Insurance Times managing editor Yannick Guerry mulls over how 2020 has panned out, with brokers questioning service standards and reputational gains still up for grabs

It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since the Covid-19 pandemic tsunami first crashed onto our shores, devastating and reshaping the landscape. 

When Insurance Times first wrote about the topic in January, the ‘Wuhan coronavirus’ as it was then commonly known, was already starting to alarm risk managers, with Marsh advising clients to take action immediately and ”review, test and potentially update critical plans related to business continuity, crisis management and crisis communications”.


Yannick Guerry

But who then would have thought the oubreak of a novel zoonotic virus in central China would end up having such a major impact on how regional insurance brokers do business, how they interact with their clients and what kind of products they offer to the market.

Some insurers have coped better than others in the midst of what is an unprecedented situation. Clients of brokers in northern England have been particularly hard-hit by the impact of the pandemic lockdowns, but Insurance Times has heard that the standard of service received by brokers from their insurer partners at this critical time has been at times underwhelming.

Coupled with the unedifying optics of insurers battling their struggling policyholders in the High Court as a result of too-loosely worded business interruption policies, and you could forgive 2020 being written off as an insurer annus horribilis

But, with every cloud comes a silver lining. Those insurers who have offered exceptional service to their broker partners (as we shall soon find out in the Insurance Times Broker Service Survey results), provided meaningful premium discounts to their customers and managed to maintain effective communication and service while their entire workforces have been home-bound, will surely reap a reputational benefit.