It’s still broking, just a bit more tekkie
“On the eve of the annual British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) conference, the way brokers see themselves should be evolving”, says Simon Ball, Founding Director and CEO of e-trading insurance software specialist Quotall.
Brokers attending BIBA 2019, taking place on 15th and 16th May, will no doubt be on the lookout for ways to make their business models more sustainable and to deliver new product launches efficiently and successfully.
What about technology? It should be at the forefront of all brokers’ thoughts but only a few are actively seeking out the expertise to understand and engage with innovative tech. After all, doing so will help address the threat of potential disruptors challenging their business in a retail world that is rapidly evolving new channels to reach consumers.
I imagine I’ll be having many a robust discussion about this at the conference!
Home, travel and motor insurance have already been eroded by online rivals emerging from beyond the traditional insurance sector.
It is not just online giants like AirBnB or Amazon using vast pools of data, analytics and distribution technology to provide customer-winning insurance insights. All manner of online retailers can now easily and effectively add insurance to their ecommerce offering.
The broking market for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is huge in the UK. Yet much insurance business is still transacted in time-worn fashion, in person and by phone. This business is ripe for disruption.
SME clients behave much like consumers (they are the same people, after all). For a personal insurance purchase, do you tend to call someone up, or would you prefer to find what you need via Google? That online purchasing is an increasing trend for SMEs is a fact.
Brokers need to engage with this reality to capitalise on it.Key for many brokers is to know when a prospective or existing customer in one class of business already has a policy in another line with them (or, indeed with anyone else!). The more of a customer profile that can be built up, the better informed the business will be.
Assessing sales and cross-selling opportunities like this helps make you more relevant to your customer, and is a lot easier using a robust ecommerce platform, similar to ones used by online retailers.
Insurance through the lens of ecommerce
The insurtech disruptors setting their sights on the traditional broking model see insurance through the lens of e-commerce, and so it stands to reason that adopting this perspective is an excellent counter strategy.
Quotall has a unique vantage point that can benefit brokers: as an organisation, we have in-depth knowledge and experience of the SME and individual customer journey before they reach the insurance buying decision – and we want to motivate them to do something about it. Our insurance software platform exists to support wholesale and retail brokers that want to transform their distribution through cutting-edge ecommerce strategies.
The brokers that we work with are consulting or engaging with us about how to modernise their distribution through a proper e-trading solution.
What will the broker of 2020 look like? How about 2025? As the industry returns to Manchester for another year at BIBA, we look forward to contributing to the debate about the future of our vital industry and bringing a fresh perspective from the world where insurtech and ecommerce meet.
Enjoy the conference.