Broker-only insurer plans tie-up with other intermediary groups

MMA has announced plans to move away from its broker-only focus to enable it to distribute products through a wider range of intermediaries.

Sales and marketing manager Clare Tilly said that MMA, which does not sell insurance direct, would change its distribution strategy from smallerbrokers to telebrokers and affinity groups.

"There is, without question going to be consolidation in the intermediary market," she said. "Within that, we will be looking at wider routes to market."

In the past, the company's agency base has primarily comprised independent high street brokers. But Tilly said that while these relationships would continue, in future, MMA would also look to work with larger brokers, networks, volume businesses, trading organisations and telesales brokers.

It was currently in "advanced negotiations" with a number of companies. "It won't be at a cost to our other trading relationships," Tilly said.

She confirmed that along with many other insurers, MMA was currently in the process of reviewing its agency agreements, which she said was a necessary measure in light of changing regulation. "We certainly have to review the agency agreements we have in place," she said.

In terms of compliance support, MMA's broker training will be expanded in 2004 beyond its traditional focus on MMA products.

But Tilly said the training would address issues such as cross-selling, human relations policies and business development, rather than being FSA specific. "I think it has been done to death," she said. "We want to make it more of a business check than an FSA check."

Tilly said that in future, MMA would also be more flexible in responding to what its intermediaries want, and would consider moving into new areas or developing new products if they were demanded.