The broker trade body plans to work with insurers to deliver positive eTrading outcomes for brokers and end customers

Broking trade association Biba is calling on insurers to develop more innovative eTrading systems that can accommodate a wider range of risks and provide more flexible cover in order to improve service for brokers.

This message is one of the central calls to action revealed within Biba’s 2023 manifesto, entitled Managing risk – delivering stability, which was published on 24 January 2023 and launched at an event held at the Houses of Parliament.

Within the manifesto, the trade body explained that it plans to collaborate with insurers to ensure that eTrading systems are efficient, flexible and provide ”first class delivery to our clients”.

Steve White, chief executive of Biba, told Insurance Times: “In the service area, there are two key issues – hybrid working and eTrading.”

White believes “insurers have built [eTrading] systems that allow square pegs to continue in square holes”.

The issue with this, however, is ”if the risk is an oblong or round shape, or a square shape with a leg on it that doesn’t fit – what happens next”?

This could refer, for example, to more complex commercial lines risks that cannot be easily categorised.

White’s view is supported by Biba members. In a 2022 membership survey cited in the manifesto, 77% of its broker members said they embraced eTrading, but 46% of respondents had experienced problems with risks being “out of scope” on the currently available eTrading platforms.

Biba represents around 1,800 member firms that act as brokers in the UK.

ETrading is ‘not perfect’

ETrading forms a key strand of insurers’ service for brokers.

Therefore, as part of Biba’s manifesto commitment to help insurers improve their service levels for brokers, the trade body will work with research and insights consultancy Gracechurch Consulting.

This will consist of “an ongoing independent survey to objectively assess the issue of insurer service, establish an industry benchmark against which progress can be measured and to help identify actions that will promote better service”.

Biba also has created an insurance technology and innovation committee, including broker members and software house staff, to look at all things eTrading and encourage innovation in the insurance technology ecosystem.

Graeme Trudgill, Biba’s executive director, added: “We know that eTrading is not perfect and that work needs to be done.”

Biba’s manifesto outlined four commitments targeting insurer service. The trade body plans to:

  • Work with insurers to deliver positive outcomes for brokers and customers, identifying areas for quick improvement.
  • Establish a steering committee to further explore and evaluate insurers’ service for brokers.
  • Showcase areas of good practice.
  • Provide updated results in July 2023 to gauge progress on these metrics.

Five star standards 

According to Insurance Times’ Five Star Rating Report: ETrading 2022, Aviva’s Fast Trade extranet received a five star score from brokers for the fourth year in a row. Meanwhile, Zurich’s extranet - Zurich Online - achieved five stars in 2022 for the first time in the survey’s history.

Last year’s report was based on 820 UK-based broker responses that rated the service provided via insurer extranets, software house platforms and broker management systems.

Adam Winslow, chief executive of UK and Ireland general insurance at Aviva, said: “Brokers are a vital part of Aviva’s distribution strategy.

“Brokers want to work with insurers they can trust, which is why we’ve invested [in our service] to ensure we’re providing the level of support, service and access to propositions that brokers rely on us to deliver.”

Insurance Times launched its 2023 eTrading survey, in association with Applied Systems, on 17 January 2023, calling on UK brokers to provide their feedback on their eTrading experiences.

Brokers have until midnight on 19 March 2023 to submit their responses

4. etrading 300X50 mobile

Click here to take part - all brokers that complete the eTrading survey will be entered into a prize draw to win £250 worth of John Lewis vouchers.