The Next Generation

The basics of selling insurance haven't changed, but tomorrow's brokers are finding that they need to constantly upgrade their skills to gain the advantage in what has become a very fast-paced, very competitive market. Insurance Business Television takes an in-depth look at training and developing tomorrow's talent today.

Video transcript below:

Don Horne, Associate Editor, Insurance Business TV
Don Horne:
 Speak to any of the industry’s most successful producers and the power of personality shines through every time. These brokers have built network upon network of clients and it is through their communication skills, but today products are much more complex and doing it with a different set of skills to sell those products. My name is Don Horn, welcome to Insurance Business Television

Let’s face  it the basics of selling insurance really hasn’t changed. We need to have good communication skills and good people skills and they will always be the Gold Standard. However, upgrading your our own skills through education is making the difference to many brokers out there. We spoke with one young broker in Toronto who through continuing education and continual self improvement was able to better meet his client’s needs. 

Michael Abraham, Broker, Paisley-Manor Insurance
Michael Abraham:
 The insurance business is, you are actually a professional and its important being a professional having a proper education to understand the clients, understand what business is, what kind of revenue they are going to generate.   Recently there, you know I had a client where when I was looking through his, it was just a simple apartment building that he owns and I was looking through rental income replacement and through a conversation with him, I realized that he is actually adding units which will increase his revenues and that was something that without having the relationship and knowledge to even ask that question and even get into that type of conversation, it will be possible that in a couple of years from now he will have a loss, an insured loss and his revenues are not going to be replace, because the insurance company wouldn’t know about that.

Don Horne:  By doing just a little bit of homework you can meet a client’s needs, even meeting needs that they didn’t realise needed to be met.  The insurance industry is always be looking for eager goal getters to fill entry level positions. But should we maybe take a step back, should the industry be looking at front loading education, preparing better, preparing brokers better, preparing future leaders for this industry.  

Margaret Parent, Director, Professionals Division, Insurance Institute
Margaret Parent:
 Entry level roles for underwriter, broker, adjuster are being filled reasonably easily and without any urgency.  So if the companies and their brokers are looking for entry level then they are finding them.  There is greater urgency and greater difficulty in filling roles where there is insurance knowledge required or greater skill sets.

Martin Thompson, Senior Vice President, Global Specialty Lines, RSA
Martin Thompson:
 In order to protect customers and business properly we have to be prepared to keep our knowledge and our skills and our understanding of those risks uptodate and I think that would be very much a starting point for me.  I think the second part and one of the key things we have to do is to teach people how we replace risk.  At the end of the day, our job is understanding the probability of something happening and the likely severity of that event taking place and it’s only when we can do that that we can appropriately replace risk.

Don Horne:  Even young producers are beginning to ask questions as to whether their level of education is being brought forward fast enough, if it is fair to meet their needs and more importantly to meet the needs of producers that expect this level of expertise.

Michael Abraham:  Provincial licensing course is very helpful to give a very good base of entrance knowledge to allow me to start working, but once I took the CAIB course and further education, I realized that that knowledge would be sort of put into the original provincial licensing courses somehow, it would be very helpful.  When he is licensed and he goes out to sell, he will have a much greater value to his clients and to the brokerage and to the insurance industry as a whole.