providing a valuable service.

It is important that as a broker, we have the knowledge to educate and advise our clients on the exposures that their business and industry are exposed to and the expertise on how to mitigate that risk through the appropriate coverage options available in the market.

An understanding of current affairs on a macro level and what is driving the current trends effecting insurer risk appetite, premiums and industry changes is imperative to be able to “connect the dots” and advise your clients appropriately. It is one thing to know that an insurer in the local market has tightened rates, yet another to understand why this is the case.

 

What areas of insurance should people be aware of over the next 12 months?

Underinsurance – Far too many insurance portfolios come across my desk that are significantly underinsured (particularly in the commercial property space). We recently looked at a property which was valued at a replacement of $3.8M but had only been insured for $655k. 

Whether this is because the limits have not been reviewed by the current broker or were originally put in place to appease a third party (finance broker, bank etc.) it is imperative that this is as accurate as possible to ensure the client is not subjected to underinsurance in the event of a major claim. This is especially important now, due to the recent surge of property prices and materials during COVID.

Trade credit – You only need to read your local newspaper to see how many businesses have gone into administration due to being impacted by increased operating costs and a shortage of materials and supplies. It is important to discuss with your clients whether they may be a creditor who ends up exposed if their customers find themselves in trouble (particularly for manufacturing risks).

 

What's next for you and your business?

Growing the City to Coast brand and our network of referral partners, as well as improving our own systems to ensure that we are servicing our clients as effectively and efficiently as possible.

We are also focused on building our existing relationships with underwriters both here and abroad so we can better service our clients with the complex risks we frequently deal with.

 

You can reach me here: Taidhg Flanagan, City to Coast Insurance Brokers on Advisr

General Advice Warning: This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and your personal circumstances. Before you make any decision about whether to acquire a certain product, you should obtain and read the relevant product disclosure statement.

Annemarie Jamieson | ADVISR

Advisr does not provide advice and does not hold a financial service license (AFSL). All information above has been provided by Annemarie Jamieson | ADVISR.

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