New financial year, new approach

How can the insurance industry prosper in a time of technological disruption and economic uncertainty? ProRisk’s Peter Marshall has some ideas.

Video transcript below:

Anna Temple, Insurance Business Online

Anna Temple: With the advent of the new financial year, there has never been a better time for the insurance industry to take a look at how it does business. Peter Marshall of Prorisk believes the industry must focus on highlighting the benefits of quality advice in an industry many view as unnecessary.

Peter Marshall, Business Development Manager, Prorisk

Peter Marshall: The biggest challenge facing the industry I think is the quality of advice. There is a lot of commoditised products and clients really aren’t getting the advice they need. It’s about sitting down with a client, understanding their needs and giving them the appropriate advice. Most consumers think that products that they buy are the same and the only change is price and there are some very key differences. But when you get down to it, insurance really isn’t a sexy subject, it’s not the sort of book you take to bed with you to read before you nod off to sleep. So I can’t really blame them for that, but they should at least know that when something happens to their property or themselves, is it or is it not covered by their policy. They won’t always have the answer but a general idea would be good.

Anna Temple: According to Marshall, brokers should also think about creating diverse and specific bundles while continuing to build on their professional knowledge.

Peter Marshall: Brokers need to be thinking about packaging professional indemnity with public liability. They need to be listening to what their clients need, they need to be understanding what those requirements entail and they need to be arranging products that meet those needs. It’s all about talking to your clients, understanding their business and then recommending the product. It’s not enough to be a general broker anymore, you have to have the understanding of it, it’s not something that could be ignored and there is opportunities there, but you can get help.

Anna Temple: Taking advantage of technological leaps will also be critical for future success. But Marshall urges caution over communication methods.

Peter Marshall: It is benefiting the insurance industry in ways of increasing efficiencies and transactions and turning documents around is a lot quicker. However it also has a downside, the downside is that people have the potential to talk less and whenever we found that there’s more electronic communication and less verbal communication then that’s where the problems arise. One of the things that there has been an increase on is, increase of communication via emails and it does not increase understanding. It’s clients talking to their brokers, brokers to their clients, brokers to insurers, to claims people, everyone who is involved in the process of getting this product to market and maintaining it to make sure that it meets its promise needs to talk more.

Anna Temple: This is Anna Temple reporting for Insurance Business Online.