Insurance brokers want more frequent and better service from insurer BDMs, with many claiming they are seeing less BDM boots on the ground.
’ Brokers on Insurers Survey 2014 received a significant number of responses from brokers who wanted to interact more frequently and more effectively with insurer BDMs.
Though only the fifth most important aspect of insurance service to brokers, it represented a key opportunity for insurers to demonstrate what brokers say they most want, including more personal service, consideration and understanding of their clients, and flexibility to new business and claims.
At best, brokers say as competition and capacity has increased, BDMs are raising the bar.
‘BDM's seem to be taking extra effort to cut through and connect with brokers. Less pushing of the corporate line and more solution focused', said one broker. ‘BDM's seem to be realising there is a change in the market so are more proactive in trying to help sort out issues before they snowball out of control’ said another respondent.
However many noted a reduction in BDM visits, with segmentation strategies or cutbacks and centralisation forcing a focus on key broker businesses, rather than smaller operations.
'I liked having our local BDM and they were always helpful if I needed a assistance. I thought the local BDM made it a bit more personal', one broker said. 'I'm not seeing BDM's as often, and phone or email inquiries are often unanswered or there are delay's in responding. Not all BDM's I deal with are like this, but unfortunately, the majority are', said another.
This was particularly the case for brokers based in country areas. 'Insurers often expect rural brokers to travel to metro areas to attend meetings and product sessions and seem to be anti-travel to country areas to visit brokers', said one rural broker. ‘Being situated in regional NSW, we have very little BDM support’, said another. ‘Overall presence in rural areas has reduced’, said yet another.
Brokers said they wanted BDMs to have the power to make decisions, and to work with brokers to get deals across the line. What they don’t want is a ‘glorified messenger’. 'There are less BDM's around with sound knowledge and the ability to negotiate and really get their teeth into a deal with a broker.”'
For the full Brokers on Insurers Survey results and to find out who won the coveted Insurer of the Year rating, see Insurance Business' latest issue 3.3.