Do you think the market is now hardening?
Michael Gottlieb:
“No. There’s a lot of commentary out there that’s saying so, and we do see it in pockets but not across the board ... There is still enormous capacity in the market for prices to stay lower for longer.”

BizCover is again number one on the Insurance Business Top 10 Brokerages list.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to be ranked on top of this list for several years now, which is an indication to us that we’re on the right track and really kicking goals,” says CEO Michael Gottlieb.

“We can’t afford to get too wrapped up in it all, though. If anything, it serves as a reminder that we need to maintain the level of service and delivery that our clients and peers have come to expect, and keep getting better at what we do.”

Gottlieb outlines the focus of BizCover’s business. He says: “We cater to the SME segment that has relatively standard insurance needs and a minimum of tailoring. We understand our clients are price conscious, but we don’t encourage buying on price alone. The policy they buy must have the right coverage for their business, so we work very hard with our insurers to make sure the policies we sell have the right terms.”

Gottlieb says BizCover is genuinely obsessed with providing the best possible service to clients. “We’re also constantly trying to rethink and re-evaluate the way insurance should be distributed, and we place a strong emphasis on our data and analytics capabilities,” he says. When it comes to getting the best out of people, Gottlieb is a firm believer in promoting “a real culture of execution”.

“These aren’t just buzzwords to us – we strive for high performance across the entire business and really pitch in together to get stuff done. “Goals are important, as are KPIs, but you need to develop a plan and actively commit to a set of actions if you’re ever going to achieve anything. Naturally, you make mistakes along the way. We’re OK with that. We have a ‘fail-fast’ mindset where, if you hit a dead end, you just learn a lesson, reboot and move on.”

Training is also key, Gottlieb says.

“You have to empower your staff with the knowledge they need to perform, and then give them free rein to come up with ideas. Don’t be afraid to invest time and money in people. When Tom O’Toole was asked, ‘What if you invest all this money on staff and they leave?’, his response was, ‘Yes, but what if I don’t invest all that money and they stay?’ I love that, because you really do get the best out of people by believing in their abilities.”

Gottlieb thinks brokers need to focus on understanding their proposition and their market.

“As the specialists continue to improve, the generalists will continue to be marginalised,” he says.

“The features that set you apart should be the bedrock of your business, because it’s these differentiators that will give you a slice of the market. Choose a group of occupations, a specific industry or a type of risk and have a laser focus on it, because if you’re trying to cater to everyone and everything, you’re going to struggle in tomorrow’s market.”

Should brokers be embracing new technologies?
“We’re in the midst of a rapid evolution in the way business is being conducted – it’s about more than just the procurement of insurance now; it’s about using technology to figure out exactly what the customer wants, and then leveraging that same technology to heighten their experience. Services are being enhanced to an incredible degree, which is great for consumers and pushes us to constantly innovate and improve.

“I also see collaboration in fintech becoming a key ingredient as we move forward. For us this means working with other industry leaders, including banks and insurance companies, rather than disrupting them.”

Company Information

  • BizCover
  • Level 5, 260 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010

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