Although brokers remain optimistic about their business growth in 2023, 84% are concerned that their clients are underinsured, according to insurer research

Brokers are shaking off fears around the cost of living crisis, with around three-quarters predicting that their business will grow in the year ahead, according to new research by insurer Aviva.

Its Broker barometer survey, which polled 224 general insurance brokers between 5 and 14 December 2022, found that despite the current macroeconomic conditions in the UK, brokers feel that the outlook for their own businesses – as well as their clients’ – is positive for the coming year.

More than three-quarters (76%) of the brokers surveyed expect their business to grow this year – compared to 43% who believed this in 2022 – while 79% anticipate that their clients’ businesses will also flourish in 2023, versus 45% who thought this last year.

In terms of brokers’ plans for the year ahead, 33% said that cost cutting was on the agenda, followed by new marketing initiatives (31%), IT investment (31%), new product launches (24%) and external recruitment (22%).

Ryan Birbeck, regional brokers distribution director at Aviva, said: “Brokers are once again proving themselves to be incredibly resilient and a valuable advisor for their clients.

“Although challenging market conditions remain, Aviva’s Broker barometer shows an economic environment that has opportunities, with marked increases in the number of enquiries on insurance issues and solutions.

“This is testament to the vital expertise brokers provide to their clients.”

Cost of living impact

One in three (30%) brokers told Aviva that the cost of living crisis is having an impact on their business - a further 27% added that they expect the crisis to affect their business in the next three months.

Brokers think the cost of living will impact their business in a number of ways this year.

The survey found that 42% of brokers are having to reduce their own costs, 36% expect less demand from clients, 33% believe clients won’t increase their sums insured properly and a further 33% think clients will fail to take out the cover that they need.

One-quarter (25%) said they are finding it difficult to grow their business as a result of the crisis.


Broker respondents also recognised the threat of underinsurance to their clients. In total, 84% said they are concerned that some of their clients may be underinsured.

Aviva added that brokers are looking to insurers to help them address this issue.

Around 49% of the survey’s respondents want insurers to educate their clients about the risk of underinsurance and 48% want insurers to do more to encourage brokers to review their clients’ sums insured every year.

Four out of 10 brokers (40%) said they want insurers to share data so they can better understand which of their clients are underinsured.

Birbeck continued: “Underinsurance is a significant issue for brokers and they clearly want their insurer partners to support their efforts to help educate clients.

“Aviva’s regional underwriting teams can support them by identifying clients [that] are vulnerable due to underinsurance and, by making Aviva’s Commercial Insurance Tool available for brokers on Fast Trade, we hope to equip brokers with the necessary tools and information to have quality client conversations on this topic.”

Similarly, 37% of brokers want insurers to use big data to help personalise the insurance they offer to clients so that the cover is suited to their needs.

Aviva’s findings also showed that the role of the broker is changing too - brokers are seeing an increased demand from clients for their guidance on a range of insurance issues compared to 2022.

For example, 20% of brokers said their clients needed help working through hard market conditions – double last year’s figure of 10% - while 14% noted that clients were seeking their counsel on risk management assessments and strategies, compared to 9% last year.

Meanwhile, 9% of broker respondents said that clients wanted their help with management liability, compared to 8% who observed this in 2022, and a further 8% of brokers stated that clients spoke to them about the impact of climate change – a slight fall from the 10% of brokers that had these discussions last year.