There is no doubt that insurance brokers play a key role in the trade credit insurance market, one regional head has said, as the market looks to develop awareness with clients.
The recently announced Asia Pacific CEO for trade credit insurer Coface, Bhupesh Gupta, said that brokers offer value to the trade credit market.
“There is no doubt in my mind that brokers are an important contributor,” Gupta told Insurance Business
“Brokers, in my mind, are more advisers to their clients than a traditional broker just connecting two dots. If you are a good broker you are going to bring a lot of value which helps broaden awareness as well as deepen the ways in which the customer can use credit insurance.”
Gupta stressed that a key focus of the trade credit industry needs to be building awareness around the product. While some business owners look to their banks for credit cover, Gupta said it is important for the industry to highlight their own worth and the stability insurance can bring.
“I would describe the trade credit market in Australia and across Asia Pacific as being a market that has been around for a long time, and has supported customers for a long time. However, it has been challenging to get that message out with respect to the broad advantages credit insurance can provide customers as they reach out to the rest of the world to sell their products.
“The real issue is what portion of the actual, addressable market credit insurance can be in and that is exciting if you really think about it.
“There is a whole world out there that we could access if we could help build the awareness of the benefits of credit insurance.”
Gupta, who is visiting Australia this week, said the trade credit market is ready for innovation but this will not take the form of new products. The market will instead benefit from combined policies and quicker, more efficient delivery methods as a way to highlight their worth.
With bankruptcies on the rise in Australia, Gupta noted that the industry will have to adjust for a new normal, as nine years removed from the GFC, businesses continue to struggle.
“Economic uncertainty continues and I think it will continue and become a fact of life.
“If you look at the blips we had in the late 1980s and 1990s, you went through them… And four or five years later, it all just disappeared.
“Now we are nine years into the current issue and there is no sign of it dissipating. I think people like us have to accept that this is life and gear ourselves to deal with it and help people get their heads out of the sand and see what it is.
“I look at it as both the biggest risk that we have and the biggest opportunity that we have.”