News Release

2016

The Insurance Industry: A Broker's Perspective

The increasing complexity of the insurance industry due to regulation, compliance, globalisation and technological advancement presents a veritable minefield that people need to try and navigate on their own. This is where the broker plays a truly defining role in the insurance industry.

According to Lee Stacey, Chief Broking Officer at Aon South Africa, they have a very clear broking strategy. "The key is to ensure that we have a product, a specialist or a strategy for every type of customer from individuals or SMEs all the way through to complex multi-national operations. Some clients buy multiple lines of business from us in many territories including health and benefits products while others may only need private vehicle insurance. The bottom line is that one size definitely does not fit all," she emphasises.

"The greatest benefit that personal and small business clients derive from dealing with Aon is the collective buying power that it presents. A brokerage also offers insight and expertise that provide these clients with a selection of pre-brokered products that are designed for their size, segment or industry specialisation," explains Lee.

"Larger clients often need business specific specialists who have market and coverage knowledge. In addition, clients who are involved in cross-border activities or global undertakings need access to global resources with leverage in local as well as global insurance carriers to ensure an insurance solution that is relevant to their specific industry needs" she adds.

Account Executives with a broad-brush knowledge of all lines of business are essential in order to identify client specific exposures and gaps, insurable risks as well as knowledge of the uninsured or uninsurable ones. However, a brokerage operates on the premise of determining the best cover, limits and markets, which is where the role of specialists comes to the fore in dealing with insurers, to secure the best selection of possible options for clients.

The business environment in which most people operate is vastly more complex than it was a decade ago. "The insurance industry needs to understand so much more about its customers' needs in terms of which territories they do business in, whether they are exposed to the challenges of sanctions, exchange rate fluctuations and contractual obligations, to name a few. Technical expertise underpins the brokerage experience and that is why continuous upskilling is an essential part of the industry," says Lee.

"This is where a broker adds value in the form of innovative offerings, backed by solid expertise to scrutinise industries and identify trends in order to provide solutions ahead of client demand, that comply with onerous regulation and legislation and are tailored to meet specific needs at the right price," Lee concludes.

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