Insurer leaders discuss how they are looking to improve service for brokers
Brokers’ concerns around service from their insurer partners are simple – they “just want a response” from insurers “without having to navigate through the corridors of a big internal system”.
This was according to Lee Mooney, commercial lines managing director at RSA, who spoke as part of a panel at last week’s (16 November 2023) exclusive Insurance Times Broker CEO Forum on a panel entitled Insurers in the Hotseat.
Mooney explained that allowing brokers to access a “quick, smart and easy response” had been RSA’s “number one priority” and “was for 2022, 2023 and will be for 2024”.
He added: “We’ve not cracked it but we are investing heavily in it and will continually invest in systems and resource, to make sure we have capable individuals sat there on the end of the phone.”
Head of retail at Zurich UK David Nichols, who was also on the panel, agreed, adding: ”I feel quite confident in where we are but I recognise that you never stand still and have to go further.
”It’s about the quality of authority we provide in our trading hubs and we have removed the head office underwriting to try and speed up decision making where it really matters.”
Nichols added: ”Investment in digital does help massively – there’s a convenience attached to having an underwriter on a live chat, being able to provide instant, easy responses. Having a digitial system to support underwriters in making a fast decisions is a fundamental.”
Both of the insurer representatives on the panel were keen to emphasise that issues of insurer service to brokers was largely impacted by being able to attract and retain staff with the appropriate skills and experiences.
Mooney explained: ”Getting the right people through the door is at the heart of the service issue – it’s about getting that capability into the business.
”We are now investing heavily in proper, strong apprentice programmes to make sure we can bring that scale through the door but also to nurture and grow that talent.”
Nichols added: “It’s about how you nurture your talent, because with any turnover comes a great opportunity to recognise the people you have in your business and to promote and to support people to drive a change in approach.
“That’s an imperative, but there’s also an industry requirement to think about how we attract people and how we represent the communites that we serve more effectively. There’s a long way to go in terms of making [insurance] an attractive industry for people to join.
”It’s a wonderful industry that does the most phenomenal things, but we have to sell more of that to attract a more diverse population into the industry.”