Has the demise of the broker been exaggerated?

Has the demise of the broker been exaggerated? | Insurance Business

Has the demise of the broker been exaggerated?
Much has been said of the demise of the broker but one expert has said that he does not foresee an exodus of clients to online channels, unless brokers “screw it up”.

Speaking on the final day of the annual Steadfast Convention held in Sydney earlier this week, Ross Cameron, founder of Cameron Research Group, said that customer are not flocking online.

“Clients are not going to buy it [business insurance] online unless you screw it up,” Cameron told the brokers in attendance.

“They don’t necessarily want to buy it online but if you don’t give them the right love, if you institutionalise them, if you treat them like just another number then you’ve got problems.”

With more than 25 years’ experience in market research for the insurance industry, Cameron stressed that his latest work has found that those clients that use an insurance broker are very satisfied with the channel.

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Additionally, Cameron has found that the amount of customers that are moving from the broker channel to direct stands at 10% as clients stick with their adviser.

The recent Vero SME Index told a different story for brokers. The survey of 1,500 small business owners found that the proportion of SMEs who secured their insurance online was growing. However, Cameron noted that the business owners he uses for his research rated their brokers highly.

Smaller SMEs were more likely to research and purchase insurance online but the larger an SME business got, the more likely they were to use a broker.
Cameron noted that brokers can use information like this to target the right customers and help grow their business.

Business owners want tailored solutions that fit the needs of their business, a proactive broker who reaches out throughout the year and a broker who truly understands their business, Cameron continued.

“I think a challenge for the sector is to open your mind to what you should be talking to your customers about,” Cameron said.

“Where does risk start and stop? If you can own that whole risk space, you might not sell a product off the back of that, but all of a sudden you are having a conversation.”

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