55% of Australian brokers expect to increase the level of GWP they place with underwriting agencies over the next two years, according to a survey from Gratex
Of the brokers surveyed, only three per cent expected their GWP placed with underwriters to decrease and none said they were moving to a direct business model.
The survey also highlighted areas of potential growth for the underwriting industry as speed of service during the claims cycle was a particular hot-spot for brokers.
Milan Neklapil, managing director of Gratex
, said of the survey results: “This is a really exciting time for underwriting agencies.”
“The nimbleness and speed at which agencies can develop innovative new products is vital to the market. In recent years accident and health, cyber insurance and strata products have been highly successful and a point of differentiation for agencies when compared with the large insurers.”
Brokers also pinpointed an increase in online service, backed by advice accessible via phone, as a key area of growth that the underwriting agencies can look to develop.
The fluidity, advice and satisfaction of the claims experience was paramount to broker-underwriter relations, according to the survey as Allan Manning, managing director of LMI Group
who co-created the survey, noted: “It is pleasing to see brokers place such significance on a highly satisfactory claims experience.”
“Making a claim is a stressful and often difficult time for our customers and as an industry we have a social responsibility to deliver the right outcome for our clients. While a speedy resolution is always desired it may not be realistic in every circumstance.
“Where an underwriting agency can really excel is by creating a positive experience for the client and broker with a transparent process and above all remembering their obligation to deliver a positive outcome. The prudential use of progress payments, particularly in property/business interruption claims but also in some third party claims can result in both a positive customer experience and ultimately reduce the overall cost of claims”
David Porteous, managing director of Brooklyn Underwriting, noted that with the increased competition in the insurance market, underwiritng agencies have a chance to stand-out with unique products and services.
As the insurance market becomes increasingly competitive, it is the ability of specialist underwriting agencies to differentiate themselves from ‘the pack’ that is critical to their success.This is the competitive edge of any underwriting agency. They must add value to their brokers in every interaction and the distribution of niche products is a key part of that strategy. This has been, and will always remain, a core foundation in the development of Brooklyn Underwriting