’MGAs really flourish in this environment because brokers are dealing directly with the decision maker,’ says chief executive

Managing general agents are thriving in the current economic climate by meeting increased broker demands with swift underwriting decisions.

That was according to Managing General Agents Association (MGAA) chief executive Mike Keating, who told Insurance Times that MGAs are “flourishing” and are “increasing their share of broker business” in the current landscape.

Through a brokers lens, Keating explained that the last 24 to 36 months had constituted a “very tough economic climate”.

The UK broking market has recently encountered increased regulatory workloads, a challenging economic landscape and rising costs, all of which piled pressure on the broker business model.

Keating explained: “Brokers need to work with their clients around their insurance program design.

“This design needs to be discussed with an underwriter because they may wish to change it based on the spending capability of that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) or customer.”

This is where MGAs come in, as they are able to engage with brokers and assist with how to adjust program designs to better meet client needs.

Keating explained: “This also allows the broker to point out where there may be a reduction in coverage or the program.

“MGAs really flourish in this environment, because brokers are dealing directly with the decision maker.”

MGAs enter

In large organisations, underwriters and insurers can often become overwhelmed with inquiries from brokers.

For example, last year (11 October 2023), JMG Group chief executive Nick Houghton said it was “appalling” that it can take so long for brokers to get hold of a decision maker at an insurer.

Keating explained that MGAs provide brokers with better access to decision makers because they ”have a wide spread of underwriting capability and expertise, which allows those underwriters in MGAs to make decisions.

“Insurers are looking at how many frontline underwriters they can get to meet these broker demands.

“[Meanwhile], MGAs are increasing their share of brokers’ business. The only way they can do this is because the underwriting community within MGAs delivers what brokers want in a timely and professional manner.”