The network’s executive chairman said ‘distraction was always going to feature’ thanks to both RSA’s takeover and Covid-related business interruption claims

Ashwin Mistry, executive chairman of network Brokerbility, said he is “surprised” by insurer RSA’s “low star rating” resulting from Insurance Times’s most recent broker service surveys, which are used to inform the publication’s Five Star Trading Reports for commercial lines, personal lines and etrading.

Following RSA’s takeover by Canadian insurer Intact Financial Corporation and Danish insurer Tryg A/S in June, the insurer’s chief executive of UK and international Scott Egan told trade press that RSA hasn’t “missed a beat in terms of service” to brokers.

He added that “at the heart of our commercial lines business is our brokers. They will always be and continue to be a hugely important part of our business”.

Egan said: “We haven’t missed a beat in terms of service to them and commitment to them.

“That doesn’t mean to say we get everything right, but what we haven’t been is a distracted organisation, which is one of the things [that] can happen during transactions.

“We need to keep pushing ourselves to do a better job for brokers. As our business goes from strength to strength, I’d like to see that continue.

“I think there’s lots of headroom to go into – we can be better and our aim is to do that.”

However, in Insurance Times’s Five Star Trading Reports published this year, brokers ranked RSA’s services poorly.

For example, in commercial lines, RSA received an overall two star rating from brokers, placing it bottom of the pack out of 11 insurers – it was the only insurer to receive two stars.

RSA also achieved two stars in 2021’s personal lines report, again coming last out of the eight insurers ranked by brokers.

As for etrading, RSA’s extranet received three stars overall from brokers this year, placing it fourth from the bottom of the table. Via platforms, RSA’s etrading service featured in last place again with a rating of two stars.

Sticky clientele

Upon reading these findings, Mistry told Insurance Times that he “was surprised to read the low star rating from my broking peers”, in part because “the pandemic has had a natural impact on all insurers and I have seen a decline by most from the levels we enjoyed pre-Covid - it is no surprise as every business has had to adjust”.

Mistry continued: “RSA’s long-standing pedigree has held them in good esteem and coupled with both Covid-related [business interruption] claims and the takeover, distraction was always going to feature.

“RSA’s business is very sticky with larger clients, [who are] in the main reluctant to move. The fact that the majority of the management team is in place [following the acquisition] is also very comforting.

“I note Scott Egan is committed to the SME sector and that is already a crowded marketplace, however it is reassuring to read the ongoing commitment.

“Like every business, we will listen very carefully [and] observe with great interest [whether] the words translate into action because at the end of the day, I am a firm believer that no-one owes you a living and each business, irrespective of sector, has to evolve, differentiate and be ahead of [the] competition out there.”

Mistry added that “years of building relationships had paid dividends” and that Brokerbility has been “able to access decision-makers and also the leadership teams have been accessible to smooth tricky issues”.

The network has also already met with the insurer to discuss “details and plans going forward”.

Change is constant

For Mistry, “distraction” is a theme that extends beyond just RSA’s acquisition.

He said: “We, as brokers, over the past 18 months haven’t been short of challenges and lots of revolving doors at both mainstream insurers and broking houses adds to the mix of distraction - the only constant in the insurance sector is change.

“Whilst I accept that currently capacity is an issue in certain sectors, the market will normalise and either new entrants will come in or those already in situ will raise their game.”