Editor Katie Scott questions why broker service from insurers still has not improved, despite consistent feedback from brokers that communications and decision-making have slowed

Over the first quarter of 2022, I have spoken to a number of brokers that are all telling me the same thing – insurer service is still lacklustre and under par, despite hybrid and homeworking becoming a more established norm over the course of the last year.

Katie Scott_bw_path

Katie Scott

For example, JM Glendinning group managing director Jake Fox described insurer service for brokers as “absolutely dreadful”, while PIB Group chief executive Brendan McManus bemoaned the fact that brokers and insurers appear to be “operating in two different speeds”.

He told me: “It has been frustrating and a lot of brokers have found that it’s been harder to get hold of people and harder to get decisions.”

Meanwhile, Toby Clegg, chief executive of Clegg Gifford, believes insurers pointing the finger at Covid-19 as the reason for poor service is now wearing thin.

One insurer responding to this industry-wide criticism is RSA, which received a two star overall service rating from brokers in Insurance Times’ Five Star Rating Report for both commercial and personal lines this year – the lowest result within both reports.

Although also citing the Covid-19 pandemic as a contributing factor to less than average broker service, the insurer’s UK and international chief executive Ken Norgrove does have a strategy to bolster RSA’s flagging reputation with brokers.

This includes being clearer around both risk appetite and available insurance propositions, as well as responding to broker queries quicker.

Considering that poor broker service from insurers was an issue Insurance Times first wrote on back in December 2020, it is almost unbelievable that the situation still has not improved more than a year later.

Granted, we cannot tar all insurers with the same brush here – our Five Star Rating Reports, for example, have also identified insurers with a glowing five star rating from broker partners – however this consistent feedback about bad service is not acceptable.

It’s about time insurers stopped hiding behind Covid-19’s skirts and tackled brokers’ service complaints head on. Well done to the insurers already adopting this approach.