Uk number two general insurer Royal & Sunalliance is about to expand its Enterprise broker-sold small business product range as part of a massive push into the commercial sector.
The insurer, which has won broker plaudits for its underwriter-staffed call centre approach to small business insurance, will embark on a rolling programme of ventures in the commercial market starting this month with the launch of a new call centre in Liverpool for RSA's current book of small business customers who buy direct.
In the first half of next year RSA will unveil a commercial package aimed to help smaller brokers with business customers, and the Enterprise product range will be boosted to include such covers as property owners' liability, professional indemnity and a range of covers designed specifically for different small business trades.
Technology will be increasingly used across all sectors. The direct customers will be given 24-hour access through a call centre and web technology this year with Enterprise being handled on the web too next year – with brokers still able to call an underwriter to negotiate cover at any time during the transaction.
During the year RSA also intends to switch older existing small business customers across to the Enterprise system, which has until now taken only new business. Enterprise will also tighten its service standards to give quotes within ten minutes and deliver documents within 48 hours.
RSA is also planning a major push into schemes and is working on how to help brokers develop new schemes.
Commercial development director Rod Kitchen says the expansion programme is based on improving customer service after an NOP poll for RSA found brokers would increasingly place business on service over price. "Our research tells us that brokers value service more than just cut-throat price. Service is more and more going to be the deciding factor."
Kitchen says the research was the first RSA has felt was strong enough to rely on and it has led to the company segmenting its customer and distribution channels.
The research showed that brokers valued RSA's service, that the RSA brand was strong and that the company was considered trustworthy.