The importance of educating your clients about changing risks

The importance of educating your clients about changing risks | Insurance Business New Zealand

The importance of educating your clients about changing risks

Global insurance is going through a huge transformation, and the risks facing insurers, underwriters and policyholders are vastly different now to what they were a decade ago. According to one insurer, it is more important than ever for brokers and insurers to educate their clients about their policies, what they are covered for and how they can make claims.

Nick Elst, national sales manager at Allianz Partners has worked with insurers, underwriters, assistance companies and claims handlers across the globe, and currently specialises in the travel sector. He says weather, natural disaster and terror risks have increased significantly, and so travellers must always ensure that they are fully protected.

“Having worked in both North America and Europe for over 16 years, I can attest that the global insurance industry as a whole is going through a massive transformation, and this mirrors what we see here in New Zealand,” Elst told Insurance Business.

“Travellers are facing different costs and risks than what they were 5-10 years ago, and travel insurance needs to adjust and adapt to reflect this.”

“Commercially driven and privatised medical costs worldwide have been rising higher than the rate of inflation, and this ultimately affects the insured and the premium that they pay,” Elst explained. “There are also increased risks of terrorist-related events and natural events such as bad weather, which affects travel plans and airline routes.”

Elst says that insurers, underwriting agencies, assistance companies and claims handlers have all been throwing their weight behind public education over the past few years, and financial regulations have also played a large role in making sure insureds fully understand their cover.

He says brokers also have a significant role to play, as they are closely engaged with the customers who rely on them for insurance advice.

“We view our brokers and insurance advisers as partners,” Elst said. “As partners, they are a trusted source in the travel insurance market. They experience the same level of engagement, respect and service as our other corporate partners.”

“When selling any travel-based service, the key is to focus on a need-fulfilment sale with travellers so that they feel protected, and so they understand what they will be covered for when travelling,” he concluded.

“A confident and informed partner will enable customers to determine which policy wording and plan option can meet their needs. We see this sector as a source of future growth, and we continue to focus on providing education and information.”