The insurer has seen its gross written premium in digital SME improve in its half-year results because it has listened to brokers needs 

Aviva has introduced a series of features to its existing broker platforms that it said would help save brokers time and improve customer service.

The changes have been introduced in response to the insurer’s most recent Broker Barometer, which was carried out between 29 March and 1 April 2022 and surveyed 220 general insurance brokers.

The research revealed that 70% of brokers were interested in further automation, with more than half of them (58%) saying the reason for this was a desire to improve customer service.

In the insurer’s half year results, gross written premium across digital SME was up by 19%.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, Maria Crockart, SME digital trading and automation director at Aviva, said: “I am super proud of what we deliver for our brokers in that digital trading environment.

“We are continually committed to that broker channel – both in the products that we deliver end-to-end but also delivering new digital tools or enhancing them.

“[Brokers] have shown a clear appetite to transact more business digitally and process routine tasks quicker and more simply and this is what we’re giving them.”

For Crockart, “really listening to what brokers pain points are” is key, alongside supporting great underwriters.

“It’s about a blended proposition with digital at the front end and great intervention where needed by underwriters that support the brokers on that journey,” she added.

In Aviva’s latest digital update to its platforms, brokers can now place larger commercial combined risks online.

In addition to this, brokers can also process routine mid-term adjustments through the Aviva broker portal, which would historically be classed as a mid-market complex fleet business.

This means that brokers can use the platform to change a vehicle or conduct complex business – this includes renewing or lapsing regionally traded motor and non-motor policies.

A policy lapses when the policyholder stops paying premiums and the account value of the policy has already been exhausted. Insurers are legally bound to provide a grace period to policyholders before the policy lapses.

Previously, renewals and lapses was organised via email.

Aviva has also launched the first stage of its claim’s portal tracking.

Crockart noted that there has been 21% of growth in its broker channel, with digital being a “big driver” for this.

Staying ahead of the game

When asked whether e-trading was the future, Crockart said: “You can build the best technology in the world but that does not mean that people will come and use your services or capabilities – so you really have to keep close to your customer.”

For Crockart, “brokers are a vital element of Aviva’s success”, so the insurer is always keen to listen.

“Where matters are less straightforward, they can have confidence that there is a team of dedicated specialist underwriters ready to help at once,” Crockart added.

“We’ll keep listening to brokers’ feedback to ensure we stay ahead of the game and continue to offer market-leading technological solutions backed by real human expertise.”

The four new features included in Aviva’s update are:

1. Client dashboard

Aviva’s extranet platform Fast Trade now features a client dashboard, making it easier for brokers to identify live policies and quickly view and action current quotes or start a new quote directly from the dashboard.

It also suggests additional products customers may find useful, based on clients with a similar risk profile, providing brokers with new cross-sell opportunities.

These will appear as quote options in the dashboard, with answers to some questions pre-populated based on information already held.

2. Commercial combined

In commercial combined, Aviva has responded to broker demand to place larger risks online by increasing upper product limits and investing in more underwriting capability.

It has enhanced its digital service support and digital functionality, joining up online and offline to make it faster for brokers to place business. If a risk cannot be immediately placed online it can be referred immediately for a quick decision via the insurer’s dedicated offline underwriting team.

3. Mid-term adjustments (MTAs)

Aviva has also launched a new digital capability through the Aviva broker portal, allowing brokers to make instant policy amendments on regionally traded commercial business.

The insurer can now process mid-term adjustments (MTAs) for commercial motor policies and renew or lapse across motor and non-motor, processing a renewal in just four mouse clicks.

4. Digital claims data and tracking

As part of its digital claims programme, Aviva has launched track claim functionality, along with planned enhancements to its claims data service, across commercial lines property, motor and liability within the portal.

This includes the addition of enhanced data fields, as well as a dashboard with visual graphs, charts and heat maps to help brokers with insight and trend analysis.

Brokers can now track claims digitally, download a snapshot of the claims’ status and access a live chat directly if they need to.

The dashboard will also give them access to open, closed and notified claims, allowing them to track at individual claim level and download a snapshot of their claims’ status.