Byron McPherson, CPRS Insurance
Byron McPherson is a successful Melbourne-based Insurance Broker with CPRS Insurance. Advisr spoke to Byron for five minutes about his experience being a Professional Indemnity insurance specialist and his insights into being a customer-focussed insurance broker who goes that extra mile.
What do you love about being an insurance broker?
I really love working with my clients and prospects to come up with practical insurance solutions to address their concerns, that help them to run their businesses effectively without having to worry about risks.
What insurance lines are your core areas of expertise? Core areas you service?
I specialise in Professional Indemnity insurance products for anyone who gives independent advice for a fee. Currently, a number of professions are struggling to find cost effective Professional Indemnity insurance. Over many years I have built up strong insurer relationships around the world, these relationships enable me to provide various solutions many other brokers are unable to. I also offer a range of general insurance product options to ensure the clients are fully covered.
What is the most unusual request you’ve had?
Only the other day I had a prospect approach me for Professional Indemnity insurance for a digital diagnostics consultant! I did have to look up what this entailed, as I did think I had heard of just about every profession, but this was new….
Who knew there’s so much we can learn from machines! For those who want to know, simply put, digital diagnostics is the technology that will make it possible to deliver a remote diagnosis, particular in the medical sector.
What makes an ideal client and why?
Right now, I’m seeing two types of client in particular asking for my help. Firstly, people who are jumping out of paid employment and contracting back to large corporations. These contractors, no matter what field, often need to have Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance in place as part of the contract. Secondly, professional services organisations that have just found out their insurance renewal terms have changed dramatically.
When have you gone above and beyond for a client?
One of my client’s was applying for a specific AFSL (Australian Financial Services License) and needed quite a number of wording customisations to cover the unusual financial services they were offering. This involved numerous meetings and emails with their compliance lawyers to get the cover exactly right first time for the application with ASIC. If their initial application had been rejected, it would have likely led to a 6 month delay in being able to kick their business off.
Why should someone consider using an Insurance Broker?
These insurances are complex products and clients have complex evolving needs which are best managed by a professional insurance broker. It really is the best way to get the best possible result.
What areas of insurance should people be aware of over the next 12 mths?
The insurance cycle is most certainly changing and insurers are looking to pass on the increased costs of claims in virtually all insurance classes, especially Professional Indemnity. A professional and competent insurance broker will work closely with you to mitigate these increases, by presenting your risk profile in the most positive light to the insurance market.
If you have any questions about Professional Indemnity insurance then feel free to reach out to Byron McPherson.
What is the difference between an insurance broker and an insurance agent?
What are Insurance Brokers
What are Insurance Agents
Commissions paid on policies sold
Fee-for-service for advice given
A mix of Commissions and fee-for-service
Without protection, you may be putting your personal assets at risk.
- If you are offering advice within your profession and a loss is suffered by the third party, you may be held liable
- Often the value in a Professional Indemnity policy is the defence costs
- Insurance companies are able to quickly appoint specialist legal representation with knowledge of your field of expertise.
- Without insurance protection you may be putting your personal assets at risk
- Speak to your broker about the benefits of Professional Indemnity Insurance
Professional indemnity insurance originated from a professional persons duty of care at common law. You may ask, why would I need Professional Indemnity? Justice Kirby pointed out that it is important to ask yourself “Is the advice based on a skilful answer?” In the context of the business as a whole, what is being provided? Where you are offering advice and services within a particular profession and the third party suffers a loss arising out of that advice, you can be held liable for that loss. These causes of action against you would not be covered by a more general liability insurance policy.
Often the value in a professional indemnity policy is the legal defence costs. If the third party alleges your advice was negligence and/ or it caused them a loss, the insurance policy will pay for your legal costs to defend that action, regardless of whether the action is eventually baseless. In addition, the policy will pay for damages awarded against you, which is in effect an amount awarded to the third party to rectify or compensate for the error caused by your business.
Without such insurance protection professional persons put at risk their personal assets, the house and any other assets that you might own. It is often a misconception that the professional can set up a legal entity as a form of protection against this risk. By simply closing down that entity or ensuring it has no assets, this does not prevent the third party from suing you personally for errors caused.
On this basis Professional Indemnity Insurance is essential for asset protection. On numerous occasions a Professional Indemnity policy has saved the professional person from personal bankruptcy and the closure of their business. Whilst you may only charge a fee for services of say $50,000, your advice may result in an error that causes a financial loss of say $2,000,000. A client seeking compensation of this size would have substantial impact on your business’s future, without any reserves or a suitable Professional Indemnity in place. Specialist legal representation is a relief to policy holders in the event of a claim against them as Insurance Companies have a panel of solicitors well versed in Insurance Law and the policy holder’s occupation waiting to defend the Insured party. Finding suitable legal advice independently and within your field of expertise can be both difficult and costly at short notice.
It is professionally prudent to carry Professional Indemnity insurance. To operate without coverage is arguably exposing your clients to unnecessary risk and may deter a client from employing your services. It is not only protection for yourself; it is also protection and a form of risk management for your clients. If you make a professional error, there is an insurance policy to put your client back into a pre loss position, in effect restitution.
It is common for Professional Indemnity policies to cover the principals and the employees of the company. This usually means the policies specifically exclude any cover for sub consultants in their own right. If you are the employer using sub consultants ensure they have their own cover. If you are acting as the sub consultant, check and find out if you are in fact excluded by the employers Professional Indemnity policy. If so you are legally exposed. Your concern is not whether the employer engaging you will sue, the exposure is that their Insurer is certain to sue you if they feel that in any way you contributed to the alleged loss through a subrogation action.
A caution to you, signing contracts can have the potential to impact upon your insurance cover! A common issue we find faced by Contractors is that they are often expect to sign a contract before they are engaged and the contract can be a minefield of onerous terms and conditions placed on them. An important issue to consider is that most Professional Indemnity Insurance policies have an Assumed Liability exclusion. What this means is that if you enter into a contract and hold a third party harmless (i.e. carry their loss or agree to not be able to pursue them for contributory negligence) then you may have just prejudiced your Insurer as they will not be able to take action against this party. This clause allows the Insurer to reduce the cover under your policy by the amount they have been prejudiced by you signing up to these contractual warranties, guarantees or indemnities.
Austbrokers Countrywide can assist clients who have Insurance polices through our office by reviewing their contracts to determine if there are any Insurance and indemnity clauses which may impinge upon or threaten the level of cover under their Professional insurance. Seek professional advice when reviewing contractual exposures. Always aim for contracts to be proportionate in nature, that is, each party will be liable for their own losses and their own negligence.
Professional Indemnity is essential for a business providing advice and professional services. The points outlined above make it clear that it a necessary annual purchase to protect both yourself and clients.
Cyber Insurance is a specific type of insurance that provides insurance against the loss caused by malicious cyber activity, commonly called cybercrime. Depending on the breadth of your cyber insurance, some cyber risks maybe covered by your cyber insurance policy, whilst other cyber risks maybe excluded.
Whilst cyber insurance won’t directly protect you against the cybercrime, it can provide an offset against the material business impact that cybercrime may have on your business.
What is Cyber Insurance?
Cyber Insurance offers an offset (insurance) against the financial, business and operational risks that businesses face from cybercrime activities.
A cyber insurance policy is sometimes referred to as cyber risk insurance or cyber liability insurance coverage.
In Australia, about 30% of businesses have experienced a cybercrime incident. Within the US, about one-third of businesses currently purchase Cyber Insurance coverage.
So what is cybercrime?
Cybercrime can take many forms and impact businesses differently. The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) notes that some common types of cybercrime include:
- Online scams and fraud
- Identity theft
- Attacks on computer systems
- Illegal or prohibited online content
Cybercrimes are on the rise in Australia, with over six million Australians being victims of cybercrime in 2017, an increase of 13% from 2016.
Cyber insurance policies can offer protection against many different cyber risks where a business may be exposed. So ensuring that you understand what your specific individual risks might be and how you can reduce your direct exposure to them is critical.
Do standard business packs cover you for cyber insurance?
Some business packs might provide some coverage for cyber insurance, however, Cyber Insurance Brokers that are specialists in cyber insurance should be consulted to gain specific insight and advice that is tailored to you and your business needs. Many insurance brokers will offer to review your current business insurance policies and explore your possible cyber risks to help you understand if your insurance coverage is adequate.
Connect today with an insurance broker who specialises in Cyber Insurance.
Advisr has won the Insurance Business Insurtech Pitch for 2018. Held recently at the Insurtech Summit 2018 in Sydney.
On the day, Advisr was selected as the best pitch winning a $20k marketing package with Insurance Business.
WHAT IS AN INSURTECH?
Insurtech is the combination of Insurance with technology and covers businesses that span this ecosystem. Advisr is an insurtech as we seek to use technology to make it easier for people to find insurance brokers they can trust.
WHAT WAS OUR PITCH?
We had 3 minutes to pitch.
3 minutes is both a long time to say something simple and a short time to say something complex. So for us, delivering a simple and coherent pitch message was critical.
Here is a summary of our pitch and the structure we followed.
Identify a problem that the audience can agree with.
We know that insurance brokers have a trust problem. Currently, nine out of ten people don’t think that an insurance broker is highly ethical or trustworthy. Lack of trust is a problem for every insurance broker as people only do business with people they trust.
We supported our problem with some easily digestible data to bolster the message (note: this was the most complex slide we showed as being simple people we love a simple message)
Provide a solution that makes logical sense.
The Advisr platform makes it easy to find and connect with an Insurance Broker you can trust.
Advisr highlights both the broker and the insurance brokerage because customers care about the name on the door and the person they work with. In addition, Advisr captures ratings and reviews, enables world-class insurance content to be published by experts and for customers to ask questions and get answers.
All features of Advisr that educate the market, initiate relationships and build trust.
Show traction; others in the market are using Advisr already.
Insurance businesses are growing on Advisr.
The map of Australia shows where new business had been generated for insurance brokers via Advisr. Customer usage and engagement shows that Advisr is working and our ecosystem is building momentum.
The map shows our national footprint quickly and that Advisr is for all insurance brokers Australia wide.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE WON?
As a startup, getting the product and market validation is a critical step. Since winning, we’ve noticed an acceleration in the takeup of Advisr from insurance brokers and an eagerness to engage, claim profiles, generate reviews and add content. All activities that enhance the value of Advisr to consumers and increase their engagement.
We’re motivated to be working on a problem that needs to be solved and to have a solution that is delivering growth to the market.
Whilst business is not about 3 min pitches, business is about connecting quickly with an audience about a problem they have and delivering a solution, that exceeds their expectations, to resolve their problem.
So getting a clear, tight message is for pitching and for communicating with customers who live in a busy fast paced world.
WHY DID WE WIN?
All the pitches were great.
The different product offerings were excellent, are solving real market problems and have great Insurtech solutions. I look forward to seeing them all succeed.
I believe that we won because we had a message that was easier to digest and connected quickly with the audience.
WHAT DID WE WIN?
We won $20k worth of marketing support from Insurance Business. Thanks, Insurance Business, this is a great prize for a B2B insurance business and will connect us further with the insurance brokers that we serve.
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR OTHER STARTUPS?
Competitions are great channels to market.
Find both industry-specific competitions; such as Insurtech or Fintech pitches, and generic startup pitch competitions; such as Launch Festival, TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Australia and Friday Night Pitches at Fishburners.
Getting out and pitching helps you to refine your message, test your phrasing to see what lands with the audience and what misses the mark and helps to build your public profile.
Customers are in the audience
It can be hard to get 3 minutes with prospective customers so I found being at Insurtech Summit a great way to connect with customers that I’d otherwise struggle to reach and get a meeting with. After the pitch, several senior insurance brokers approached me requesting follow up meetings.
Investors are often judges
Investors, VCs, HNWs and others can be called upon as a judge in pitch competitions. Pitching in front of high calibre judges gives you the ability to connect directly with them both on the day and subsequently. Some angles to try are to seek feedback on what they liked and what they’d improve OR what part of your business most excited them and which part felt was dull. Investors have time, so building a relationship with them based on consistency, authenticity and coachability can help when it comes time to raise funds.
What is next for Advisr…
So, now we have a giant novelty cheque, some highly relevant meetings to prepare for and a business that has taken one more step in its journey.
If you need help to find an insurance broker you can trust, try Advisr.
Thanks for reading.
Most Viewed Insurance Brokers
- Byron McPherson
- David Rogers
- Greg Johnston
- Brett Thiedeman
- McKenzie Ross
- Kerrie Woodards
- Austbrokers Countrywide
- Joe Vella
- zsean markss
- Peter Johnson
- Mark Prolisko
- John Martin
- Raymond Wong
- Milne Alexander
- SRG Corporate
- Polina Kesov
- Mark Thomas
- Colette Hicks
- AIS Insurance Brokers
- John Carter
- John Petzke
- Sue Sparrow
- Frank Iadarola
- Luke McMahon
- Shane Flower
Want to make the list next month?
Share your profile with your clients, generate some great reviews and did you know you can feature your content on Advisr and link it to your profile as an Experts Opinion.
Advisr Premium profiles generate 20x the number of profile views than unclaimed profiles.
Have any questions or comments? email us
What are Insurtechs?
Insurtech refers to the use of technology innovations designed to squeeze out savings and efficiency from the current insurance industry model. Insurtech is a combination of “insurance” and “technology” that was inspired by the term Fintech – which comes from combining “Finance” and “Technology”.
Don’t Insurtechs just want to disrupt Insurance?
Insurtechs can be seen to be a disruptive force in the Insurance industry. For any startup it can be relatively easy to make big bold statements about how the incumbent industry, in this case, insurance, needs to “keep up”, “evolve” and “get with the times.”
However, complete disruption is not always that easy to achieve, nor is it always desirable for the end customer. The promises can be shortlived and in a complex and important industry like insurance, simply too risky. Insurance is a complex industry, that is highly regulated and forms a very important part of the wider business and social ecosystem.
That isn’t to say that new thinking is bad or that challenger startups should cease. On the contrary, we’re focused on being an enabler in the insurance industry and utilising the strengths we have, by being a startup focused on attracting and informing customers, to enable insurance brokers to benefit.
Advisr enables the insurance industry
At Advisr we believe a few key things:
- Customer Centricity – Insurance should be simpler for customers to understand.
- Independent Expertise – Good independent advice will always be valuable to customers.
- Digitisation – Digital channels should make a consumers life easier.
Our strategy is to enable the industry to connect with customers and grow their business.
Insurance brokers are a vital part of the insurance ecosystem. Good independent advice will always be valuable to customers.
Advisr works with and for Insurance Brokers
Intermediated insurance products are those insurance products that are advised and sold via an insurance broker. Increasingly, the big insurers are looking for ways to move into intermediated insurance category. Insurance brokers also need to improve their performance and service delivery to ensure that they can retain and grow their customers. For an insurance broker to simply keep doing what they have always done, won’t be enough to ensure their viability into the future.
We believe Insurance Brokers need to own their reputation online:
Insurance brokers know the value of a good reputation and the power of word of mouth or referral business on driving their own businesses performance and their individual performance.
Today, a good reputation is more valuable than ever. Especially a good digital reputation.
It is widely understood that the first thing a prospective customer does when they are looking for a new insurance broker is to type their names into Google. We all do it. Google and the ability to reach vast quantities of the specific information super fast has changed our world.
Advisr enables insurance brokers to build their online reputation. On Advisr you can post content about your areas of expertise, highlight the service areas where you excel and cultivate client feedback and promote it publicly.
An Advisr Profile pages rank incredibly well in Google and when prospective customers are searching for you, by name, your Advisr profile will come up.
We believe public customer feedback makes the insurance industry stronger:
Independent ratings and reviews on our performance can feel confronting. Yet as customers, in nearly every area of life, we look to independent ratings and reviews to help us make decisions regarding holidays, schools, restaurants, cars, sunglasses, books, handymen and many many many more.
Customer feedback is coming to service industries and will become a highly valued differentiator.
Advisr enables your customers to leave feedback, and for you to manage and engage directly with their feedback. We’re working hard to be a trusted enabler across the industry.
We believe that good insurance brokers will enhance their reputation through transparent feedback and that ratings and reviews will make the insurance industry stronger.
Want help generating online review? Here are 7 ways insurance brokers can generate excellent online reviews.
We love sending new business to Insurance Brokers:
With thousands and thousands of customers coming to Advisr every month looking for an insurance broker, we’re connecting more and more customers with brokers every day.
Are you interested in growing your insurance broking business through generating new inbound enquires? Then, learn more about why insurance brokers are partnering with Advisr
We’re enabling the insurance industry. We’re working with more and more insurance brokers every day and would love you to be part of Advisr.
7 ways Insurance Brokers can win more business in 2018
- Be clear on what your product lines are what products you don’t offer. In addition, having some internal clarity around who your ideal customers are can help you to service enquires in a fast and efficient way and respond accordingly. If you try to sell to everyone, sometimes, you’ll end up selling to no one!
- Have your clients and others in the industry telling your story – More and more customers rely on online search engines, like Google, to find and connect with insurance brokers. Customers are increasingly turning to ratings and reviews to better understand what working with you will be like. Word of mouth is the most powerful way to win new business, so adapting to the digital age is essential.
- Think about your customers entire customer experience, not just the end price of their insurance. These days it is important how you make clients feel and ensuring that you understand them as individuals goes a long way. In a customers mind, they are making micro-decisions at every interaction with you, from how they found your contact details, making an enquiry, their first phone call – how quickly did you call them back, to the importance of small details and the avoidance of mistakes. So have you mapped out your customers’ entire journey and identified the areas you can strengthen.
- Differentiate through your professionalism. Your focus always needs to be on the customer in all you do and as great salespeople know, the selling takes care of itself. So are you as polished as you need to be? Are you setting the benchmark for the industry or simply aspiring to meet it?
- Lose well. Wait, what? This is a post about winning business not losing business. Correct! However, not every insurance broker can win every piece of business every time. Sometimes not winning the business can be your best opportunity to win a customer for life. In how you treat a client when they’ve decided to not buy from you, you can show them how you truly have their interests at heart. For example, following up clients 3 months after they didn’t buy from you to see how they are getting on with their new provider. Offering them any support they require eg reviewing the policy that they’ve been provided and by ensuring that you do a good objective review, then you’ll win their trust and probably their business in the longer-term.
- Ask for referrals from your top customers. Your customers are your best advocates. Or if they are not, asking them for a referral will probably give you an opportunity to resolve whatever is holding them back from being an advocate. So it is a win-win. Be direct and bold in asking clients who are one person they know that you could talk to who could be interested in using your services.
- Be someone people want to do business with. The value of good relationships in business cannot be overstated. Heading into the busy Christmas season, think about how you could surprise and delight your customers, work associates, staff and suppliers. It’s more than just sending a Christmas card (you sent one right?) or gift, be someone that people want to do business with.
So whilst 2018 has just started, now is the opportunity for you to start to work on any of the 7 ways Insurance Brokers can win more business in 2018.
What is a Certificate of Currency:
A Certificate of Currency is a document that confirms a current insurance policy is in place. A certificate of currency outlines the sums insured on the date of the certificate. A Certificate of Currency is valid only for the day on which it is issued and represents information current at the time of your request.
Important Factors of a Certificate of Currency:
- Valid on the day it is issued.
- Provides a summary of provisions in longer-form insurance policy wording.
- Maybe requested by third-parties when rendering services.
- Do not enable you to make an insurance claim.
More Depth on a Certificate of Currency:
1: Valid on the day it is issued:
A Certificate of Currency is valid on the day they are issued. When a Certificate of Currency is issued, they indicate that an insurance policy is active and valid. However, on the days after a Certificate of Currency has been issued, an insurance policy may have been cancelled, changed or revoked and as such, the Certificate of Currency cannot provide insight to the continuation of an insurance policy beyond the day on which it has been issued.
2: Provides a summary of provisions in longer-form insurance policy wording:
A Certificate of Currency provides a summary of the provisions that are covered in a longer-from insurance policy wording. This enables you to accurately understand the core coverage that your insurance provides and often the limits of the cover that is in place.
3: Can be requested by third-parties when rendering services:
Certificates of Currency are used to confirm that insurance is in place and the depth of cover that the policy provides. Often a certificate of currency is requested by third-parties when a service is being rendered. The certificate of Currency shows that there is sufficient insurance in place and can enable people to enter a premise and perform the required work.
4: Do not enable you to make an insurance claim:
A certificate of currency does not enable you to make a claim on an insurance policy. Often you’ll need to have your original insurance documents in full and given that a Certificate of Currency provides a summary, whilst there might be some helpful information for initiating a claim with your insurer, your insurer may request the exhaustive documentation.
To access a certificate of currency, please contact your insurer directly or your insurance broker. To find an insurance broker use Advisr and see ratings and reviews from customers, just like you on what it is like to work with different insurance brokers.