Only 54% of Beazley’s survey respondents believe that insurance is meeting their businesses’ challenges very well

Exactly 44% of executives believe insurers do not understand their business, according to a new report published today (15 July 2021) by specialist insurer Beazley.

The report, titled Risk in a new world order: how can we meet clients’ changing needs, confirmed that risk transfer via homogenised policies and a reliable claims service are no longer enough to satisfy commercial insurance buyers, as balance sheet strength, a solid reputation and a smooth claims handling process are proven to be mere table stakes.

Instead, today’s businesses want insurance partners to demonstrate a solid understanding of their operations and the risks they face, as well as for insurers and brokers to add value through risk management tools, insights, services and flexible cover that better meets their changing needs.

These findings are based on research involving 1,000 senior executives and insurance buyers in the UK and US, across 10 different industry sectors. The study additionally included insight from in-depth interviews with a panel of risk and insurance industry experts.

Although the report highlighted that 48% of those surveyed said their trust in insurance has increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, only 54% of respondents believe that insurance is meeting their businesses’ challenges very well.

Furthermore, a quarter of business leaders struggle to understand what cover they need, with 19% finding it hard to obtain insurance that is tailored for their sector or specialist business.

Lou Ann Layton, Beazley’s head of broker relations and marketing, said: “While it is encouraging that trust in insurance has increased since the start of the pandemic, it is a concern that only about half of our survey’s respondents feel that the insurance industry is meeting their needs very well.

“Our report highlights that it is time for a service rethink.

“No longer can the industry take a one-size-fits-all approach - instead clients want a more nuanced, tailored and responsive service.

“To deliver what they want will require us to strengthen our relationships and improve communication with clients.

“Only by listening to them and demonstrating our expertise and insight into how they can better manage their specific, sector-based risks can we build our reputation as trusted risk partners delivering a valued service.”

Adding value

The research found that the top three priorities from insurance buyers are:

1. A deep understanding of risk by sector and size.

2. Specialist risk advisory services as part of their policy.

3. Comprehensive, straightforward cover.

Bethany Greenwood, head of cyber and executive risk and interim co-chief underwriting officer at Beazley, added: “This report provides detailed insights into how our industry can work with and better support clients at a time of significant change.

“Digital technology is more and more entrenched in insurance operations and distribution, unleashing huge potential for service improvement and efficiency.

“As insurance providers, how we harness claims and risk insight data will be critical in improving the services and solutions we develop for clients.

“There will always be a place for cost-effective standard coverage, however where our industry will add value in the future will be through a service based on a combination of technological and human factors.”

This latest report is the second in Beazley’s Risk and Resilience series.