Head researcher, Savan Shah speaks to head of small business and schemes at Covéa Insurance, Carolyn Callan on its performance in this year’s Insurance Times eTrading survey

Carolyn Callan - Larger Size

1) You’ve now seen the results of this year’s Insurance Times eTrading survey. What do you make of the results?

I’m happy with our position. There are some big names in there and probably one or two insurers, such as Home & Legacy and Plum Underwriting, that we wouldn’t see as our direct competition. So, on the whole, we’re pleased with the survey results.

It’s great to see that brokers appreciate the focus we have placed on delivering exceptional customer service. However, we cannot afford to be complacent and we will once again look for ways to continue to improve our offering to brokers based on the feedback from this year’s survey.

2) Out of the 743 brokers that took part in this year’s survey, nearly 40% said they have to wait for up to a day for an etrade referral to be cleared. What efforts are being made to speed up the referral process at Covéa?

This is something we pride ourselves on. We recognise that time is precious to brokers and small business customers, so when we were developing our suite of etrade products, we spent a lot of time getting our service proposition right and it’s now one of our key differentiators.

We offer brokers a 30-minute commitment on all referrals that come into our dedicated Trading Team, aiming to deal with 95% of all referrals within this SLA. This helps brokers place business as quickly and efficiently as possible.

3) A theme emerging from the survey was around the quality of questions with many brokers commenting on question sets being too short, or too long, and sometimes asking irrelevant questions. How do you ensure you are asking the right questions and maintaining that balance?

The products on Acturis, our chosen software house, adopt the imarket question set, so we are working within an industry standard question set. If there are issues with the question set, then we need to collectively work together as an industry to address that to ensure we maintain the efficiency benefits of etrade for brokers and insurers. But, at the same time, ensuring we have the right level of risk detail to make quality underwriting decisions.

4) Covéa performed well in the service category ‘Price competitiveness’. What have you been doing to provide competitive prices?

One of the things we really pride ourselves on and was evident at Biba, is working in partnership with brokers and being able to share information and data to make the right decisions.

We like to work closely with brokers to understand our quote and conversion rates and our competitive position on their insurer panel by product and more specifically at trade level.

Our team of underwriting product managers and analysts also undertake regular comprehensive reviews of our products and pricing.

It is about keeping in touch with the market via broker relationships to ensure that our product and pricing proposition is always up to date with ever-changing customer needs and the market landscape, using data wherever available to inform our decisions.

5) A broker commented in the survey stating “etrading works only for small uncomplicated risks, as it is hard to convey a risk through etrading platforms”, what do you say to that broker?

Having been on the broking side as well, I can see where they are coming from. However, I firmly believe there’s a place for etrading smaller, more complex risks hence the reason why I’m really optimistic about the forthcoming launch of our etrade Commercial Combined product later this year.

As a broker and an insurer, you need to be able to process the smaller, lower premium, less complex risks as efficiently as possible. Brokers need a slick and efficient process - key it in once, get a selection of quotes back, be able to compare, make a recommendation and bind the risks in one go.

Broker take-up of etrading is increasing and this trend is now becoming more prevalent with smaller, more ‘complex’ products such as commercial combined and fleet being underwritten in this way.

However, as always, having a good understanding of what a business actually does and then placing the risk via the most appropriate underwriting vehicle – be it etrade or manually underwritten - is of paramount importance.

Etrade is here to stay but I firmly believe that there will always be a place for relationship broking and a conversation with a human being in commercial insurance.

6) What are you excited about in the future that brokers should be aware of?

I have joined Covéa Insurance at an exciting time. To be honest, the reception we received at BIBA was fantastic and cements the importance that we as a business place on relationships with our broker partners.

It has demonstrated to me more than ever, that with the right relationships in place there is a massive amount of opportunity out there for all areas of our business – small business, mid-market, schemes and personal lines.

I’m particularly excited about the launch of our new etrade Commercial Combined product later this year which is currently in development with Acturis. We will be piloting this with several broker partners in Q4 with a view to launching in Q1 next year.

With our small business etrade products now firmly established with brokers, this product will continue the advancement of our etrade proposition, offering comprehensive cover, backed by the excellent service that we have become recognised for. It will enable us to improve efficiency and productivity for the smaller but more complex risks, as well as having similar benefits for our brokers.

The Insurance Times Etrading report is out now to order:

  • Discover how over 740 brokers view each stage of etrading on the leading insurer platforms and software houses in UKGI.
  • Gain valuable insight into product demand, barriers and support brokers desire to trade more policies.
  • Discover how brokers rate their chosen route of trading in areas such as security, navigation, products, referrals and more!
  • Learn what brokers really need from insurers and software houses to compete in an evolving industry.
  • Determine your strategic plan by learning from brokers feedback in 10 key etrading subject areas.

Register your interest here - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EtradeInfo

or alternatively contact Jack Thomson on 0207-618-3433 or at jack.thomson@insurancetimes.co.uk 

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