Losing the opportunity to add value could also lose you trust and the business.


As an insurance broker, your role is to understand my insurance needs and find the best match to the market to meet those needs. Given there are so many direct providers, online aggregators and comparison sites, in effect I am trusting you to do what I don’t have the time to do myself and get me the best solution for my specific needs.

Each time a renewal comes up it should be seen as an opportunity to gain greater insight, check the needs are still the same and build on the knowledge platform. If, as a broker, you demonstrate this you could get the opportunity to develop the relationship into other areas or suggest elements the customer hadn’t considered, creating value for both sides. If you do this consistently, over time you will build trust and through that stickability and loyalty.

This sounds easy doesn’t it? So, if it is easy why don’t some insurance brokers do it?

Unfortunately, from my experience, the renewal opportunity can often be a process of going through the motions: seen to be going into the market finding a price that’s the same or better than last time, offering it to the customer and moving on. If it is all just about price, I might as well go to an aggregator site and contribute to the industry continuing down a price driven commoditised route – but that isn’t what many of us want.

This is such a brilliant opportunity for value enhancing interaction. Even if it’s to reassure the customer they have a broker and company they can trust to manage their best interests for insurance provision.

What happens if the opportunity is wasted and the broker goes through the motions?

Insurance is in effect a paid for promise and you trust the person selling you the solution. In essence, that what you need and paid for is what you get when you need it. This is fine when the renewal ticks over, the broker takes their commission and the paid for promise remains unclaimed or unquestioned.

It is when the policy is questioned or needed and it doesn’t meet your needs that the proverbial hits the fan. As we see in this real example: Why as a broker did they, knowingly sell something that didn’t meet the customers needs? Why didn’t they check the needs or take some time to look at the usage pattern? i.e. temporary cover twice a year for a young driver over a period of years. Instead  they renewed the policy with a different provider that only takes drivers over 30 – I assume in order to offer the customer a cheaper premium? It’s all in the small print that becomes large only when it’s an issue. The renewal may be cheaper; however, it no longer meets the customer’s needs as was uncovered when they needed to add a young driver for a recent visit  home.

It’s often a missed opportunity to sell value over price or even to sell full stop. These types of actions erode and ultimately break trust. They provide the opportunity for customers to check the market themselves, ask another broker or even worse still, question other policies held with the same brokerage.

I am a passionate supporter of the idea of the independent advice provided by brokers so please ensure your people take every opportunity to gather customer information, turn that into insight and then use the insight to develop the relationship, over the long term it leads to more value and loyal customers for all of us.

Dr Mark Hollyoake