The Broker of the Future - 5 Key Directions to Success

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In the insurance claims industry today, you’ll find that many companies rely heavily on partnerships between insurers and third parties. That wasn’t the case in the past. Insurers often withheld information and strategy and only provided enough information to get the job done. This lack of transparency meant an insurer didn’t reap the rewards of a true partnership. 

The insurance industry needs to understand that authentic partnerships, where synergies emerge and action is taken, can rapidly accelerate results. There are many vendors who breathe technology and innovation. And then there are those who combine this expertise with operational claims knowledge and experience. Carriers should realize that transforming their claims process is possible, and easier to do with qualified outside help. 

The key to any great partnership is flexibility. Here are the five steps we take to create winning partnerships:

1. Collaborate openly. Carriers often use more than one technology or service provider for a number of reasons so it’s vital for third-parties to collectively work together through APIs, open workflows and mutual collaboration. 

2. Look at workflow patterns. With any new client, it’s worth conducting a thorough workflow analysis. Do they have a legacy system, use email, rely heavily on the phone for communication? Understanding how they currently operate means you can optimize the claims journey to deliver faster cycle times and increased customer satisfaction. 

3. Analyze the data. There’s a wealth of data beyond the basic appraisal elements. Our modern workflow platform analyzes historical data which reveal a client’s unique patterns and trends. Using that data, they can appropriately calibrate their operations. This means they can accurately put the right claims into the right hands for the right outcome. 

4. Test and learn. Often times, we like to start with a 30-day pilot and assess results. We identify the sticking points in the claims journey and optimize from there. It’s vital to keep an open mind and monitor all aspects of a rollout. That way you have a finger on the pulse and can adjust accordingly in real-time. 

5. Deliver solutions. Every carrier is different thus the need for flexibility is essential. You have to be able to take client feedback and customize solutions unique to their business operation. The ability to configure a workflow to meet a client’s business process can drive excellent ROI.

Partnerships, whatever shape they come in, are powerful. And the more customized it is, the more we’ll deliver on driving a carrier’s claims department success. 

Flexibility / De-centralisation of working

Covid-19 has almost debunked entirely the one working myth that I have heard for his whole career – “yes, but you can’t broke a risk from home, writes Insured Creativity’s Charles Clarke. You have to be present, with the underwriter, cutting the deal and moving from box to box to get the best follow lines”. 

With Lloyd’s rumoured to not open its doors until 2021 and all brokers that I have spoken to not seeing anything like normality being resume soon (i.e. 8-6, 5 days a week, office based, global travel), the adaptation to flexible and de-centralised working is key. The broker who achieves this with the greatest efficiency and operational excellence will be in a leading position. 

Digitalisation of the majority of broking functions

Broker management systems have evolved since the early 2000s, where systems were merely policy stores and claims notification systems. With integration capability, brokers are able to connect claims systems, risk modelling systems, placement systems (those that are digital and have in-house developers ready to integrate with broker management systems) and market selector software. 

The nirvana could be an enquiry coming from a client/retailer into your bms, inputting key data automatically into a MRC template (whenever that can be agreed), selecting the best markets automatically (from the data inputted into the MRC), then broked via a digital, integrated placing platform, quoted online, sent back to the client electronically, accepted, bound and a formal policy being produced. 

The amount of data touchpoints in this single transaction should be large, and only made possible if digitalisation is fully embraced and invested in. Offline working should be a thing of the past in 2021 if you are using the right placement and claims systems.   

Data as an enabler

“Whoever has the most data wins” (Terrence Sejnowski, 2018) is a powerful statement that continues to both excite, confuse and divide areas of the market. The nirvana of a centrally pooled data cloud seems years away (and that’s optimistic if you consider how long it’s taken to not agree on a standard MRC) but it is undeniable that a centrally collated and shared risk data mine would change the industry. 

In the meantime, I am sure brokers will be doing all they can to capture as many data points as they can during the placing process – the broker that gathers the most will be ahead of the game. One way to enable this is to ensure the broker uses a fully digital and integrated placement system that is consistently drawing down data for future pricing and production models, especially in respect of facilities. Distribution data, success rates, product development can all be addressed with quality data.

The gateway to capital

Whoever owns the placing platform will win. As brokers and underwriters negotiate and place binding authorities and lineslips online, brokers that originate the programmes will want to be the exclusive front door to this programme. A digital quote/bind platform that is owned, tailored and branded to the broker, preferably that is integrated into both their website and broker management system would be this gateway. 

Owning this entrance, brokers will reduce risk of disintermediation, can leverage or switch capital behind the facilities and allow their clients more say in the products they are procuring.  

True diversity

The insurance industry has appeared to struggle with true diversity over the last 20 years. Continued industry-wide initiatives have shown a shift in attitude, more diverse hiring, the fracturing of a still-thick glass ceiling, pay equality, balanced boards and the gradual demise of male, pale and stale boardrooms. 

If insurance brokers are to appear as a reflection of global industry (in particular tech and the arts) and seek credibility as exciting and progressive places to form a career, diversity and license for open conversation will be a key metric. 

About Glide

Glide is a fully digital quote and bind e-placing platform designed for facility business. In real time, on-platform and without offsite developer lag, the system will auto-quote, bind, deny and engage special acceptance, for brokers and underwriters. Glide can pick up, overlay and automate your existing facilities in an unobstructed and intuitive way. 

Glide can also tailor your UI to be brand-specific and enable site keys for as many individual facilities and products as you wish to offer your clients.

Charles Clarke

Charles Clarke

Insured Creativity | GLIDE - London Market Development


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Bradley Collins

Bradley Collins