Tips from a Young Gun, award winning broker

Nominations for the Insurance Business Awards close tomorrow

Tips from a Young Gun, award winning broker

Insurance News

By Daniel Wood

Tate Harris (pictured above) ranks empathy as an essential attribute for an insurance broker.

“Empathy is the most important and it’s probably never been more important than in the current market,” said the Canberra-based partner of brokerage allinsure.

He said challenges including rising premiums, reducing capacities and natural disasters have all negatively impacted clients, outcomes, insurance “and everything else in between.”

Other important broker attributes, said Harris, include attention to detail, people skills and great communication.

Insurance Business Awards 2024

At last year’s Insurance Business Awards, Harris won the Young Gun of the Year prize for independent firms with under 20 staff.

The revamped 2024 awards will take place earlier this year – May 3  –  and nominations close this week. The Young Gun award that Harris won is now the Young Achiever prize. The age requirement is 40 years or younger rather than 35.

Brokers and their “difficult conversations”

Harris said the “never-ending story of bad news” can mean that brokers are often having difficult conversations with their clients.

“They are tough conversations to have right?” he said. “Either throughout a renewal cycle or even for new clients that you’re looking at programs for.”

Focusing on client education

Harris said his firm is currently focusing on educating clients so they better understand “the levers that affect the insurance industry.”

He said these “levers” include what impacts insurers, reinsurance, rates and insurer appetite. Harris said this can help manage expectations “about what influences premiums.”

“Then it’s looking at, now that we know that, what other risk management mitigation strategies can we implement for the business that puts it ahead?” he said.

For example, said Harris, if the coverages are for a smash repairer, this customer is encouraged to consider what puts them ahead of the competition and could also lead to better insurance outcomes in terms of premium cost and coverage.

“What can we do to paint your business in a better light to the insurer to get the outcomes that we need?” he said.

What about industry awards? Are they important?

Insurance Business asked Harris why industry awards are important?

“Why are they important?” he said. “I think to strive to better ourselves, which in turn, has a positive reflection back on the industry, which is often looked upon in a poor way.”

He said many people still view the insurance industry and brokers as used car salesmen. Harris also said the recognition from industry peers is important and awards can help benchmark industry standards.

Helping set industry benchmarks

“It [the awards] can help improve your approach to insurance and customer service by benchmarking that advice and knowledge against the rest of the industry,” he said.

IB asked if winning the 2023 Young Gun prize has actually helped him and his brokerage firm?

“In terms of what it did for myself and allinsure, yes, I think 100% it has had an effect,” said Harris. “It was useful in a number of different ways.”

He included recognition from peers and helping to build trust in the local community as two of the positives.

“They’re [clients] trusting myself, allinsure, Insurance Advisernet and the whole kit and caboodle,” said Harris. “So being recognised on a national level has done great things for myself and allinsure as a brand.

Harris said the award could mean a lot more to him, because of his Canberra location, than perhaps it would to a Sydney or Melbourne broker.

“After the great consolidation, as I call it, a lot of the insurers now have their underwriting hubs in the major cities – and Canberra isn’t one of them,” he said. “We don’t see a lot of our insurer friends anymore down here, or very rarely, so I think this [the Young Gun award] has helped enforce that what we’re doing is the right thing, we’re on the right track and that peers around Australia are commending that.”

The 2024 Insurance Business Australia Awards are taking place on May 3 at The Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. You can nominate the industry’s high achievers for an award here. Nominations close on Friday.

The new awards’ categories include a Lifetime Achievement award, Philanthropy and Community Service award and the CEO of the Year prize. The night involves a black-tie gala dinner, an awards ceremony and musical entertainment.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!