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Demonstrating the desire to help in tough times

Recently a Crombie Lockwood Central Lakes client who felt her business had been consigned to the ‘too hard basket’, got a positive outcome thanks to a broker who was empathetic to her business’s needs and arrived at a solution to suit a challenging situation.

In the current economic climate, keeping a business afloat is particularly tricky for many clients, Crombie Lockwood insurance brokers are very aware and understanding of the challenges clients are facing.

It’s just this sort of empathy and awareness that has led broker Grace Saunders to quickly make an impression with clients after joining the Crombie Lockwood Southern Lakes team earlier this year.

Recently, a client was in the process of selling their food truck but was also approaching their insurance policy renewal period. “Throughout the renewal process we were in constant contact with the client,” Grace says. “The client had indicated that the business was going to be sold so we wanted to make sure we managed the process with this in mind.”

Unfortunately, the sale of the business took longer than anticipated. The client didn’t want to commit to a full year of cover and then have to cancel it down the track at a loss. Grace listened to the client’s circumstances and helped work out a short-term, three-month cover.

insurance broker having a conversation with a client

Regular broker and client conversations can help the renewal process run more smoothly

Feeling valued as a client

As the client's business model wasn’t considered standard, the client had previously been turned away for insurance.

“The insurer basically put me in the ‘too hard basket’,” she says. “However, I felt that Grace really listened to me, she understood my situation and tried her very best to make sure the insurance I got was what I needed, but also was the most affordable.

“It’s not easy as a business owner having to admit that money is tight and that you need to look at ways to cut costs. But the respect that Grace showed me really made me feel like a valued client.

“The best comparison I can give is a sales representative in a clothing department. They mightn’t necessarily care if the clothes don’t fit you right, or if you can afford them. But the sales representative that is honest with you and tells you if those jeans would look better in a different size – those are the people you want to do business with.”

Grace Saunders headshot

“The job of a broker is to get to know the client and understand their business. This is especially important in the current market, where premiums are increasing and insurers are more selective about the types of risks they’re covering.”

A positive experience

Southern Lakes Branch Manager, Sandy MacLeod, was thrilled to receive this client feedback.

“Since the launch of the Southern Lakes branch in 2022, we’ve worked really hard to echo our wider company culture focused on positive client experience,” he says. “In this instance the feedback was a really important reminder that the little things that we do can have a big impact on clients.

“Grace listened, demonstrated empathy, and found a solution that worked for the client. For her, it was business as usual, but for the client it was so much more. It was someone who was on the ground, willing to take the time to understand the circumstances and demonstrate genuine care.”

- Sandy MacLeod, Southern Lakes Branch Manager

Minimising uncertainty, understanding specifics

As the large majority of Grace’s clientele are small businesses and sole traders, she has become well-versed in helping them navigate tough times, finding out what their needs and concerns are and their adversity to risk.

“As soon as uncertainty is introduced into the equation, the insurer is naturally going to assess that as being a higher risk. So, the better we understand the specifics around the client, the more information we can provide to the insurer and, generally speaking, the better the outcome will be.”


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Published June 2023