Brokers’ roles may be changing but they will remain integral to the insurance industry, according to Christian Tolle, head of Beazley
global life, accident & health division.
Tolle, who was in Sydney last week, said that the role of the broker is an important one for the insurance industry and some will be better prepared than others for inevitable changes to the industry at large.
“I think their role is definitely changing and I think some are better equipped than others,” Tolle told Insurance Business.
“I think those that have prepared themselves so that they really are truly adding value in the transactions we make, and I think those that add value and give the clients good advice and help them will always be in demand.”
Tolle warned that brokers who are “trying to make an easy buck” will “struggle in the future,” as other insurance players contract the market.
“There’s no question of that as that margin will be squeezed by a number of carriers at some point if they can take them out of the equation. A lot of good brokers work very hard on behalf of their clients and achieve great things for them and I think they will always be popular.”
Tolle stressed that, while consumer habits may change over time, brokers and insurers that work in more specialised areas will always be in demand.
“There is no question in my mind that the way people buy insurance will change over time,” Tolle said.
“When you talk about some of these disruptors coming in, they are just seeing business opportunities where they can leverage the amount of data and information they have on people to try and tailor the right type of insurance products to people.
“In our space, which is slightly more non-standard and slightly more volatile and generally slightly more high margin business, I don’t see them getting in there in the near future but I think there is an evolution here that what’s specialist today, I wouldn’t say commoditised tomorrow, but there are definitely trends where the more information people get the easier it is to underwrite that type of business.”
, who have recently introduced a new product to their Australian offering
, will look to continue to grow their Australian business as Tolle noted that some products that are currently sold globally by the company could make their local bow in the near future.
“As an organisation we are always looking to see what options we can find out here. From my perspective, we have infrastructure in place so getting more teams in would be great but in the end, these various teams and their own businesses, need to stand on their own two feet,” Tolle continued.
“But I can sort of see cyber as the classic example where we have one of the best products out there which we sell in the US and Europe at the moment, so why wouldn’t we look at potentially selling that out here as well at some point?
“But it is very much driven around a service offering rather than a limit of indemnity so it’s a little more complicated to get up and running but I can see that at some point.”
As mergers and acquisitions continue to make headlines throughout the global industry, Tolle stressed that competition in the market is good for the industry as it helps drive innovation.
“I think, overall, competition is good for the market, it’s good for everyone.
“It keeps us on our toes and ensures that we keep on evolving our product to meet the needs of clients and we have to keep on being inventive with what we do so I’m not really worried about the competition as such.”