Is it time to ‘eradicate’ the title insurance broker?

Is it time to ‘eradicate’ the title insurance broker?

Is it time to ‘eradicate’ the title insurance broker? Is it time to “eradicate” the term insurance broker? A pair of industry leaders have mooted the idea at the NIBA Convention held in Melbourne this week.

Mark Searles, CEO and managing director of broker network AUB Group, was the first to mention the idea in a presentation at the convention that looked at the future of the broking industry,

“In five years' time, the name insurance broker - should it be insurance broker or risk consultant?”

“If you actually break down that very phrase, insurance broker says two things: first, insurance; and broking, by definition, means I am going to get you the best price. 

“It is not about the value proposition that we are proposing for the future about being a true risk consultant and being a true trusted adviser,” Searles said.

Lambros Lambrou, CEO of Aon Risk Solutions in Australia, agreed with Searles and said that the title undermines much of the good work brokers do for clients.

“One of the things that we would do well as an industry would be to eradicate the term insurance broker,” Lambrou said.

“There are all sorts of connotations with that, one of which is that brokers in every industry around the world are people who match buyers with sellers. In reality, if you think about what we do as a trusted adviser for our clients, there is much, much more than that.”

Lambrou noted that as the global risk landscape continues to shift and evolve, brokers are being given a platform to communicate their value to clients in a far bigger way than a transactional relationship.

Searles suggested that an omni-channel approach to risk and communication will be key for the insurance broking industry of the future as brokers will need to focus on both people and financial risk as well as traditional physical risks.

There will still be a critical role for brokers in the future of the industry, Searles said, as younger generations have demonstrated that they are willing to pay for specialist advice, despite the onset of disruption and the commoditisation of many lines of insurance.

“The whole concept of the trusted advisor is incredibly relevant and is the protection against disruption,” Searles continued.

“The nature of people who actually want to have a professional adviser, a true trusted adviser working for them and more importantly, being prepared to pay for it as well, we believe is creating a very strong future for this industry.”

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  • Poppy 14/09/2016 11:05:48 AM
    Well most of these 'Risk Consultants' I deal with are in fact Insurance Brokers as all they do is focus on getting the lowest price.
    Post a reply
  • Tiony Kelly 14/09/2016 11:18:06 AM
    Having been in the Insurance Industry for 48 years, 37 of which as an "insurance Broker" and a Director for 15 of them, I have always thought the title did not adequately convey the depth of professionalism and knowledge we have to understand the complexities of our clients.

    We collectively offer services including Risk assessment and Management,, Valuations, Accountants, Claims Advisors, and many more.

    My preference would be Professional Risk Advisor, but I am sure there are better qualified individuals within the profession that can provide a more eloquent representation of our roles.

    Kind Regards,

    Tony Kelly QOPIB Adv. Dip. Fin. Serv. (Broking)
    Senior Broker
    Austbrokers Terrace Insurance Brokers
    Post a reply
  • Robert Cooper 14/09/2016 3:29:55 PM
    Call yourself "Insurance Broker & Risk Consultant" if it is a real issue.

    I do not agree Insurance Broker means "getting you the best price" price is not mentioned. Many of us have been educating clients for years that an Insurance Broker who is an Insurance expert who acts for the client in their best interests to get the best possible deal from the available Insurance market. As far as I am concerned, the term should not and never will be eradicated. Just like the term "underwriter".

    While the Financial planning industry has been successful in getting rid of terms like "Life Insurance Agent" or "Life Insurance Broker" and become "Financial Planners", their whole brand has been tainted over the years and have confused people about what they actually do.

    Besides, Risk Consultant is too much like Risk Manager, and the role of Risk Manager is a much broader skill set than what most Insurance Brokers offer anyway creating just as much confusion. Call me old fashioned, but Insurance Broking is what we do, what has been defined legally, but if you want to be anything more, then add in the title.
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