Any tradesman looking for insurance has two choices when looking for cover. They can use an insurance broker, or they can go direct to the insurer themself.

But which option is better for the average tradesman?

For many years the answer has always been to use an insurance broker, however a growing number of insurance companies are now offering business insurance ‘direct to the public’ in order to avoid paying commissions to brokers.

Before we can decide on which is the better option, we need to understand each option in more detail.

Going Direct

This is the approach which most Australians take for basic insurance policies such as their home and car.

Usually it simply involves obtaining a quote via a call centre or website, and if you’re happy with the quote proceeding with the cover and paying the premium.

It’s a very straightforward process, but unlike car and home insurance, business insurance can be a lot more complex.

So what are the pros and cons of going direct?


  • Reduced premiums in some cases (but not always)
  • No need to involve a third party such as a broker


  • You need to do your own research
  • The call centre staff cannot give you advice
  • Time consuming if you want to compare quotes from various companies
  • Always dealing with different call centre staff instead of having a single contact

Using a Broker

This is the traditional approach that tradesmen have taken when taking care of their insurance needs.

An insurance broker can help you not only to find the most competitive premiums, but can also assist you with choosing the levels of cover which are right for you and your business.


  • Licensed to provide personal advice
  • Able to obtain and compare multiple quotes in a short period
  • Will be there to assist you in the event of a claim
  • May give you their mobile number so that you can contact them at anytime, rather than having to deal with a call centre


  • Some brokers can come across as sales people
  • Not all brokers provide good service to tradespeople
  • Some brokers charge additional fees on top of the premium

Which is Best?

Although I could be seen as being biased, I would have to say that using an insurance broker is far and away the best option.

The problem with going direct to an insurance company like AAMI or NRMA is that you will be speaking with a random call centre operator who probably does not understand your business.

Another major issue is that the call centre operators are generally not licensed to provide you with personal advice. So if you ask them whether or not the insurance is right for you, they cannot actually say yes or no.

When you use an insurance broker you know that you are dealing with someone who has the required qualifications and experience to be a licensed insurance broker.

A licensed insurance broker can provide personal advice, which means they can provide much more assistance in determining the right types of levels of insurance that you need.

Insuring your home or car is easy and in most cases doesn’t justify using a broker, but unless of you have a good understanding of business insurance and public liability laws, it’s really something that you should leave to the experts.

What’s the Verdict?

For peace of mind for yourself, your business and your family, you should always use specialist tradesman insurance brokers to look after your business protection needs.

You might be able to save ten dollars a month by going direct, but is the risk really worth it? I don’t think so.


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