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What brokers want from insurers

23 Sep 2017

Brokers want better communication and digital innovation from insurers, a new report from EY has found.

The report, entitled The Broker of the Future – Australia, found that 43% of brokers are currently unhappy with the consistency of their interactions with insurers while three quarters believe that product innovation around bundling could help grow their businesses.

Imran Ahmed, EY Oceania insurance customer and growth solution leader, said that the value of the broker-insurer relationship is still important to the industry, in spite of rapid change.

“Brokers see some of the pressures in the marketplace and they are also very keen to respond and they recognise, from a smaller broker perspective, they can’t do it all on their own,” Ahmed told Insurance Business. “They are looking to their insurance partners to see how they can help support this.”

The survey found that brokers believe insurers should be providing better online access and tools to support the broker channel. Seventy three per cent (73%) of those surveyed would value
improved digital tools from insurers with increased support for policyholder servicing (71%), and improved platforms and access to third-party products (78%) were other high priorities.

Quality online and digital tools have a significant impact on business, with 78% of brokers noting that the quality of these tools – whether a positive or negative – directly impacts their choice of insurer.

“Insurers also need to up their game when it comes to the online tools they are providing to their distribution partners,” Ahmed continued. “For customers to have a positive experience at every touch-point, sales and service channels need to be integrated seamlessly and brokers are increasingly recognising the importance of digital channels as part of their business models.”

Just as Vero’s latest SME Index revealed that more clients are seeking bundled products, EY found that brokers are seeking support from insurers to develop bundled products.

More than 80% of those surveyed said that they expect more support from insurers around product customisation, with 75% specifically targeting bundling to help drive growth.

“Brokers are closer to customers, in some respects, than the insurers would be,” Ahmed continued. “They should be able to work with their customer segments, better understand their needs, and collaborate with the insurers to say we have this segment of customers, here are some of the things that could be bundled together to provide a compelling proposition to some people as effectively a one-stop shop.”

Ahmed stressed that other research has found that clients with bundled policies are also “stickier” as they hold multiple ties to a company.

“They are more likely to stay with you which benefits everybody really,” he concluded.

 

 - Insurance Business

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