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Top Tips for Addressing Broker Concerns in 2021

The past year has seen an increased focus on specialised markets, with insurers seeking to expand and compete in what has become a pressure-cooker market.

This pressure has undoubtedly flowed on to brokers as they seek MGA partners that can meet their needs and deliver for their clients. There is significant opportunity in leveraging your broker relationships in 2021, and here’s how we recommend you do this.

With the industry know-how and experience partnering with a long list of MGAs across the UK, Gallagher Bassett’s MGA Business Specialists, Charlotte Harrison and Jim Harris, share their tips below:

  1. Adopt an open data approach

Though many of us tense up in fear when we hear the phrase open data, adopting a sense of transparency and openness when it comes to claims performance and data is a simple way MGAs can pivot their ways of working to ensure continued trust with their broker audience. 

“Brokers are often closely involved with the claims process and will be used as escalation points throughout,” Charlotte explains, “so it is important that they feel up to date with information and insights to assist with communications with the policyholder.”

“Ensuring regular sharing of claims data is one of the simplest ways for MGAs to streamline this relationship, by proactively providing brokers with updated financial claims positions along with an overall awareness update of current status.”

“This transparency becomes most important for brokers ahead of key dates such as policy renewal and on the whole, contributes to the overall sense of trust between MGA and broker which, as many of us will know, is foundational to any form of business success.”

  1. Keep an eye on industry benchmarks

If insurers have learnt anything from the past 18 months, it ought to be that the industry remains an ever-changing environment and one of the most obvious challenges this brings for MGAs is the constant need to keep a finger on the pulse of industry benchmarks. Though keeping on top of the successes and failures of others in your industry may seem like a full-time job, Jim says it needs to be seen as an opportunity for success, rather than a chore.

“It’s absolutely crucial for MGAs to keep their eyes on data, results and findings that come from their industry peers and competitors as this is one of the strongest opportunities for you, your brokers and your claims team to work together to make further improvements – and ultimately cost savings – in your own ways of working,” Jim shares.

“Outside of this, it is also important to be a contributor to such industry benchmarking,” Jim adds, “sharing such data, both from your own portfolio and the industry can help highlight the achievements of your own book and defined processes.”

“It really all comes down to understanding the industry standards to enable your team to better plan to go above and beyond them.”

  1. Continue to embrace the new

Whilst insurers might have long been considered behind the times when it comes to technology, MGAs have played a large role in shifting this by building a reputation for embracing new technologies and opening up growth pathways, which is something Charlotte recommends shouting about.

“Having quickly built up a reputation for leading the way in embracing new technologies, emerging capital and distribution opportunities, MGAs must now work to highlight it,” Charlotte shares.

“Hearing about your growth plans and new products will be encouraging to your broker community and will ensure that policyholders are aware of the most well-suited products for their specific needs. Additionally, sharing your investment in technology and innovation will help ensure you are positioned as the clear partner of choice when compared with your competitors.”

“With consistent engagement being key to developing the relationship and getting this message across, the opportunity for MGAs lies in finding a streamlined process to engage with their broker community on these topics of interest.”

  1. Prioritise communication

Like so many other industries, coming out of lockdown has meant MGAs are again finding a new normal for their working environment. Whilst so many of us were forced to transition to virtual methods of communication throughout the pandemic, for an industry that at its core is people-focused, Charlotte and Jim agree that a continued prioritisation on effective communication is a key to success.

“Whilst for many of us it is still not quite an option and for some of us the concept seems like a distant memory, where face to face meetings are allowed, they must be embraced as a golden opportunity to engage with contacts,” Jim says.

“In an industry that is extremely people focused and relies on trusted engagements, the opportunity of having face to face engagements again is a great one for the MGA sector.”

Charlottes adds, “Where face to face engagements continue to be unavailable and as we transition to finding a balance between virtual and face to face, it is important that whatever the means, we find ways to engage with meaning.”

“With compassion and understanding having become renewed values right across the board, when it comes to engaging with the broker community, MGAs must ensure they are clearly positioned as ‘always on’ and readily available to listen, as well as be open to concerns or feedback to bolster themselves as an extension of the broker team.”

From how to nail compassionate claims management through to making sure you’re set apart from your competitors, hear more about how GB can help you succeed in the everchanging broker market by connecting with our team.
 

Charlotte Harrison

Senior Business Development Manager

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