Touchstone Underwriting’s managing director, Alan Roe, provides an overview of the factors impacting MGAs today and explains what his firm has been up to over the last 12 months
As UK brokers respond to this year’s MGA Survey, Insurance Times speaks to the managing director of Touchstone Underwriting, Alan Roe, about the challenges MGAs are currently facing and what considerations MGAs need to keep an eye on moving forward.
Brokers can participate in 2022’s MGA Survey until 14 August 2022.
The 2022 MGA Survey aims to investigate the service levels of MGAs over the last 12 months. How has your MGA adapted to the challenges it has faced over the last 12 months?
Touchstone Underwriting has had digital capabilities since 2017, so it was business as usual during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We ensured all staff could not only work from home, but had cameras and headsets to enable video calls with colleagues and brokers. We also trained staff on listening skills and how to present themselves online.
For brokers, we developed ‘LearnPad’ complimentary training for brokers, delivered by us.
With a host of topics delving into particular sectors and industry news, these sessions were fully booked and feedback from our brokers was excellent. These sessions helped us keep in contact with brokers while they worked from home - with the bonus of them collecting continuing professional development (CPD) points.
There has been a huge drive across the industry to ensure digital capabilities are in line with customer expectations. What changes have taken place at your MGA surrounding digital innovation?
No changes have been made - rather improvements to existing facilities.
We have our own IT platform that delivers CCQ and documents via email instantaneously. Pre-pandemic, we were in a very good space, with online access already for brokers.
Expectations grew during the pandemic though and we need to catch up again with the higher bar that has been set.
Why should brokers stick with MGAs in an ongoing hard market?
They have the expertise, knowledge, are contactable and friendly. Brokers don’t receive a ‘computer says no’ response from MGAs.
There continues to be concerns about the potential reduction or removal of capacity from MGAs. What is your view on this?
We have always had a strategy to have a few A rated capacity providers, so we can have critical mass gross written premium with them. It’s all about performance and profit.
What improvements or changes have you made to your business based on the findings of last year’s Five Star Rating Report: MGA market?
We ensure products are fit for purpose and have increased limits or additional covers and benefits to make our products stand out.
Our online portal was streamlined to improve access for brokers and we are currently developing it further to give a softer interface and less box ticking.