Consumers will always be influenced by trends, accessibility and price, but a superior Customer Services provision now also heavily sways purchasing decisions. For now, brokers need their scheme insurers to be creative and competitive, with the ability to implement at speed. But accessibility and platforms may possibility out rank these as priorities for the future, at which point they will need to find themselves the right technology partners. In the meantime, what they look for is a quality relationship with a trusted advisor.
There is still one ‘elephant in the room’ – whether you an insurer or a broker - how do you recruit the right hires in order to become/remain or even claim to be a serious contender in the schemes market. To build the right team will require the same inspired thinking used in the creation of the schemes themselves. Aston Charles’ Director, Richard Jones recently joined this debate in the Insurance Times, discussing one possible ‘quick fix’ option for those looking for the edge in niche… “There has never been a better time for established teams to move (as a whole) to further their career, or for brokers with a genuine commitment to growing their team to consider team lifts.” An expert in the field, Richard has seen a 50% increase in this type of approach to staffing problems, as companies regain their buying confidence in response to the recovering economy.
Alternatively, a spot of big game (head) hunting across the Serengeti could reward you with the right kind of trophies on which to build your own successful heard. They will of course require feeding and nurturing, or they may stray. And then there is always the small game….or graduates as they now like to be called. If you want to be really niche “get ‘em while they’re young,” with an in-house training programme which provides succession planning as a useful by-product.
Assuming the niche specialists can stay one step ahead of the aggregators and the regulator, we predict that schemes will continue to provide a lucrative and interesting challenge to the insurance community as a whole.