Interview by Maria Elena Paganini to Danni Worth
How do you keep a client base after more than 40 years in such a competitive world as that of insurance?
Make sure we get their claims paid!! In order to do this smoothly, it’s important to set the insurance policy up correctly at the beginning – and this is a combined task for the Broker and the client, with the Broker leading the client based on knowledge and previous experience. It is also vital that we deliver on our promises to clients and that our communication with the client is efficient, coherent and prompt. One of the aspects which our clients value in our dealings with them is our commitment to service – we are passionate about service and are continually striving to exceed our client’s expectations.
I suppose that having a team of professionals such as Op de Beet & Worth has is the best possible way to keep the clientele, but what else is behind it?
We are fortunate to have a team of professionals on board who have been with us for many years, and who live and breathe our values – respect, integrity and excellence. Their knowledge base is continually upgraded and expanded with regular insurance related courses, enabling them to keep up to date with the rapidly changing environment. Between them our team is fluent in 8 languages, which enables us to look after clients from pretty much any country. Our approach to looking after our clients has always been to offer a very personal service, and this has helped us achieve client retention rates in excess of 95% who renew with us year on year.
When we talk about a leading insurance brokerage in Spain working in the field of high net worth clients, how do you chose the suppliers?
HNW clients tend to lead dynamic lifestyles which do not easily fit into the “pigeon hole” / off the shelf society which has evolved over the past 25 years. This in turn means they are looking for flexible tailor made solutions to their cover which is generally not found in the mass market. We therefore have to go to specialist markets who truly understand the requirements of these clients and are able to provide the flexibility necessary. We are looking for Insurers who have the broadest cover available, are excellent at paying claims and who provide exceptional service. One of our main Providers for this market is Hiscox who are Europe’s leading Insurer of high value homes, and who truly understand what this profile of client expects from his Insurance. The ideal approach can be summed up in the quote by Hendon Chubb, founder of Chubb Insurance – “While an Insurance Policy is a legal contract that expresses our minimum responsibility, there are many occasions when equity demands that we recognize a moral obligation beyond the strictly legal terms and this is always a consideration in our settlements”.
Our magazine is based on the world of are in general and on the Costa del Sol in particular. How do you manage insurance policies in this sector?
As Spain’s leading Broker for High Net Worth clients we find that many of our clients have a part of their wealth in works of art, which not only allows them to enjoy the pieces which they collect, but it has also proved to be a wonderful investment over the past few years. Insuring a work of art presents many more challenges than insuring a car or a standard home, so when it comes to insuring our clients’ art we use specialist underwriters who are able to provide the scope of cover necessary – all risks cover, declared values, restoration of a partially damaged work, artistic depreciation, cover in transit, specialist loss adjusters in the event of a loss etc…
I know many artists and gallery owners who have great problems when transporting their goods due to the inefficiency of some haulage contractors. What sort of insurance should they obtain?
The vast majority of claims in the art world come from losses during transit, and a great many of these are resultant of poorly packaged art, or indeed using a standard transport company with no real experience of transporting art. The advice therefore has to be to use a specialist art transport company, make sure that your artwork is suitably packaged and protected and arrange all risks insurance with previously agreed values for the art in case something does go wrong.
Marbella is a leader in the Costa del Sol when it comes to hotels, restaurants, bars and fashion shops, so to insure them is part of managing a business. What is the basic insurance cover that you recommend to an entrepreneur?
Insurance is designed to put you back to the same position you were in immediately before the claim, so in order to advise a business on a suitable insurance programme for their needs we would first need to understand the business, the values involved and the various risk exposures. Aside from the obvious risks of fire, flood, theft, loss of profit, liability etc, we now have to add a whole range of relatively new risks which modern businesses are facing, such as data protection, cyber risk, kidnap & ransom, directors’ and officers’ liability etc.. A recent survey by Mapfre discovered that one third of SME’s in Spain do not insure their businesses correctly – our advice would be to go to an established independent Broker and ask them to carry out a thorough review of your Insurance Programme and requirements.
At the moment there is a lot of unease regarding inheritance tax. What is your advice when assessing a client in order to protect his family?
Benjamin Franklin once famously said, that “In this world nothing is certain except death and taxes”. Bearing this in mind it’s fascinating to see how many people still do not adequately prepare for the loss of a loved one, and the financial burden which it can create. To start with we would strongly encourage everyone to make a will, and to make sure that those closest to you are aware of its existence and how to act in the event of a death. In addition and depending on which stage of life’s cycle you find yourself, it’s a very good idea to carry some life assurance – essential for the breadwinner in a young family, or the married couple who have a substantial mortgage, or the prudent parent who wishes to make sure that any inheritance tax bill is met by a life assurance policy.
Finally, I would like to talk about boats, ports such as Puerto Banus or the Sports Port of Marbella host boats of all sorts. But surely when it comes to insurance you need an expert team for this particular sector?
Op de Beeck & Worth has been very involved in the world of yacht insurance for the past 20 years and has some excellent relationships with Europe’s leading yacht Underwriters. When it comes to insuring a boat, as with other types of insurance it’s important to make sure you get the sums insured correct, as well as understand on what basis your boat will be valued in the event of a claim. One area of growing concern in the yachting world is the question of liability, and how much cover should a boat have. In Spain, the law requires you to have a minimum of €336,567, but this can be woefully insufficient if your vessel has just caught fire in the marina and the fire has just spread to the neighboring three yachts. Our policies are on an all risks basis, with declared values, a minimum liability limit of € 3M, and on the larger vessels we are recommending € 5M and beyond.