Unlike a car or home insurance policy that may only need to be reviewed annually, a trade credit policy is constantly being adjusted – and, according to NCI Brokers’ Phil Ashby, this means significant attention to detail from the brokers dealing with this ‘dynamic’ product.
Ashby says that when it comes to trade credit insurance, NCI Brokers tends to have a higher staff to policy ratio compared to other firms. This helps provide each client with a much more personalised approach, but Ashby says it also accounts for the huge amount of data that needs to be processed for each policy.
“Unlike your standard car insurance policies which sit on the shelf once you purchase your car, our clients’ policies are changing daily,” Ashby explained.
“The clients might have new buyers they need to add to their cover, they may have overdue payments or repayment plans. They might also have claims that they’re working on. So, it’s a very dynamic product, and we have quite a high staff to policy ratio because there’s a very high level of data for them to process.”
“We obviously digitise as much of that as possible to make it easier for our clients, and we have a portal that they can access to work on their policy and to download any information that they require,” he added.
“At the same time, we still have that personal touch of having people on the ground who go around to visit the clients on a regular basis.”
Ashby noted that the COVID-19 crisis made regular, personalised client contact significantly more difficult - however, the brokerage pushed ahead with a strong digitalisation strategy, and has maintained its key relationships with New Zealand’s business owners.
“Like everyone we’ve adapted and made much more use of the various video platforms, but we always deal directly with our clients,” Ashby said. “That’s usually through their CFOs and credit managers, but we also deal a lot with small-to-medium business owners too.”
“The great thing about credit insurance is the discipline that it brings into a business,” he concluded.
“Having the cover in place is great, but a big bonus for our clients is having the market intelligence so that they can get a heads up before hopping into a contract with a new buyer. And if something does go wrong and the buyer falls over, then we’re there to help them replace that cash flow.”