Insurance Leaders’ Predictions for 2012
We asked a number of our clients, contacts and friends in the insurance industry to make some predictions for 2012. Below (in the order that we received them) is the first tranche of responses. We’re hoping to release another blog in the coming days with more predictions, so if you would like to contribute to this, or future blogs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Julian Hale, Director - Hale Kavanagh Insurance Brokers Ltd - www.hkib.co.uk
I will avoid the obvious and say that NIG will have new owners within the next 12mths. I think there has been a top level decision to fatten GWP whilst keeping gross profit lean. This will therefore become an excellent opportunity for any new suitor in future, but not in the next 12mths.
There are too many major UK insurers with growth agenda to expect a hard market in Insurance over the next 12mths. I think the market has to 'thin-out' before we see a true, hard market [umph!]
The UK residential property market will continue to be challenging for anyone wishing to regain previous lost value (I'm calling the bottom of the residential property market in qtr 2 2014).
2012 will see another full 12mths of BoE interest rates been at 0.5%
The troubles in the Euro Zone will continue well into the summer 2012 when I think the politicians will concede to the fact that the currency cannot continue with the existing mix of members and 2012 will see the first steps of a break up of the Euro Zone, with the stronger economies (Germany, Scandanavian members etc) splitting from the weaker (Southern European) members and 2 separate currencies emerging.
The Americans will still be laughing at Ricky Gervais in 2012 even though he stopped being funny after 'The Office'.
Merry Christmas & a happy new year!
Jim Rainford, Business Development Executive - CBG Group www.cbg-group.co.uk
I think for me the key thing for 2012 is keeping your fleet up and running. It is a major necessity for many businesses. In some cases, depending on the industry your company is involved in, your vehicles may be your livelihood, and without them business would grind to a halt. With the economy still riding on a rollercoaster, if there was ever an important time to get things right financially, it’s now!
Nigel Law, Operations Director - JM Glendinning Insurance Brokers – www.jmgib.co.uk
Glendinnings have had a wonderful 2011 with double digit growth which is underpinned by high client loyalty. We look forward to more success in 2012 which sees us celebrate 40 years since John and Joan Glendinning set the business up from their home in Otley.
Martin Bellamy, Chairman - Walmsleys Commercial – www.wcib.co.uk
2012 – Onwards and Upwards!
Amidst all the doom and gloom that lies ahead in 2012 we can all be sure that life as a Commercial Insurance Broker won’t get any easier; our clients will be under pressure to make savings; their turnovers and sales will be down; and they’ll be contacted by at least half a dozen other brokers making wild promises of massive savings to be made this year. So what are we planning to do at WCIB? Simple, really; we’ll keep on being ahead of the competition; giving first class customer service and maintaining our client relationships at all levels.
As brokers, we believe we have a lot to offer: we’ve got Chartered Status, we fervently believe in our independence whilst at the same time benefiting for our membership of Brokerbility and we empower our professional staff to look after our clients as they want to be looked after. Add in our excellent relationship with our insurer partners and the development of our automotive niche and we see 2012 as a great opportunity to push on with project Walmsleys Commercial!
Now all we need to do is persuade insurers to stop navel gazing , to see the current economic climate as an opportunity not just a threat and to be a bit more honest in their settlement of claims and we’ve cracked it…
I won’t be holding my breath though. We seem to be seeing a trend at the moment for claims handlers to look for ways of reducing claims payments in a way which certainly doesn’t fit with the FSA’s TCF culture. I’m not sure how we overcome this at a time when competition is so fierce and capacity abounds in the commercial market, holding pricing down whilst claims inflation increases all the time. I am sure, though, that it is unfair for genuine claims not to be paid in full and it does our sector no good to be seen as representing an industry which is happy to take premiums but unwilling to settle claims.
For me, it just shows the value of a good broker – how businesses who insure direct with an insurer achieve a fair settlement is anybody’s guess!
Caspar Barrington, Relationship Manager (Education) - Chartered Insurance Institute www.discoverrisk.co.uk
The CII in 2012 celebrates the centenary of its Royal Charter. While we will be looking back over the last 100 years and looking forward to the next 100, we will continue to support our members during these challenging economic times.
We will also continue to make our profession an attractive one for young people, through delivering our Discover Risk and Discover Fortunes events in schools, colleges and universities. If you’re interested in giving something back, or looking at your future employees, get in touch and email email@example.com
Bob Stephenson, Business Development Manager - Hine Insurance Brokers – www.hine.co.uk
Despite the credit crunch, the problems with the Euro, the Japanese/New Zealand/Natural Disasters, UK General Insurance has not moved back to a hard market situation (at least in the Commercial Insurance sector).
It is not likely too in the next few years either as there would appear to be a lot of capacity available and if the weather is good this Winter then this will only assist the continuation of the softness. The insurance industry is still well capitalised and in most cases showing reasonable profits.
However insurers Margins are beginning to feel the pinch because of the commissions that have been paid to the likes of the Networks and inflationary pressures and claim settlements are not helping.
Only insurers can cause a market change but Aviva’s attempts a few years ago did not work because other insurers did not assist for the benefit of all.
On the Personal side of the coin dual pricing does not help Brokers. Existing customers are not helping this environment and are forced to assist the soft market scenario by constantly trying to get cheaper and cheaper quotations. Insurers should look closely at this issue and provide an answer that protects their book of business as well as the brokers.
The broker sector appreciates regulation to ward off the ‘bad boys’ but lets hope the new regulators, know exactly what is required, but here at Hine it is expected we will get a regulatory visit in the early part of 2012.
Unfortunately we will not be seeing a return to the hard market days in the foreseeable future, but at Hine we have established systems and procedures to withstand what we are to be subsequently faced with.