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Broker of the future – It is not so much about what you do, but how

If you had any doubt that all cats are grey in the new global village, the reality of a post-Covid world confirms that there is no more “old normal” – the industry, wherever in the world you live, has been turned upside down.

“Brokers are facing huge challenges as they contend with shifting market forces and the growing threat of digital technologies. They need to find new ways to compete in an increasingly digital economy and become ‘brokers of the future’,” according to an Accenture blog post of 2016. “By 2020, Accenture Strategy estimates that disruptive models and digital platforms could account for as much as 15 to 20 percent of the P&C SME market.” This prediction became more than a reality in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic had an immense impact on a broker’s “way of work”.

According to the recent “Broker of the Future” report from Victor Canada, one of the largest managing general underwriters in the world, “…the differences that will distinguish tomorrow’s brokerages are likely to be less about what brokers do and more about how they do it.” Their research determined that Covid-19 has accelerated a move to digital solutions by everyone in the insurance industry.  “We’re working remotely, we’re sharing documents and information digitally, we’re using video conferencing and conference calls, and the use of online quoting systems has become normalized in this environment,” some of the Canadian brokers pointed out.

With the move to remote working there was also an increased cyber risk as the pandemic created a perfect environment for cyberattacks, such as social engineering and ransomware.

For brokers to be around for the long run in this ‘new normal,’ Victor Canada outlined five key components they will need to focus on moving forward:

1. Building better client journeys through enhanced digital user experiences

“The brokers who take the time to really understand their customers and digitize the user experience … will likely have the greatest success moving forward.”

2. Staying focused on what makes brokers most effective at their jobs – your insurance expertise

Brokers provide advice to clients and continue to be in the best position possible to help people and businesses choose the right insurance coverage because they have access to multiple solutions.

3. Brokers should be taking a multi-channel and multi-generational approach in their work

There are many ways to reach out to clients, whether it’s through websites, social media, email, video conferencing or traditional channels.  Brokers can, and should, be considering all of these and coordinate their efforts to support the preferences of their various clients, no matter what generation they fall into, to deliver services in the way that is most preferred by a wide range of their clients.

4. Enhance productivity by finding efficiencies through digitisation

Working digitally saves on travel time – the time savings achieved can have a real impact on the profitability of the brokerage and allow brokers to reinvest resources into growing their business.

5. Focus on the things that you are, or would like to be, good at 

Focus on more advice-driven types of business, rather than things that can be done more easily by larger competitors.

Click here to read the original article as published on the Insurance Business website.

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