Aviva broker distribution director Fraser Edmond talks about insurers’ responsibility to support brokers in today’s challenging market
Having attended all three of the Broker 50 events this year, a topic that has come up in discussion time and time again is the changing regulation landscape and the mounting pressures brokers face in the market.
These pressures stem from all manner of directions be it increasing digitisation, changing customer expectations and demands, compliance and regulatory demands and the more generic challenges associated with running a brokerage.
I strongly believe that insurers have a responsibility to support brokers – this is something that we’ve done for some time and are committed to doing for the long term. But, simultaneously, there’s also a real (and mounting) pressure on insurers. For both broker and insurer alike, customer outcomes must be at the heart of everything that we do and to demonstrate this there is more emphasis on how we conduct our business and the standards we meet for the benefit of our customers.
‘Insurers are under growing pressure to achieve a more intrinsic knowledge of who we distribute our products through and who we choose to work with’
Brokers are already seeing this coming through via the Insurance Act (2015) and the obligations upon them to represent customer requirements more thoroughly than ever. The Insurance Act masterclasses that we’re running across the country are helping brokers get to grips with some of the practical implications of the act, but they’re also helping us gauge the requirements and concerns of our broker community so that we can make sure our approach to this new legislation meets their needs. As we work towards the August 2016 deadline, there’ll be changes to the way both insurers and brokers operate and therefore it’s important we collaborate in order to be ready.
Insurers are under growing pressure to achieve a more intrinsic knowledge of who we distribute our products through and who we choose to work with. Ultimately, we know that some changes will be necessary and we’ll have to invest time to consider how we take action, both internally and in support of our brokers.
While the regulatory landscape looks to be ever-changing, what particularly encouraged me at the latest Broker50 event was hearing from FCA director, general insurance and protection Simon Green.
A key take-out for me is that the FCA wants to take a collaborative approach to the changes and engage in the wider debate. That’s what it will take to meet these challenges and, as a market leader, we’re committed to being at the forefront of those conversations.