Homeowners may have been left somewhat nervous following recent media coverage around IAG in Wellington, a move which was preceded by Tower Insurance massively hiking some premiums in the Wellington area earlier last year.
With the big insurers seemingly treading very carefully when it comes to insuring Wellington, broker groups say that insurance advisers may also need to change their strategy when it comes to competing for business in that region.
“It is a constructive market and there will always be solutions,” NZbrokers partner services manager Simon Moss told Insurance Business.
“But if you’re a homeowner who insures with NZI in Christchurch, depending on the area and type of home you have, a competing broker generally can’t approach you and offer you, for example, a Vero product. “
“If a broker is trying to develop business in the Wellington area, you need to approach the client and say ‘I’m a better broker than the others, and this is why,’” he explained. “Brokers will really have to present their value proposition, and that means that they can’t compete on price alone - there will be more stepping in to help with claims, offering a better analysis of the policy every year, etc. There are a lot of things that would be a value add that many brokers aren’t necessarily expressing to the market.”
Moss says that there have been many instances in the past where policyholders got themselves into complex situations, many of which could have been avoided if they had purchased their insurance through a broker.
“There will be times where the client doesn’t necessarily see the value in what they’re offering, but a lot of the time, the broker won’t even get into that presentation in the first place,” Moss said. “It’ll just be about getting that invoice through, and perhaps offering some renewal advice. You can certainly still compete as a broker in Wellington, but you’ll need to change your point of attack and start presenting what you’re really good at.”