Ben Potts is the MD of Novidea. Here he speaks exclusively with FinTech about trends in the London Insurance Market, and what the future holds for brokers.
The Future of the Lloyd’s Broker
Brokers have a vast number of checks and measures to go through before being allowed to operate in the London Market. As such, the Lloyd’s broker is seen as the best source of trusted advice in insurance, especially as the Market continues to set the precedent for emerging products or bespoke risks. But the expense of doing business is starting to erode its unrivalled dominance.
The rise of insurtechs continues apace as they try and change how insurance is done. In a recent report, it was estimated that the number of insurtechs almost tripled between 2014 and 2016. They want to change the relationship between the broker and the insurer, or else make it easier for clients to cut out the middle man and go directly to the insurer themselves. To avoid the threat and secure their place in the value chain, brokers will need to be indispensable advisors. To do that, and maintain those crucial client relationships, brokers need to have the technology to deliver.
The current Lloyd’s model means brokers rush around the City with their briefcase bursting with paper documents as they meet each client. In today’s modern world, this is clearly unsustainable. To make it worse, the tech that is being used is completely different at each stage of the insurance journey; it’s no wonder it all feels so slow and complex.
To arrange a quote, brokers currently need to ask a client numerous questions in order to get all the information required, yet even with all this information they are still unable to turn the quote around quickly – a process which is further exacerbated by the complexity of the London Market.
With ‘instant gratification’ as the name of the game for most customer service models these days, the vast majority of people are conditioned to get instant responses to queries. According to Accenture, almost half of customers want more online interaction when it comes to their insurance. They’re no longer happy to put up with slow service, and brokers and insurers need to vastly improve the customer experience, including making hassle-free adjustments to a policy or quotation at any part of their journey. This is where tech can help.
All about tech
The adoption of tech on some level is necessary for brokers to tackle this reality. Paper trails and legacy systems no longer fit the bill; ultimately, it’s technology that will enable brokers to stay on the front foot.
Brokers already have so much data on their customers, but they’re not leveraging it effectively. With the tools to in place to use quality data properly, brokers can get a 360-degree view of the customer and can identify cross and upsell opportunities. Not only is this good for business, it also goes a long way to cementing the relationship with the customer, which is a win-win for everyone involved.
The use of one single tech platform also means that all data can be accessed from any device, at any time. This gives brokers the ability to answer queries or update clients almost instantly wherever they are, which is a huge advantage when they’re under pressure to deliver.
A changing role
As long as brokers are providing value for money, the customer will remain happy and loyal. The quantity of customer data within a business is only going to increase, so brokers need technology to distil it down and derive some actionable insights from it. This knowledge, in conjunction with their market experience, allows brokers to provide the highest value possible to the customer, over and above the competition.