When it comes to preventing loss and damage, it's easy to take a lacklustre, 'I'm covered' attitude to managing risk. While we understand the thinking behind this view, we believe that preventing a loss is just as important for protecting your assets as insurance, and it can save you a lot of time and energy.

It's important to stress that insurers who encourage a strong risk management strategy are not doing so to prevent you from placing an expensive claim.

In fact, for most insurers, their primary priority is to protect their clients, and deal with claims promptly and effectively. Of course, insurers want to deliver the best service to their clients, but they also want to avoid the additional work involved with claims delays. Once the validity of a claim is established, the correct, most cost-effective thing to do is to make sure that it is settled as quickly as possible.

The regulated world in which brokers and insurers work exists to protect you as the consumer. Valid claims not being settled, insurers not offering fair and prompt payment, and brokers not doing their jobs properly all lead to complaints which have to be taken seriously. It is therefore in our collective interest to make sure that your claim is settled quickly and fairly.

Lockton's approach is to form a solid and thorough understanding of your exposures so that there are no gaps in cover, no limits that are insufficient, and no complicated policy wordings or restrictive conditions.

If all this exists to protect you, why might you take steps to stop a claim from happening?

Firstly, even in the insurance world, prevention is better than cure. For a claim to have occurred, generally something unpleasant will have happened – be it a burglary, flood, fire or inclement weather. Whether it's intruders in your home, or loss of or damage to your assets, these scenarios can be upsetting and are almost certain to cause you inconvenience and disruption.

Then there's the time it takes to start remedial measures. This might include assessing what has been damaged or lost, engaging with contractors to obtain repair estimates and then making the time to bring them into the property. Lockton can assist you with much of this process, but inevitably you will need to invest significant time and energy on this.

Beyond this, you may own items that are not easily replaceable or repairable. Some may have sentimental value, or be custom-made and impossible to replace. In this case, prevention is obviously the most valid form of protection.

There are many things we can help you do to reduce the risk of a loss. From installing suitable intruder alarms and quality-approved locks to doors and windows, to putting in place fire protection measures and regular services for gas and electrical installations.

We can work with you to map your lifestyle and behavioural patterns, designing a comprehensive risk management and insurance programme that reflects who you are. This will ensure that your home, contents and passion assets remain fully protected in the event that the unthinkable happens.

We can assist with the production of inventories and asset registers so that you can keep track of your possessions. This will also help to alleviate the risk of the cover becoming inadequate and any claim settlement being reduced.

Beyond this, we recommend that a robust programme of maintenance is implemented. This will ensure that your home remains in safe, working order. Insurers can assist with this by offering an appraisal of your home.

Appraisers are there to work with you to reduce risk and to identify any factors that might increase that risk. Many offer services such as infra-red scans of buildings to identify any wiring hot spots, assessment of rebuilding values and guidance on safes, alarms and other security measures.

They may also have links to partners who can supply these items and other associated services to you at a preferential cost.

Our own approach closely mirrors all of these areas. We firstly carry out an in-depth review of your existing portfolio and identify any areas of cover that require attention. We will also review any measures you already have in place to mitigate a loss, and we can advise you on their adequacy.

We will then report our findings including any gaps in your cover or your approach to risk management. We will suggest improvements that could be made and make recommendations to ensure that your portfolio does not leave you exposed to either loss or inadequacy of cover.

We then work with you and the insurer to present you positively, highlighting all measures taken to achieve a favourable proposal.

This might sound as if insurance is a secondary measure, but this could not be further from the truth. We work hard to provide the right blend of risk prevention and mitigation with insurance to cover the loss, should it occur. Almost all insurance claims arise from the unforeseen, and the role of a broker is to help you reduce the loss and associated inconvenience, while ensuring that the cover remains suitably robust, flexible and agile to meet your specific needs.