Zenith Group adviser on the “perfect opportunity”

Zenith Group adviser on the “perfect opportunity” | Insurance Business New Zealand

Zenith Group adviser on the “perfect opportunity”

Brett Freeman (pictured), a broker for 19 years now and a principal adviser at Zenith Group, believes current cost pressures are all the more reason to have discussions with clients, at a time when they might be doubting their ability to afford insurance.

“It’s the perfect opportunity for us to get in front of our clients,” the Invercargill native told Insurance Business. “Obviously, costs have risen across all industries. Insurance has almost always been historically something that you buy and sort of try and forget about or not use until you need to use it.

“But, certainly, when premiums are increasing, or the other costs are increasing, we have probably more reason to get in touch with clients to discuss solutions to those problems that they may have, and that involves a full review.”

Freeman sees such scenarios as an opportune time to talk to clients about the importance of coverage.

“We do play an important role,” he asserted. “It’s always a good time to get in front of someone when they are engaged... It provides that review situation, to have that discussion.”

Freeman, whose camp is solely focused on insurance and does not give investment or mortgage advice, added that he loves the part where they have to really know the policyholders they arrange cover for.

“Ultimately [I love] getting to know our clients and the people that we deal with,” shared the Otago University alumnus. “Ultimately, that’s a huge part of our job. Sometimes it’d be challenging, but a lot of the time it’s very rewarding.

“[Clients are] disclosing to us a lot of things that they wouldn’t disclose otherwise to other people. So, we’ve got a high position of trust.”

Read more: S & C Insurance director on rewarding role: “You get out of it what you put into it”

For Freeman, the toughest thing to overcome these days is how to grow as a brokerage.

“I think the biggest challenge now is actually to maintain and stay in contact with not just our current clients but to still engage with new clients and obviously continue to grow our business,” the adviser told Insurance Business.

“The challenge now is to try and reach more people, because we are compliant [with new regulations] and we certainly 100% believe in how we’re delivering a service. We just need to get in front of more people and provide that service to them and grow the business, ultimately.”

Freeman added: “With compliance, we’re here to look at our overall offering to our clients… Although the struggle initially was understanding compliance requirements, I think we’ve got a stronger business having come through the other side of that, in the sense that we’re in better communication with our clients.”

Help on that front has come from Insurance Advisernet New Zealand, which Zenith Group became a part of earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the industry stalwart has a piece of advice for people looking into a possible career in insurance.

“It’s a rewarding industry, in terms of being part of an insurance community that’s so focused on providing service to clients and making sure outcomes are good,” he declared. “It also can be demanding when you’re new because you’ve got a steep learning curve, but I certainly encourage anyone who was considering it to give it a good chance and get into it.

“I never thought twice about it – straight from university and just decided to give it a crack.”