Giving brokers a leg up amid stressed margins and a transactional business

Giving brokers a leg up amid stressed margins and a transactional business | Insurance Business

Giving brokers a leg up amid stressed margins and a transactional business

With brain drain impacting the insurance industry as long-time leaders retire, changing consumer expectations about how they buy and interact with their insurance, and emerging distribution models providing a challenge to the role of brokers, many Canadian insurance companies are turning their attention to the future of the broker and their ability to provide a high standard of service to their clientele.

“We look to our brokers to ultimately be spending less time around the actual transaction, and more [time] around consultation, advice, and advocacy for their clients, and I think that giving brokers the time to focus their efforts and energy in providing those services to SME clients is exactly the reason that we built RSA Pro,” said Paul Lucarelli, senior vice president of commercial insurance for RSA Canada. The online quote and bind tool was developed by RSA with the input of 57 brokerages, and includes built-in discount pricing, underwriter support via a live chat feature, along with flexible quotes, and the ability to bind instantly.

“It was our first launch in commercial business with how we’re evolving our tools and processes to ensure brokers’ time is made more available for advising and guiding their customers rather than focused on processing,” explained Lucarelli. “For SME brokers, they’re thinking more about distribution and more significant relationships through the consolidation of carriers, which is exactly the type of approach that will enable our brokers to provide the superior and consistent solution to their customers.”

Brokers can bind three business segments in RSA Pro – business and professional services, contracting, and retail – and feedback from brokers continues to be positive since the launch back in 2017, when the company vowed “bullish commitment” and ongoing investment into the broker channel.

“The uplift that we’ve seen throughout the year continues to double month-over-month because as this business is more transactional in nature, brokers are seeing the value in having a system and tool that enables them to have as low touch as possible where the margins are quite stressed in the small business environment, and not be buried down in a lot of the administration of that type of business,” said Lucarelli, adding that being able to have a one-stop quote and bind tool has enabled brokers to streamline those operations. “We’re very excited about our first launch and it’s going to continue to evolve in the marketplace as we build in more functionality for our brokers.”

More broadly, as new opportunities in the insurance marketplace open up and emerging risks make themselves known, brokers have a chance to become even more important to their clients in the small and medium-sized business segment.

Read more: The three risky C’s leaving their mark on the commercial insurance market

“I think that really being able to educate [their customers] on the emerging risks, such as cyber, such as weather patterns, such as all other risks that we’re seeing in today’s environment – and even things like cannabis and how that would affect drivers of their operations, as an example – those are areas that I think brokers can continue to show value to their SME clients by giving them more insights and advice around how to best mitigate risks in their business,” said Lucarelli.