With the surging number of direct insurers and online platforms, it’s become increasingly difficult to enjoy growth as a broker. That’s why when a broker with humble beginnings announces its plans to expand to new premises it’s quick to catch the eye.
Step forward Insure Risk, an insurance company based in Altrincham, which has just moved to bigger offices after taking on new staff thanks to a recent uptick in business. Insurance Business UK
reached out to the firm’s managing director Ged Murray to find out about the secrets behind the success story.
“The business started about five years ago, myself and my partner Paul Denny, and we decided to begin a community type insurance brokerage looking after local businesses and using the skills that we learned in the corporate world and applying them to more local based business,” commented Murray. “We started off from scratch and the business has grown over time.”
Now boasting six employees, the company has moved to bigger premises at the Atlantic Business Centre in Broadheath. Surprisingly however, the success has not been achieved through strict targeting – instead it’s a case of a slow and steady approach and establishing the right reputation.
“We do marketing, we do cold calling and we do promotion – there’s isn’t one answer,” said Murray about how he goes about attracting business.
“I think we’re very careful to deliver what we say we’re going to do. Very often people promise you stuff and they don’t deliver. We’re very careful. We make sure we can provide the clients the service. It’s not just about piling the clients on – it’s about providing the right service.”
Delivering the right service might be something that every broker aims to do, but Murray believes that brokers shouldn’t get lost in the idea that they can offer this service to everyone – on the contrary, it’s necessary to take a long term approach and think about if the relationship can truly flourish because if it can’t the situation won’t work for either party.
“We’re trying to build a business, we don’t always get it right, but if we detect that the client is only interested in price then that’s rarely a client we can work with,” continued Murray. “We think our service is more than just a low cost option. We want to make sure our client has the right cover in place and we make sure we review their risk exposure and tailor the policy to what they need.
“Sometimes, unfortunately, people don’t value the service. Some clients base decisions solely on the premium. But it’s the service and the extent of the cover that’s arranged that’s important too. There are some people who just say they want to pay the least they can – but that isn’t the right way to go about it. When they need to make a claim they suddenly discover that they haven’t got what they thought they had and that’s when everything goes wrong – and that reflects on you as the broker too. We don’t want people to be in a situation like that so we take the time to get the cover right.”
But how is it possible to persuade a customer who is fixated on price to look beyond that alone?
“We try and find out about their risk exposures, what cover they have at the moment and highlight any deficiencies,” responded Murray. “It might be that someone has to pay a higher premium and that won’t suit everyone – but we want to explore the risk with the client, explain that and discuss what they need to insure.”
Another key to success for Insure Risk has been being able to embrace technology – and also using it in a productive manner to get the balance right and still offer traditional brokering services.
“When we started the business we realised we had to gear ourselves up on the technological front,” commented Murray. “We have got a good system that we use and we realise that a lot of clients in our world now, a lot of them like to use online quoting agencies.
“One thing we advise our clients about, however, is that even though many of them are buying insurance online simply doing that isn’t enough – the cover is rarely right. They rarely get what they think they’re paying for. So wherever possible we try to meet the clients and find out about what they want rather than give ‘off the shelf’ answers.”
It seems the message from Murray is clear – if you want to get ahead of the competition then you should try and give clients what they want, but never at the sacrifice of your own service.
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