Covéa Insurance’s director of personal lines distribution Sue Coffey speaks to Insurance Times lead researcher Savan Shah to discuss the strong performance of Personal Lines and High Net Worth offerings in the Insurance Times Personal Lines Broker Service Survey

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Covéa Insurance was top in the Insurance Times Personal Lines Broker Service Survey, whilst being second in the commercial lines survey. To what do you attribute that?

“The survey is great for us as it is direct feedback from the broking community. I think we have scored well because of the focus we give to the customer (and for us the customer is not only the policyholder but the broker too.) We look at ways to build strong relationships and truly try and understand the broker’s business so that we can work in a way that adds value to us both. The Covéa Insurance brand, whilst always strong in our market, is increasingly becoming recognised for its total commitment to service. For me, this is about always delivering on our promises and getting the basics right. We set out our stall to be the insurer that puts things right when things go wrong for our customers and everyone in the organisation is focused on that no matter what their day job is.”

Underwriting expertise and flexibility is a great concern amongst brokers. Covéa Insurance scored very highly in this service category. What is your secret?

”For HNW, flexibility, expertise and strong relationships with partner brokers are key and have been significant contributing factors in achieving such high overall scores. We are mindful that insurance isn’t always black and white and whilst we don’t want to build cost into our model by encouraging referrals for standard motor and home products, as we know it’s not efficient for us or the broker partner. Instead we work to find ways to make it easy to do business with us on those occasions where the risk isn’t totally straight-forward. We’ve done this by updating our underwriting rules, making our policy documents clearer and by having our distribution and development team available to work together to come up with a solution”.

Brokers place different levels of business with their chosen insurers, however increasingly those brokers who place smaller volumes through an insurer are being encouraged down the online route when some prefer a more traditional personable approach that they once were very used to. Is there any difference in how Covéa treat brokers who place a small amount of business in comparison to those brokers placing a large amount of business?

“We want to write personal lines business through sources that add value and we firmly believe that this can either be the smaller community brokers that know their customers individually and understand the things that impact their local areas or the larger online brokers with household names and bigger amounts of data to share. We have a team that will work with all of these value-adding sources, irrespective of size, and ensure we have a proposition that is tailored to their needs.”

There are many issues that could potentially disrupt the insurance industry this year. What do you feel will be the biggest disruptor in 2018?

“More Ogden drama, although I think we are all ready for it now and the outcome is looking more positive for the industry. The long-awaited injury reforms should start to unravel and we will adapt depending on the outcome. I personally think it’s needed and the sooner the better for all in the industry as well as the genuine claimant. Finally, the changing world of technology and the new emerging risks that many of us may have thought would not hit in our lifetime but are now gathering pace, like cyber risk and the Internet of Things.”

What’s in the pipeline for 2018?

”More of the same! We will continue to work with our broker partners and strengthen our relationships. We want to be the insurer of choice for brokers because we deliver, whether it be on exciting growth opportunities together, great customer service or designing products that continue to meet ever-changing customer needs. One thing is for certain, we will be looking for growth in all areas and ways to improve our insight into the market enabling us to deliver great products at competitive rates. We will be working hard internally to back up this with digital solutions to give more options to customers and keep our business efficient and effective.”

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