Industry experts will clarify practical ways brokers can assist commercial clients amid the UK’s recessionary environment because ‘the role of the broker has never been more important’

BrokerFest 2023: Brokers will need to showcase a new and evolved empathy driven skill set if they are to help their commercial clients to survive and thrive amid today’s macroeconomic uncertainty, an expert panel is set to confirm this Thursday (23 February 2023) at Insurance Times’ BrokerFest 2023 conference at Etc.venues St Paul’s.

In a plenary session entitled How to help commercial clients deal with the impact of recession and high inflation, three panellists will debate both the current and future challenges facing commercial insurance customers, as well as pinpoint how brokers can proactively support this demographic and ensure they get value for money on their insurance spend.

The session’s speakers include Mark Cliff, chairman of Avid Insurance, Clear Insurance Management’s director for London Nick Smallcorn and Bernadette Hackett, head of customer and distribution at Zurich Insurance. The panel will be chaired by Insurance Times editor Katie Scott.

Broker evolution

During the 30-minute session, the panellists will outline the key factors they believe are hitting commercial customers hard – such as inflation, energy prices and the threat of cyber attacks – as well as debate practical steps that brokers can take to support commercial clients amid the UK’s ongoing recessionary environment.

For Smallcorn, this involves brokers evolving their skill set.

He explained: “It’s a different skill set as a broker you need now than [in] the market four years ago or the market eight years ago.

“We have to become better at listening to clients and providing potential solutions to clients and at least understanding their problems properly. As a community of people, brokers are not always the best at that - they are not as good as they should be.”

Hackett will also be providing an insurer lens on the discussion, highlighting the questions and conversations commercial brokers should be having with their insurers to form creative propositions and a “powerful” tripartite that supports end clients.

The panel will additionally touch on the role of risk management and brokers’ presentation of risks – and how this can influence underwriting and insurers’ risk appetite – as well as talk about the impact of dwindling of capacity and sky high reinsurance costs in certain lines of business.

Practical ways to mitigate underinsurance will also be discussed by the experts.

“The role of the broker has never been more important,” Smallcorn continued. Cliff agreed: “I don’t remember there being a time like this where there are so many elements of change [affecting] a business.

Hackett noted: “This is the first hard market that hasn’t had a big triggering event.”

Brokers can attend BrokerFest 2023 this Thursday for free - don’t forget to register your place here or read more BrokerFest 2023 content here.