What is driving the industry forward? And what do you need to do to capture the next generation of insurance brokers?
The current state of the insurance industry is bi-polar in the sense that some areas are doing better than others. Natural disasters such as floods and fires that have hit Australia in the last 18 months have affected the area of general insurance, leading to a somewhat slow growth period. The general insurance industry is therefore much the same as it has been in previous years and we expect this will continue in 2013.
At the other end of the spectrum, there has been a rampant increase in the investment in technology in the life insurance space due to organisations responding to a very competitive market. Activities which focus on the customer have proven to be the focus in 2012 and will continue to be the drivers for investment in 2013.
Since the GFC, individuals are increasingly becoming aware of the benefits of a strong superannuation scheme and there has been a solid shift towards self-managed super funds.
This awareness of the ‘where all the money goes’ issue is prompting people to consider other financial matters and appropriate cover more seriously.
We are in the age where knowledge is more powerful than ever and having information on demand instantly can prove to be the difference between retaining and losing a customer. Insurance as a whole isn’t as appealing as other FMCG industries so it will need to continuously and closely follow innovative trends in banking and other FMCG initiatives to keep up with the pack. The banking arena is leading the way in interacting more efficiently with its customers through the digital gateway and mobile strategies.
We need to reconsider the options we are providing and assess our methods of engagement with our customers/members/clients through various activities focused on increasing market-facing capabilities. Insurance as a whole is trying to re-think these options and we will see more and more capabilities in this area in 2013–14.
If we are able to capture the Gen Y market early and provide a service that is accessible, agile and interactive, the insurance industry will be able to endure long-term brand loyalty with its customers.
From an IT perspective, there will be a continual push to create innovative, easy-to-use technical applications with short response times that help customers and stakeholders see the value of our products and services more clearly. Providing a mechanism for people to purchase policies, get quotes and make claims on the go may be once again the game changer in the industry.
Innovation plays a huge part in the insurance industry’s ability to maintain and keep top talent on board whilst being engaged and interested in their work. Candidates want to walk away at the end of the day having made an impact. Hiring managers within insurance need to assess the expectations/responsibilities given to their staff and offer support to realise their potential and set them up for success. Managers who are in tune with the needs of their staff and provide them with the tools they need to succeed have proven to be most successful.
IVAN MICALLEF is a recruitment consultant working exclusively within the insurance Industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org