It’s fair to say that 2016 was quite a big year for insurance giant Allianz
on UK turf. The company merged its commercial and retail businesses into one trading business to span commercial and personal lines while also creating a completely new technical team. Now, with 2017 in full swing, Simon McGinn (pictured), general manager of commercial and personal for Allianz
, is confident that there will be significant shoots of success.
“2016 was a year of considerable change for us, which is unusual for a company as stable and consistent as ours,” he told Insurance Business
. “Importantly, the feedback from brokers about the new structure has been positive which is very encouraging.”
The most notable development in the year just gone, he says, was the arrival of the Insurance Act which he described as being “important for bringing consistency and transparency over the rules that govern contracts between commercial customers and their insurers”. Its arrival coincided with heightened levels of customer expectation – a development that should place added emphasis on the broker.
“It’s not for me to tell brokers how to manage their businesses – they do a good job of that already,” he stated. “My hope is that brokers continue to underline and demonstrate the value that they provide to customers through the provision of their advice at the key moments for customers. In a world where customers are increasingly discerning about value for money, brokers are well placed to emphasise their value add activities and that of their product providers.”
Indeed he believes it’s vital that brokers and insurers work hand in hand to meet increasing demand and ensure customers receive an excellent service – something Allianz
is hoping to improve on with a series of developments to its own business.
“I am particularly keen to see further evolution of our claims solutions for brokers and customers as well as providing simple product access and solutions for the traditionally more complex business lines,” McGinn said.
“We will [also] continue to offer professional development opportunities for the next generation of broking leaders through our scholarship programme and have some work in progress that will add to our broker offering later in the year. Our support is always there for brokers who want to work with us to deliver sustainable profitable business for the benefit of both businesses.”
Despite being keen to stress the importance of brokers going forward, McGinn also admits that the digital aspect of the business cannot be overlooked – and is going to be increasingly important in the year ahead.
“Being digital by default is a key focus for this business because it’s clear that a player in the insurance industry that isn’t in a position to compete in a market where technological solutions dominate, will find it very difficult to be successful over the long term,” he said. “This applies to nearly all businesses and with the demand for cyber coverage growing, as is the drive to deliver more developed solutions, we will be in a strong position to play our part.”