Insurers and brokers need to work together to engender customer trust and confidence, says LV= commercial lines director Euros Jones
There were many diverse subjects discussed at the recent Insurance Times Broker 50 event, including broker market trends, the impact of private equity on broker ownership and the future regulatory landscape. Despite the differing views, brokers demonstrated a strong approach towards identifying ways to protect and service the next generation of customers. Insurers and brokers can continue to succeed during the next phase of transformation in the commercial broker market provided they keep customers at the heart of their business. It’s therefore critical that we create that trust and confidence with those customers by delivering solutions to the key challenges.
We must take steps to ensure that customer experience encompasses solutions which directly benefit and reflect their business operations. The next generation of customers will be more demanding and will radically change the rules of engagement, wanting real-time, personalised interactions. The standards in customers’ experience are being set in more progressive industries and these are the benchmarks we need to aspire to.
Despite the increased capital to acquire larger brokers, the size profile of the overall broker market has remained fairly static and very few have gained from economy of scale through the effective integration of their business systems. Any future demands by private investors to deliver a financial return, in isolation to focussing on the customer, will be detrimental to their success and support the cause of new entrants into a market already prone to disruption. Personal Lines brokers have been at the front of the pack in the adoption of ‘digital solutions’ and as a result they have already increased their penetration of the small end commoditised commercial market. It’s imperative that insurers and brokers jointly build a new foundation of efficiency, utilising both technology and personal relationships to create a sustainable long term profitable distribution channel.
The Insurance Act has heightened the importance of brokers working closer with trusted insurers that demonstrate a professional underwriting approach and strong claims expertise. Insurers should segment their business to enhance knowledge about their brokers and customer requirements with a view to strengthening the overall tripartite business relationships and service proposition.
Overall, a future successful commercial market is dependent upon insurers and brokers working closer together to provide tailored solutions for their customers. In an ever evolving market, there is a need to combine technology enhancements and change in business thinking to create lower costs of distribution and an improved customer experience. Whilst the challenges ahead are great, the opportunities are greater provided we adapt to the next generation of customers.