The head of a major premium funder has called on others in the industry to voice their support for insurance brokers, saying action needs to be taken sooner rather than later.
“ASIC will be reviewing our industry in 2022, we need to start the conversation now to build awareness around the importance of insurance brokers,” said Ross Hayward (pictured), director of Premium Funding.
“The mortgage broking industry has now started advertising, which is knee jerk off the back of the Royal Commission, but it’s too little too late,” continues Hayward. “We need to pre-empt some of the potential regulation issues, which could still be three years away, and start talking to the community about why our industry is essential.”
Hayward’s comments come after he announced plans to launch a marketing campaign, which promotes the benefits of using an insurance broker over simply going direct.
Using Premium Funding’s database of over 400,000 commercial insurance clients, Hayward wants to educate end customers on the business value added by brokers.
“People sometimes forget that insurance brokers have a very unique and complex skillset, which can be of great value to businesses,” Hayward tells Insurance Business.
“To overly simplify it, they’re the ones who make sure you have the right coverage and the best wording, they go through your circumstances and understand everything about your business, they highlight risks and provide appropriate options, and they understand the best insurer for your needs.”
Hayward also says end customers often forget that, in addition to the advice brokers can offer before securing coverage, they continue to add value after the premium has been paid.
“Once a client has paid their invoice, that’s when it is even more important that they use a broker – they’re there for the claims experience, they make sure claims get paid, they use their weight to assist and push insurers to get these claims paid,” he says. “The idea that they’re just there to clip the ticket is completely wrong.”
The misconception, suggests Hayward, is a result of insurance brokers and the general insurance industry being unfairly grouped alongside mortgage brokers and the wider financial services space.
“Mortgage brokers provide options at the start of a loan, then are out of your life but insurance brokers consult and give advice, they are a constant integral part of the business,” he says. “The two industries should never be compared, they are nothing alike.”
It’s this unfair comparison that has pushed Hayward to pilot the marketing campaign, which will push content via Google, YouTube and other social media channels.
However, with an estimated $500,000 earmarked for the campaign, Hayward says he wants to get the message right so he’s turning to insurance brokers to seek their expert input.
“We’ve come up with some different ideas highlighting pain points for clients who currently go direct, but we want brokers’ opinions on which ones they think work, which ones are appropriate or which ones could do with some refining,” says Hayward.
“We also want to hear from brokers who might have some new ideas or don’t want us to do this sort of thing,” he continues, before pointing out that brokers also have the ability to opt-out if they don’t want their clients to see the content.
“If brokers think it’s a lousy idea and don’t want us to do it, then obviously we won’t spend money – but if we find brokers love the concept and support the idea, and we’re getting really good value for the spend, we’ll definitely keep putting money into it.”
Brokers who are interested in providing feedback on Premium Funding’s upcoming ad campaign can do so online, with the survey taking just a few minutes.
“It’s a small amount of time to give their valuable opinion and it’s going to be some noise out there that tries to assist them and the industry as a whole,” said Hayward.