Have you ever heard the saying, “brokers make you broker”?
Brokers and insurance companies tend to have a bad reputation. Some people immediately have negative thoughts whether they are warranted or not. In fact, when we ask someone if they know what an insurance broker is or what they do, we receive all kinds of answers, most of them being negative. It’s time to improve on the perception of an insurance broker.
Take the time to find a quality, reputable broker to work with you in fulfilling your insurance needs. Not only will it be time well spent in the beginning when finding a plan, but it will also serve you well for the entire time that you have private health insurance needs, on a yacht or wherever your travels may take you.
Insurance brokers aren’t evil, in fact they are quite helpful. It is a common misconception that brokers work for insurance companies, however that couldn’t be further from the truth. As insurance brokers, we work for you, the people!
It is also incorrect that working through an insurance broker costs the client more money. In contrast, working with a broker can actually save clients both time and money, in addition to frustration. Insurance brokers receive their compensation from insurers, but that does not (or should not) cloud the judgement of a good broker to recommend whatever policy is most appropriate to the situation as presented by you, the client.
Who Can Benefit?
Everyone who works on board a private or charter yacht that is travelling internationally should have private health insurance. Whether health insurance is provided by the vessel owner, or is purchased by each crew member individually, each person needs protection from a potential financial disaster caused by an unexpected illness or accident. The challenge is that it can be quite a task to sort through all of the options allowing you to determine what plan is best suited for your needs, or the needs of your group. This is where an insurance broker can be an invaluable source of information, and most importantly a helping hand.
So What Does a Broker Actually Do That You Cannot Do Yourselves?
First, they spend all day, every day dealing with insurance. They know the insurance industry, they live and breathe insurance, and they understand all the confusing terminology and phrases, which hopefully they can explain to you in a straightforward, no nonsense way. They also know the insurers, and the people who work there, which is a significant advantage over you calling a toll-free number and hoping for the best.
Second, insurance brokers evaluate and research the marketplace on a regular basis. A reputable broker knows the dynamics of the health insurance industry, what the headlines are, what is no longer relevant and which carriers provide consistent service. Nothing is more frustrating than finding an insurance plan that fits your needs, only to realize at time of claim that the company does not deliver.
Finally, a broker advocates and works on your behalf. If and when a situation arises where a shore-side helping hand is needed you can turn to your broker for assistance leaving you to continue to concentrate on your employment at sea.
How Do You know if a Broker is Reputable?
Word of mouth is the best form of marketing for a business, as well as the best form of research for a customer. There is no better way to find something than by asking someone you trust who has experience with your issues or concerns. This is also the case when finding a good insurance broker. Generally though, you want to look for a broker with experience and longevity in the health insurance business and one who certainly should be able to provide references. It is also important that the broker is specialized and experienced in the yacht crew area as it is quite different from the typical expat insurance market.
Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on preparing to work on a yacht, read our previous blog, “ Yacht Crew Insurance Terms 101”.