RSA’s new owner Intact will need to woo brokers 

By Content Director Saxon East

It’s hard to imagine now, but 10 years ago, RSA was so strong it offered £5bn to buy Aviva’s general insurance unit. RSA had some swagger back then. 

Saxon East

Saxon East, Insurance Times’s content director 

Today, RSA is a shadow of its former glory. 

Whether you believe it or not, all the big insurers have their message: Aviva prides itself on being the independent broker’s friend and Allianz plays up its consistency.

But what does RSA stand for? The company has been shrinking premium for years.  

Over the last five years, RSA has exited broker personal motor. In 2018, it exited three specialty lines and scaled back London market business. 

Broker service is also getting worse. RSA was recently awarded just two stars by brokers across both commercial and personal lines, according to Insurance Times research.

The insurer’s one area of credit is improving combined ratios, which was key in selling the firm. 

Intact’s challenge 

Intact is an excellent company. It is a reliable provider for brokers in Canada. 

For shareholders, it has offered value in both a consistent dividend and capital growth on share price.

Turning to RSA, Intact can gain synergies from rolling RSA’s Canada business into their domestic operation. 

But the UK is much more challenging. They will want to grow the UK and that will require significant investment.

A clear strategy on improving broker service performance should be outlined, as well as a defined UK brand message on what the business actually stands for - living up to that promise would boost broker sentiment. 

RSA’s chief executive Stephen Hester and his team deserve credit for improving underwriting performance and getting a good sale price for shareholders.

For Intact, the hard work starts now.