‘You can’t go in now and take a piece of business off another broker that easily. You really need to know your stuff’

Brokers should boost their organic growth by focusing on undersold lines like business interruption, ‘key person’ and disaster/terrorism cover, according to market research firm Edgar Galek.

Speaking at the recent Insurance Times and Aviva IT Pack event in Leeds, Edgar Galek director Lisa Galek outlined research carried out by the company, which shows that brokers are not selling certain lines as much as they could.

She said that the research carried out for Aviva showed that other undersold lines include directors’ and officers’, group personal accident, product recall, cyber liability, professional indemnity, and insurance for e-commerce data loss.

Galek added that the impact of the recession meant that many businesses were still keeping a tight hold on the purse strings.

But brokers could increase sales by working out exactly what clients needed and targeting them with specific products, she suggested.

She added that clients often need to be educated, saying: “They don’t understand the market. It’s about you understanding it, and selling it to them.”

Romero Insurance managing director Simon Mabb suggested that brokers’ inherent flexibility and adaptability gave them an advantage over insurers when looking for growth. “There are huge layers of bureaucracy in insurers,” he said.

Be determined

Mabb advised young brokers looking to succeed in the industry to pick their workplace carefully, stay close to key people, be prepared to follow them as they move and learn as many skills as possible.

Mabb said brokers needed drive as well as qualifications. “I’ve known people who were qualified to the hilt but couldn’t trade their way out of a paper bag.”

BBC2 presenter for The Restaurant, and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007, Sarah Willingham said: “It’s fascinating listening to an industry that’s very different to my own,” adding that she saw many parallels between her own approach and the plans and ambitions of the brokers at the Leeds event.

JLT Specialty associate, and 2010 IT Pack winner, Leon Walker said that winning last year’s competition had boosted his career.

“Young brokers want to be told what they can do, not what they can’t do,” Walker said. “We are not shrinking violets. We put ourselves about. We’re northern, it’s what we do.”