The future of insurance is technology - broker

There will always be demand for brokers - but insurance could be more effective and efficient

The future of insurance is technology - broker

Insurance News

By Kelly Gregor

The insurance industry is changing rapidly in terms of how clients gain advice, how they purchase insurance and who they purchase it from, to how brokers are incentivised and remunerated, to the laws put in place to govern them and protect policyholders.

New disclosure requirements and a standardised code of conduct will change how authorised financial advisers, registered financial advisers and qualifying financial entities give advice in this country.

Last year, the Financial Markets Authority announced it would allow, under application and licence, the use of personalised digital advice via an algorithm.

The New Zealand insurance industry of next year will look very different to where we are now. So, what is the future? And who are the future leaders who will take us there?

Insurance Business talks to innovator, entrepreneur and founder of Frank Risk Management, Rene Swindley.

Frank Risk is a Hamilton-based brokerage that is doing things differently. It is a zero-commission fee structured commercial brokerage that operates on transparency and self-confessed “full disclosure.”

Swindley discusses his hopes for Frank and its subsidiaries, where he sees his businesses adding value and why technology is so important for the sustained future of all insurance products and professionals.

“The vision (for Frank) is always remain ahead,” he said. “Always. And we always have been.

“We’ll continue to innovate whether that’s the way we deal with our clients, and the things we give our clients. We’re not Frank Insurance, we’re Frank Risk Management. We provide more than just insurance documentation, ‘give us a call if there’s a claim’ - we’re much more than that.

“With Frank, it’s a disaster recovery plan, risk index, assistance with contracts that customers have with their suppliers, and how they interact with their insurance policies. We’ll continue to innovate in those areas, and we have some big ideas there.”

Swindley says Frank and its subsidiaries have always had a “huge technology focus.” Frankie, an online business liability platform for the placement of cyber liability and management liability insurance, was the first New Zealand business to allow ‘quote and buy’ online for such cover.

Another venture and sibling to Frank, FrankieMed, is a collaboration between Frank, Delta Insurance and the Medical Assurance Society (MAS) to bring cyber insurance and an online offering to MAS clients such as medical practices, vets and specialist services.

The cyber insurance is underwritten by Delta with Frankie acting as broker and the cover is designed to provide expert advice, technical guidance and cover interruption specifically for the medical industry and medical professionals, Swindley explained.

“MAS has a very loyal client following - great company but they didn’t have the ability to write cyber insurance for their medical clients, so we designed a site and a way to distribute that business, (for MAS) to be able to provide that offering,” he said.

“We look at things differently and think of how can we make things more efficient, how can we put this online, how can we reduce the paperwork?

“When I first came into insurance, I followed a bit of paper around and realised that nine people had touched it before it was resolved for the client. Ultimately, the client pays for that, so the more we can innovate, the more we can use technology to improve that process, the better it is for everyone, and the better the information sharing is.”

He said more products will move online, but there will always be a place for the broker.

“I see Frank being a broker for years to come that leads the way in the risk advice market.

“That continues to lead the market in the advice it provides, in the add-ons around pure risk management. Insurance almost becomes secondary - manage the risk first and you’ll get insurance as well.

“Traditionally, people have thought about risk and in the same breath linked that with insurance and thought ‘I’ll just get insurance to manage my risk’ - that was their whole risk management strategy. But we’re seeing the focus move more towards risk management now, and that’s where I see it (insurance) going and where Frank is a market differentiator.”


Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!