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The app that brokers actually want to use

The app that brokers actually want to use

The app that brokers actually want to use A new app from Hiscox is providing a direct line of communication between brokers and underwriters – saving time spent searching for contact details or waiting to be put through to the right person.

Launched last week to brokers, Link is an easy-to-use system that provides instant access to underwriting contacts – it houses a list of Hiscox contacts along with job titles, and allows brokers to contact them directly through the app by phone or email.

The time-saving app, which was nine months in the making, was developed in line with what brokers actually want to use, Ross Dingwall, partner and managing director broker channel, Hiscox UK & Ireland, told Insurance Business UK.

“When we were looking at how to engage with our broker partners around the use of apps… the whole debate was how much do brokers actually want to use the apps that are being developed by other organisations?” Dingwall said.

The initial thought was that brokers wanted a complex app which held information such as quotes, Dingwall said, but the feedback from brokers was that they would rather pick up the phone and speak to people.

In the past, forays into video-calling and online systems that showed when underwriters were available lacked lustre – brokers weren’t interested in ‘facetime’, preferring to talk over the phone, Dingwall explained.

What brokers did want, Hiscox found in its research, was something that would provide ease of contact.

“We started off on the proviso that we were going to have something quite complex, and ended up with something really quite simple,” Dingwall said.

Rather than having to search through contact sheets to try and get some information, the app makes it easy to find the right person to speak to and phone straight through to them, and also has a call-back feature which sends a request straight to an underwriter’s inbox.

“And it’s not just underwriters, everybody’s contact details are on there,” Dingwall added. “Myself, as a managing director, I’m on there – so if somebody wants to pick up the phone to me they can do.”

The app is part of a concerted effort to engage with brokers – in the UK, 70% of Hiscox’s business comes through the broker channel, and projections for 2020 estimate that this will remain at 70-75%.

“Brokers are a mainstay of the business,” Dingwall said.

If there is an appetite, Hiscox is keen to add more features to the app in the future, such as making documentation available: “If we get a lot of traction from it, we can build on it,” Dingwall said.

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