National broker weighs in on Australian market

Industry veteran identifies areas in need of attention

National broker weighs in on Australian market

Insurance News

By Nicola Middlemiss

A senior broker with a wealth of experience has weighed in on current market conditions, pointing out three key areas in need of attention.

“In terms of the broking market, we need to continue demonstrating value to clients, especially if we transition to a predominantly fee-for-service basis of remuneration,” says Andrew Curl, the newly appointed national manager of corporate for Lockton Australia.

While a fee-for-service model still causes contention within the broking community, Curl says there should be no question about the service brokers should be providing.

“The transition from brokers focusing on an annual transaction to risk advisors is so important especially as risks become increasingly complex in an ultra-connected world and with technology adding increasing layers of complexity to doing business,” he says.

Commenting on how brokers can cement themselves as advisory partners, rather than simply offering a transaction renewal service once a year, Curl stressed the importance of listening.

“Brokers can be guilty of assuming what clients want, based on what we have ‘historically done’, and offering pre-prescribed off-the-shelf insurance policies which may or may not be appropriate for their unique circumstances,” he says.

“The key to becoming an advisory partner is to establish exactly what risks exist in our clients’ businesses, which are of concern and helping to quantify the exposures. Only then can we really discuss meaningful solutions whether they be risk transfer based or simply enabling clients to have an accurate picture of what risks they choose to retain on their balance sheets.”

Curl, who has close to 30 years’ experience in the corporate broking space, also says the industry can’t afford to neglect new technologies.

“The industry needs to get a grasp on current technologies and establish what role these can play in the delivery of world-class risk advisory services to our customers,” he says. “Of course, these technologies also create new and hitherto unseen exposures, such as cyber, so we need to be across these as they continue to evolve.”

Finally, Curl says the industry needs to continue investing in its biggest asset – people.

“We need to compete and recruit the right calibre of youngsters, whether from universities or elsewhere by providing old-fashioned apprentices – not all smart people go to university,” says Curl.

“We then need to provide the right training, career pathways and opportunities to youngsters to ensure they stay engaged and ultimately get to see what a great industry we’re in.”

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