NZBrokers grows market share and membership

Broking collective believes its growth is down to a demand for face-to-face advice

NZBrokers grows market share and membership

Insurance News

By Kelly Gregor

NZBrokers has increased its market share and geographical presence by 35% over the past 12 months, while it increased its gross written premium by 20% for the same period.

The broking collective’s network represents more than 164,000 brokers in more than 87 locations across New Zealand.

NZBrokers chief executive Jo Mason told Insurance Business its members (brokers) were growing organically and opening more branches in more locations around New Zealand, which were especially valued in rural areas.

She said the reason for this is customers still want personalised, tailored advice and the opportunity to “eye-ball” someone, and, as many of the direct insurers have pulled out of having a physical retail presence it has helped brokers build relationships within these communities.

“Where we’re seeing growth is in the SME and personalised area and obviously customers, customers of ours, are really valuing the advice they are getting from brokers, particularly given that our brokers are in their local patch,” she explained. “Customers are still valuing local (broker) knowledge when it comes to any kind of insurance.

“All of our members are still growing in that personalised area, and we haven’t done any of the data cut around whether that’s metro versus rural New Zealand, it might be in the metro areas where it’s harder to get into physical locations that they’re looking more online. But all our members’ businesses right around New Zealand are growing.

“You (customers) want to make sure you have the best possible offering in the market, and to do that, if you were going direct, you’d have to go to more than one, you’d have to go to five direct companies and work out what the policy says yourself. That’s why a lot of people come to brokers, to rely on their advice, and it’s free for them (the customer) they don’t have to pay the broker any fees for doing it for them.

“For a lot of people, they would rather eye-ball someone, or at least speak to them on the phone, and say is this the best I can get out in the market? And that’s where brokers come into their own.”

Mason said her organisation was focused on helping its members through all the regulatory changes that will be introduced from this year, and the changes in requirements for Authorised Financial Advisers (AFAs), Registered Financial Advisers (RFAs) and Qualified Financial Entities (QFEs).

“NZBrokers purpose, our management team’s purpose, is to enhance and add value to our members’ businesses,” she said. “How do we add value to our members that’s really effective for them in improving capability when it comes to regulation? New Regulation is coming in, they are going to have to prove capability a lot more than they have in the past. What’s the most effective way for us to do that?

“One of the things we are doing is that we are very selective of our speakers at our professional development days, even things right down to where we choose a location for those professional development days, so that we get the maximum number of brokers there. That kind of thing is really important, you can’t keep doing the same kind of things and hoping the result will be different. You have to change up some of the things you’re doing.

“What’s the most relevant education need of our brokers - and let’s fill that need. We regularly survey our guys to ensure that we are fulfilling what they expect. Another thing we do, is we have a working conference every year, our conference attracts around nine structured CPD points that we work with IBANZ on to ensure that when we have a conference it really has a purpose, and that purpose is education of our brokers.”

Mason, who is also a board member of IBANZ, said the association had arranged a meeting with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to “start to get a really decent understanding of what this all means.”

“IBANZ have done a pretty good job of trying to explain it, but sometimes unless its directly affecting you, then you’re not going to take notice of it until you really have to, and so it’s up to the IBANZ board to get some cut through there and really understand it ourselves because it has been quite confusing,” she said.

“Our members are so busy growing their businesses and doing a good job at that, they aren’t really focused on what’s next.”


Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!