At a recent BNI (Business Network International) meeting, Andrew Brett (pictured), director of Brenning Insurance Services, was asked to write down why he does what he does.
He posted the result online where it came to the attention of Insurance Business:
“To guide my clients through the big bad world of insurance by providing clarity and understanding through information and communication,” he wrote.
The LinkedIn post continued:
“I cannot control the insurance market but I can control the level of communication and detail I provide. My clients may not like the result every time but they will always understand how and why it was brought about. That is my professional purpose.”
Brenning Insurance Services is a new corporate authorized representative of McLardy McShane Insurance Brokers. The firm services a range of SME businesses.
IB asked Brett if he really sees his profession like Dante’s Inferno, or as he put it, “the big bad world of insurance.”
“No,” he said. “The reason I say that is because that's the perceived view coming from business owners. I know how good insurance is. That’s also why I believe communication is so important because what most of these business owners probably don’t know is that in the last four or five years, insurance companies have paid $10 billion in claims.”
Brett said, however, that the SME segment is not getting the insurance service they deserve.
He referred to a prospective client who bought their insurance through one of the big corporates and was told they’re not getting their own account manager anymore.
“They said they’re going to be put into what they believe is like a corporate call centre,” said Brett.
He said he’s seeing a lot of issues connected to poor customer service in the insurance industry.
“I'm not sure what's happening but I'm counting more and more people who are saying: ‘No one called me. They sent an email and then lost interest,’” he said.
Brett said businesses hand over significant money to pay for their insurance premiums.
“They're paying a lot of money and they just want to know that what they're getting is service,” he said.
“The big thing for me is, insurance is just an expensive piece of paper unless it claims, and so a lot of these people they're not actually getting anything,” he added.
A major issue for some SMEs, he said, is poor communication from their insurance providers.
Another prospective client told him that he’d asked his current broker a coverage question and hadn’t heard back from him for three or four days. This prospective client didn’t realize that it can take a significant amount of time for insurers to answer coverage questions. Brett set him straight and he was happy.
In another situation where Brett was bidding for a client’s business against other brokers, he said he was the only broker who actually called the potential client on the phone to discuss their options. The other brokers, said Brett, sent emails and wouldn’t pick up the phone when their potential client called back.
Brett asked another potential customer what their “pain point” was with their current broker?
“Because if they say that they're happy with their broker, I don’t quote on anything, I walk away,” he said.
However, this contact revealed that their current broker was disorganized and “last minute” with their policy renewal. Brett said that what “stresses them out” about their broker is that every year he lumps all the renewal information he needs on them just a couple of weeks before the renewal date.
Brett also emphasized that he sees his role as providing a client with as much information as possible and clearly communicating to them the amount of work he’s doing.
In another dealing, he sought insurance quotes from 12 insurers and made sure he gave the potential client all the details from these insurers. If the insurer didn’t provide a quote, he made sure he gave the potential client a reason why.
“The client needs to know that I've gone to 12 insurers, and these are the ones that won't fly, and this is the insurer that I'm recommending and this is why,” he said.
“In our world, we know the hard work we've done but sometimes we don't communicate that to the client and they don't know how much we've actually done,” he added.