The initiative means 'fill your boots' time, says one broker

Aviva is stepping up its fight for growth by offering selected brokers an additional 3% commission for new business.

The deal applies to brokers placing a minimum of £10,000 worth of new commercial business, excluding specialist lines, with the insurer between early October and the end of the year.

One broker executive described the sweetener initiative as “fill your boots” time.

Aviva intermediary and partnerships director Janice Deakin said the insurer was looking to grow in commercial, while holding onto existing business.

“We don’t have a one-off blanket deal that goes out to all brokers, but we will be renegotiating,” she said.

“We are looking for growth in specialist lines areas, so we’ll put specific incentives around growing in specialist lines.

“We are growing this year in commercial, and we’re looking to do the same again next year. That means holding onto the business we’ve got and growing from a new business perspective as well.”

The Aviva offer is the latest attempt among insurers to improve market share in the ferociously competitive SME market.

In April, Insurance Times reported on AXA’s ‘fighting fit’ initiative, whereby AXA offered 2% extra commission on any new business premiums between £5,000 and £250,000 that brokers placed before 30 June.

Similarly, NIG offered a 3% uplift on business transacted on its NIG Network in March and April, ahead of a relaunch of the trading portal.

Both firms were partially responding to an earlier move by Aviva that offered brokers a 2% commission increase for meeting targets on new commercial business placed with the insurer in the first quarter of 2010.

However, Deakin predicted that the latest deal would help Aviva pull in profitable business.

“We put together quarterly sales campaigns. We incentivise new business growth, but profitable new business. The thinking is that those increases are available to brokers delivering us profitable business, so it pays for itself,” she said.

One industry commentator said: “It’s no surprise Aviva’s doing this – it did the same thing last year.”

The insurer has been pursuing a growth strategy after losing £1.1bn last year under the leadership of former chief executive Igal Mayer.