Insurance Times speaks to Ian Newman, head of SME strategy and development at Covéa Insurance, about the firm’s latest developments on its etrading platform, Covéa Insurance Online

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Ian Newman

The Insurance Times Etrading Survey 2022 is now open.

If you are a broker, please take part before Friday 18 March 2022 to help influence the future of etrading.

While the survey is open, Insurance Times will be speaking to a wide variety of insurers and software houses that are heavily involved in etrading, to discuss the industry developments made over the last year and what future developments will benefit brokers.

Here, Insurance Times catches up with Covéa Insurance’s head of SME strategy and development, Ian Newman.

The Insurance Times 2022 Etrading Survey is now open to UK brokers. How has Covéa Insurance developed its extranet platform over the last 12 months and what developments are still to come?

Over the past 12 months, we have looked at the broker journey and made changes to our extranet platform, including changes to the question sets as well as adding pop-ups and help text. This additional information has provided extra support to our brokers when completing specific question sets.

Brokers are also able to self-serve cancellations, which means they now have full cycle capability across all our SME products on Covéa Insurance Online, our etrading platform. This has resulted in a slicker, more efficient platform for our broker partners, which in turn allows them to provide a much quicker service to their customers.

We have made a number of changes to our products and this programme of change will continue throughout 2022. We are also constantly reviewing our referral rules and guidelines to optimise business for our brokers.

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Brokers, click here to take part in Insurance Times’ latest etrading survey

Brokers completing this year’s survey are rating insurer extranets on aspects such as usability and trading ease, as well as the quality of support available on the platform.

What work has Covéa Insurance done in these areas and does the firm have any other plans in the pipeline?

Usability is a critical factor in making our broker partners lives easier.

In 2022, we aim to enhance our platform further by continuing to streamline processes and allowing brokers to complete that end-to-end, self-serve approach.

Sitting alongside an easy to use system though is having a team of top quality underwriters supporting our brokers to place more complex risks. Covéa Insurance prides itself on service and for our etrade platform, ensuring access to decision-makers who are empowered to make underwriting decisions is key to tradability.

Not all risks are straightforward and there is a dedicated underwriting team waiting to support our brokers at all times.

Our future development will also include reviewing communication methods and ensuring we are providing real-time responses to brokers through multiple channels, which enhances the overall customer experience.

The 2022 Etrading Survey also aims to explore how brokers perceive the referrals process for more complex products. How is Covéa Insurance developing the etrading referrals process for more complex products?

We have exciting plans that are in development. This will deliver a new and unique service to our brokers that will help secure business with a more ’one and done’ approach.

This will ensure clarity at the outset on our requirements and will limit the necessity to repeatedly ask for additional information. More details to follow on this later in the year.

How do you see the etrading arena developing over the next five years? 

The next five years will see an evolution in the way etrading develops. Systems will become more efficient with increased capability, reduced questions sets and more data enrichment, meaning quotability will increase and turnaround times will reduce.

There will also be a shift in how customers purchase their policies and how they are more engaged with the policy -  we see micropolicies move away from the historical 12 month lifecycle.

Insurtechs and B2C platforms will continue to take a larger share of the ‘S’ from the SME market, while brokers will look to trade more of the ‘M’ sized business via software houses and insurer extranets, to enable them to spend more time focusing on larger, more complex risks.

With the average etraded premium anticipated to rise, insurers will need to adapt their underwriting guidelines and capability to continue to serve brokers and their customers.

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Brokers, click here to take part in Insurance Times’ latest etrading survey - not only will you be influencing the future of etrading, but you will receive an executive summary report and be entered into a prize draw to win £250 worth of John Lewis vouchers.