How to succeed as a broker in today's environment?

"The buying public has become very smart"

How to succeed as a broker in today's environment?

Insurance News

By Nicole Panteloucos

As a new generation of clients enter the insurance market, their evolving needs and demands require brokers to adapt and innovate continually.

Roger Marcelo (pictured), vice president of business development at Allianz, recently shared insights at the Insurance Business Canada Broker Summit, highlighting the imperative for brokers to recalibrate their strategies to remain competitive amid shifting market dynamics.

A new generation of clients

Reflecting on how technology has disrupted the marketplace, Marcelo noted that today’s generation of consumers prefer the convenience of purchasing policies online rather than in person.

Noting that brokers have since adapted to this trend, Marcelo highlighted a newer development: consumers’ increasing education about insurance products.

“The fact is that the buying public has become very smart in insurance. Some catastrophe losses that have happened in the last few years have made insureds really look at their policies and understand what they’re covered or not covered for,” said Marcelo.

Providing the example of the 2013 floods in Calgary, Marcelo noted that as policy renewals were coming up, he observed a trend of insureds asking about flood insurance and if they were covered.

“At that time, no policies covered flood. We just covered sewer backup losses. So that’s an example of the insured asking questions after they suffered losses, and then forcing insurance carriers to add flood as a peril,” said Marcelo.

Marcelo sees this increase in consumer awareness and education as an opportunity for brokers to stay informed about market trends. This enables them to offer clients accurate information, solidifying their role as trusted advisors.

Innovative product solutions

Brokers can also stand out by embracing innovative product solutions.

In a recent consumer vacation survey by Allianz, a striking 89% of respondents expressed plans to purchase travel insurance.

“The fact that consumers are thinking about this is something we were very excited to hear,” said Marcelo.

“At Allianz, we’re finding ways to make travel insurance easier for brokers to sell to the buying public.”

According to Marcelo, one such strategy includes selling travel insurance in a way similar to how home and auto insurance is sold.

“We want the convenience for the broker to sell the travel policy once, and then have it repeat every year as compounding revenue where they receive their commission every time it renews just like a home and auto policy,” he said. “Things like that have really forced Allianz to come up with some unique ways to set ourselves above and beyond the competition.”

Personal branding is key

To keep up with changing market landscapes, Marcelo highlighted the significance of maintaining a social media presence, which can be especially important in attracting younger clients who turn to the internet to find insurance professionals.

“It’s very important because a lot of buying decisions come from social media,” confirmed Marcelo.

Establishing a consistent online presence can not only help brokers legitimatize themselves as experts in their field, but social media can also act as a tool to share educational resources with insureds.

Marcelo also discussed the concept of white labelling, which allows brokers to deliver personalized communications to clients.

“A way of speeding up the transaction of selling policies is through branded BDC links. It’s a way for the broker to give the insured a buying experience, as it has the broker’s logo all over it. So, it still has the look and feel of buying from that broker, that trusted advisor that you go to, you’re still dealing with them,” said Marcelo.  

Insurance as a service

Marcelo also underscored the need for brokers to distinguish themselves through exemplary customer service.

“This is a perfect time for the broker to act as somebody who is not only an advisor, but someone who’s really looking out for their clients on a 360 approach,” he said.

“If a broker finds out a client has a commercial pilot business, they could be a victim of a cyberattack, so you may want to offer them cyber insurance.

“It’s about pulling in those niche policies to ensure you’re really being aware of your client’s needs before they even think about it.”

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!