Australasian insurer Vero released their sixth annual SME Index recently. This annual survey of businesses and their attitudes to purchasing insurance always throws up some interesting results, but what caught our eye this year was the dramatic change in how SMEs engage with brokers.
In 2013, roughly 20% of SMEs surveyed bought insurance online, direct from an insurer. By 2016 that figure had grown to 27%. That’s a staggering 35% increase! As other avenues to purchase remain almost static, the online market for SME insurance has grown directly at the expense of insurance brokers. What can brokers do to arrest this trend?
At InsuredHQ we’ve put our heads together for a quick brainstorming session, and can offer one free idea for consideration. Using the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ principle, we figured that one great strategy for brokers would be to use the internet as more than a shop window.
Almost all insurance brokers now have a website, but the vast majority that we’ve seen (and we’ve seen a lot!) are Web 2.0 style, static sites, with some generic photos and a bit of text about how important the right cover is, and why a prospect should consider them, or call them.
If clients are buying online, why aren’t brokers selling online? These purchasers have already decided they know enough about insurance to have confidence purchasing it, so why not let them do it through a broker, digitally, instead of having to meet one?
InsuredHQ’s innovative, cloud-based policy administration platform can help close the gap here. It’s fully customisable for any business or line of insurance, and lets a SME owner enter all their own details, which can then be used to automatically populate whatever fields a broker needs to submit a proposal to an intermediated provider and obtain terms. As many insurers and brokers now use automation for bulk small business insurance, terms can be obtained almost instantly for review and submission back to the SME.
Such light touch contact can be a ‘best of both worlds’ solution – clients get the confidence that using a broker generates, while the time saved enables a broker to service smaller businesses at lower cost.
Interested in becoming a virtual broker? Talk to us today about how integrating our cloud-based PAS can help you grow your SME client base while reducing costs.
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