With the Insurance Times Broker Service Survey 2019/20 now open, NIG’s commercial managing director Sonya Bryson talks about the five key service areas explored in the survey

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Sonya Bryson - managing director NIG Commercial

Quality of cover is being investigated in the latest Insurance Times Broker Service Survey, but how do you ensure the best quality of cover for brokers and their customers?

NIG’s commercial managing director, Sonya Bryson weighs in to discuss the development of five key service areas currently being rated in the annual broker service survey. 

The 2019 Insurance Times Broker Service Survey is now open to brokers. Whilst the survey is live, we will be speaking to a wide variety of insurers involved in the survey on the five key service areas being investigated within the research study. 

The insurer is undergoing a transformation programme, which will result in each of our complex products receiving a significant review, benchmarking against the market and understanding the emerging needs of our clients and UK business in general.

We take regular feedback from brokers, and use it to shape our products and trading models to meet their needs. As a result, we recently launched our new Motor Trade One product, a new National Schemes Centre and refreshed our real estate proposition. Earlier this year, we were the only insurer to achieve a five-star rating – in our case, for both TheHub and Software Houses – which shows the improvements we’ve made over the last year.

We’ve also recently enhanced our extranet to make it easier to upload data, review what’s on cover, and complete quotes quicker for property owners and mini fleet products. We are putting together a compelling proposition to help our brokers get the most from trading with NIG.

How do we ensure good relationship management, such as access to decision makers?

The main thing is that we build great partnerships and long-term relationships, which helps us understand every opportunity. The new sales competency framework was launched earlier this year across our business, developing our relationship management capability and expertise.

We have dedicated underwriters and sales teams aligned to specific brokers and we encourage face to face underwriter visits to brokers. Our risk management team also visit customers with our brokers, offering a comprehensive way to reduce and manage risk. In our experience, this forges stronger and deeper relationships.

We’ve also devolved more authority to our trading regions who are better placed geographically to liaise with our broking partners. This means our underwriters understand the local business economics and mix, and the service their brokers need. This results in honest conversations that benefit all parties.

What steps has NIG taken over the past year to keep improving the claims experience for brokers and their customers?

To make things easier for our brokers and customers we’ve introduced the use of the 360 digital platform throughout the business, which provides better claims handling and flexible settlement solutions. This gives customers an easy way to submit images and videos to support their claim, resulting in a simpler and quicker claims process.

Our “With You in Five” (WYi5) initiative offers five easy steps to ensure swift resolution, and has significantly reduced the claims lifecycle, while improving service on property claims. We’re always looking for ways to provide our brokers and customers with an easy and effortless claims journey.


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What steps has NIG taken over the last 12 months to ensure brokers receive the best underwriting expertise, flexibility and transparency?

Again, we are always looking to make improvements in our underwriting. We’ve introduced an underwriting competency framework designed to help our underwriters increase their underwriting authority and become even more commercially astute. Plus, they’ve all attended an extensive soft-skills training programme called Connect, which focuses on communication skills, to work more effectively with our brokers to reach the right outcome.

For example, our underwriters aim to contact brokers with an ‘appetite’ decision within 48 hours on new business, but they’re available to discuss the issue sooner if need be. In addition, on regional business, we offer ‘one quote to the market’. This gives our brokers peace of mind, and ensures quality trading conversations.

We also have a very low attrition rate throughout our underwriting team and when vacancies do arise, we take our time to fill them with the right people. We make sure we appoint people with both the technical expertise and trading skills to work well with our brokers.

How does NIG ensure brokers and their customers are given accurate, transparent and easy-to-read policy documentation?

We’re bringing in instant documentation, alongside cover enhancements for each of our products. It’s already available for Motor Trade One on the new platform, and will become the norm as we complete each launch. We believe in making trading with NIG effortless, and so we always listen to our brokers. That way, we can continue to improve for them and customers.