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‘Brokers’ rank their BDMs ‘excellent’

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Insurance Business | 20 Sep 2012, 12:05 AM Agree 0
In a surprise result to Insurance Business’ latest poll, the performance of insurers’ BDMs has been given a landslide rating of “excellent”. However, some suspicious voting patterns might be at play…
  • Sarah | 20 Sep 2012, 10:49 AM Agree 0
    While there are some minimal standout BDMs from the major insurers, majority are absolute failures, no contact, no support, no one to discuss issues regarding underwriters and problems while trying to place a product.
    Most times now i avoid the BDMs and go striaght for the underwriters.
  • Scott Robertson | 20 Sep 2012, 10:52 AM Agree 0
    Taking BDMs as a whole, I'd probably rate them as 'good' overall. There are a few terrible BDMs where you wonder how they were ever employed, but overall I've found my BDMs helpful points of contact.

    Now I should mention that I'm a young broker - I've only been in the insurance market for 3 years now, so my expectations for what a BDM does may be different to the brokers of old who are used to the pen-and-paper broking. I may be misunderstanding what a BDM is for, but in terms of someone within the insurer who has a bit of clout to get claims moving along or new business/renewals re-examined or deals negotiated I think they do a good job.
  • Kimberl | 20 Sep 2012, 11:08 AM Agree 0
    Considering the primary source for your "Brokers united in BDM criticism" article seemed to come from the 16 comments left in the previous article relating to BDMs, I'm not surprised more people might have voted to overturn the unfair generalisation against BDMs.

    Maybe you should track IPs and open a new poll before starting a conspiracy theory that might not have any merit?
  • John | 20 Sep 2012, 11:21 AM Agree 0
    Sarah is spot on! We have exactly the same experience here.
  • Renee | 20 Sep 2012, 11:26 AM Agree 0
    The BDM's visit with sweet treats for morning tea whilst spruking their products. I tell them it doesn't matter how good your policies or your morning tea are if your claims service is crap. There's very little support from them in that area.
    We currently only have 2 "excellent" ones servicing us.
  • Damian Scantlebury | 20 Sep 2012, 11:33 AM Agree 0
    Ditto to Sarah's comments and I have for a number of years gone straight to the underwriters as well.
  • Bruce | 20 Sep 2012, 11:44 AM Agree 0
    If insurers are trying to reduce costs they should fire their BDMs. They are pretty much useless except for passing the buck or wasting my time tap dancing on some feature or other. They are totally irrelevant. Give an underwriter who will respond within 4 hours any day. Unfortunately these gems are an endangered species. Those underwriters that get back quickly get most of my business. I can't wait 24 hours for a 10 minute decision!
  • Tony | 20 Sep 2012, 12:19 PM Agree 0
    I have to laugh at emails announcing "a new BDM". Most of the time I never knew the old one!!!!


    Sadly, BDM's have become nothing more than glorified post boxes.

    The old days of a fair dinkum BDM taking a risk to the underwriters and working hard for a desired rate etc are long gone but very much to the brokers detrement.
  • Casey | 20 Sep 2012, 12:37 PM Agree 0
    Bruce is totally correct BDM's have no authority When asked to assist with a problem thay are useless. It some way it is probably not the BDM's fault as they slapped on the wrist if they challenge any internal decision.
  • Mark | 20 Sep 2012, 01:32 PM Agree 0
    We are a small Broker & only see one BDM from all the Underwriters we deal with, when speaking to them on the phone occassionally, their Level of service is Poor, We are about to triple in size & this should be a warning to BDM's , dont ignore Brokers because of size & in addition, most of them are a waist of time because they have no Underwriting authority.
  • Bec | 20 Sep 2012, 01:44 PM Agree 0
    I agree with all of the above except the part about BDM's visiting with sweet treats for moning tea! we don't even get that!
  • Broker of the year | 20 Sep 2012, 04:09 PM Agree 0
    Speaking of the dark side, typical post boxes, alot of talk, fake promises, keep asking 'show us some love'...Grrrr!
  • Not a troll | 21 Sep 2012, 11:20 AM Agree 0
    'Show us some love'. I like that. Can't say there's much love being shown to the BDMs here!
  • John duggan - AIS insurance | 21 Sep 2012, 03:07 PM Agree 0
    BDM = Brochure Delivery man. Sums the whole arguement up perfectly, excludes Bec, John & Alicia - John AIS Insurance.
  • Concerned | 24 Sep 2012, 10:22 AM Agree 0
    The vitriolic commentary on here directed at those who are no doubt (in most cases) doing their best to assist brokers is appalling. I would suggest in light of the sarcastic diatribe on here, it may be the time for some self reflection. You only get out of a relationship what you put in and if you are treating your BDM's in the same manner illustrated on here, perhaps you shouldn't be surprised if a) they don't want to come near you or b) they won't bend over backwards to assist. Perhaps instead of posting on forums such as this you should take the time to sit down with your BDM and discuss expectations, it might just work! It's called communication.
  • Very concerned!! | 24 Sep 2012, 12:41 PM Agree 0
    Following on from "concerned" above, what IS the most alarming is the constant push from IBO - the editor just cannot accept that there could be the possibility of decent BDM's in the marketplace.

    Yes, there are limits on what BDM's can do - just as there are limitations on what brokers can deliver. What if we had a Broker poll where the BDM would rate their panel of brokers?? What then?

    Instead of all this nonsense, why don't brokers and underwriters try and work TOGETHER instead of us adding weight to the argument that the insurance industry is not one that can be trusted..and that cannot work together to get the best results for the client?
  • Tony | 28 Sep 2012, 10:55 AM Agree 0
    To concerned and very concerned, you both fail to recognise the shift away from the original intention of a BDM and what is meant by that term.

    Development, being the key word, means WORK.

    The fact that your employers, the insurers, have chosen to dilute that role is the key issue, not the individuals themselves.

    As somewhat of a veteran with 25 years general insurance experience across all delivery platforms, I sincerely miss the technical discussions I could have with a BDM regarding a risk and its pro's and con's and the binding rating agreement struck between the both of us.

    I find it quite concerning myself that brokers have been left to basically fend for themselves as the BDM role becomes more and more redundant.
  • Concerned | 28 Sep 2012, 02:03 PM Agree 0
    To Tony - I am not sure I know how you have arrived at your conclusion about me failing to recognise this alleged shift you refer to. I think you may have failed to understand the point of my posting. In short, like with most roles in most industries there are those that excel and those that don't - the same is true of BDMs just as it is of Brokers. What I find frustrating is the constant need for sweeping generalisations. My point is, perhaps those who have difficulties with their BDMs should bite the bullet and discuss their concerns with their BDM and if there is no improvement, raise with their manager; instead of hiding behind these forums. You have drawn the conclusion that I must be employed by an insurer...that in itself speaks volumes.
  • Perry | 28 Sep 2012, 02:30 PM Agree 0
    I have to say there is some interesting debate on this topic and my view for what it is worth is that most of the BDM’s I deal with are good people doing a thankless job with mostly fair weather friends. I have dealt with good BDM’s and some average ones. The ones I call good are in for the long run to work and grow with us and the ones that are just doing a visit to tick a box I would call average. I do agree that they have lost a lot of their authorities to do a deal on the spot. Personally, I have been vocal and dismissive to BDM’s that have not given me what I need for what ever reasoning. The earlier suggestions of going direct to the underwriter for a result will not always work. I’m not going to give them a spray when I don’t get what I want. I’m going to unload on the rep in my office, whoever that is, although it’s rarely an underwriter. I want solutions to a problem I’m presented with and rates or commission are not always primary drivers. Provide me with service (from all parts of the insurers business) and a competitive product and we will all continue to make money.
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