Charlotte Harrison, Gallagher Bassett’s MGA business specialist, tells Insurance Times how MGAs can futureproof their businesses against the backdrop of Covid-driven uncertainty

Life isn’t straightforward and many of us have learned the impacts this can have on business the hard way.

Charlotte Harrison_Gallagher Bassett

Charlotte Harrison, Gallagher Bassett

Despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic reminding us just how unpredictable life can be, the future has always brought a degree of uncertainty.

For businesses of all shapes and sizes, we can likely count on this continuing – so preparedness for the future is something that requires continual investment.

With insurtech investments at an all-time high and continual changes in how customers value insurance, MGAs face a long road ahead to ensure both strength and sustainability into the future.

Invest in the right technology

Technology has quickly become the backbone of our society – enabling communication, increasing security, bringing newfound insights and providing unprecedented responsiveness.

Despite being late to the party of technology adoption, insurers are quickly realising the benefits adopting the right technology can bring.

When MGAs are able to focus on not only having the right technology to optimise ways of working and customer insights, but also having responsive technology platforms that are flexible to change, they will reap many rewards in the coming years.

While the initial argument against this work will be the immediate costs to get things up and running, the control and insights brought from adopting the right tools will soon pay dividends. More important than cost, technology will undoubtedly improve the customer offering.

Welcome data

The expectation of available data has increased in recent years and has progressed from an internal need to something our customers begin to expect. As several insurers and MGAs attempt to move away from legacy systems, it is crucial this progress is partnered with an open-armed approach to data.

By welcoming and trusting data, as well as investing in the right specialists and infrastructure, MGAs will soon be able to ensure that their loss ratios are proactively managed by identifying trends from results data.

Whilst being mindful to incorporate any pivotal moments in the industry, such as the introduction of new legislation or regulations that will have a bearing on costs, new data analysis will soon give confidence to capacity providers and stand MGAs in good stead.

Increase specialty expertise

Though there were many years where insurers were able to provide general expertise across all coverages, more and more we are seeing a demand for deeper understanding and greater expertise in fewer specialist areas. Investing in the right people to bring this level of expertise, as well as looking to the upskilling and training of team members, is something that customers are increasingly valuing.

MGAs that demonstrate their deep expertise in their chosen area, showcasing what sets them apart from competitors, is where the phrase ’added value’ becomes evident. This is what will stand the test of time as the market progresses and becomes more competitive.

Be selective in your partners

Choosing the right partners that you can trust will bring the right alignment to your organisational values is a tried and tested approach across many industries.

For us at Gallagher Bassett, we have always invested time and effort into our partnerships, with a focus on long-term relationships.

As we step into a new era where there is increased value in trust and relationships, setting up with the right partners for your supply chain - whose aims and plans are aligned to yours - is crucial.

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