It is clear from many of the comments arising from this year’s Insurance Times Broker Service Survey that brokers value underwriters who are open-minded and willing to adapt wordings and terms where possible to accommodate clients’ individual needs. They also value a close dialogue and partnership with underwriters who are approachable.
It is the insurers with empowered and decisive underwriters, with the capability to consider complex or difficult-to-place risks, that are most successful in retaining renewal business and winning referrals. Those able to adapt to changes to risks mid-term are also valued, particularly by brokers with fast-growth clients.
The antithesis to this is also clear from verbatim comments in the survey. Underwriters who are difficult to approach and/or reluctant to deviate from a rigid set of underwriting criteria are those that received negative feedback.
Some comments indicate that a reduction of underwriting expertise and flexibility has occurred as a result of restructuring or M&A. Here, the loss of a dedicated underwriter or representative can have a profound impact on relationships within the broker channel. It is particularly important therefore to ensure continuity following such periods of change.
When Markerstudy acquired Zenith Insurance, SAS was able to work closely with the company to bring together over five disparate data systems into a single-user friendly platform. A clear data-quality strategy and auditable structure was also necessary to prepare for upcoming Solvency II regulations.
By improving data quality and offering management a clearer view of the business, it meant that swift and informed underwriting decisions continued to be made as the two businesses integrated. Looking ahead, as the business expands, improved data quality will offer underwriters and other decision-makers a clear overview of how the different lines of business are performing at a group level.
Download our white paper on Data is King: the benefits of an insurance data model and find out more about how SAS Analytics can help you improve business performance through more efficient use of data at www.sas.com/uk/insurance.