Groupama's newly appointed distribution and customer services director is to undertake a "major" review of the insurer's broker segmentation strategy that will see service to smaller brokers improve.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, Cathie Bruce who was appointed to the role in June following the departure of Amanda Blanc to Towergate, said the move was one of a raft of initiatives to improve service to brokers.

Measures under consideration include forming a panel of brokers to advise the insurer on service issues, and initiatives to provide better access to underwriting staff. There are also plans to be more "innovative" in terms of new products, being more responsive to brokers' own product suggestions.

Bruce, who was formerly head of customer proposition at Groupama, said the segmentation review was necessary to ensure that the insurer's current model was "fit for purpose".

"The review we did three years ago needs updating because of changes in the marketplace, with the presence of Towergate and the emergence of super brokers. We need to look at the segmentation to make sure we deliver," she said.

But she insisted that smaller brokers would benefit from the review. "If you spend too much time with the big fish you miss the shoals of smaller fish with good ideas. Smaller brokers will find their service levels improve as a result," said Bruce.

Bruce said she was actively looking to increase its agency base from its current level of 2,846.

Customer care
Cathie Bruce is considering:

  • Creation of broker advisory boards to act as a "forum for brokers, so they can tell us what they want in terms of service"
  • Better access to underwriting staff with the ability to make decisions immediately
  • Product review to look at the product suite for small businesses, considering ideas for new products from brokers