Brokers consider options as competition increases

Brokers are looking at other options if they feel client needs are not being met by major insurers, according to an Austbrokers & IBNA Member Services (AIMS) report. The Brokers’ View survey shows AIMS broker ratings for some insurers dropped sharply, partly due to claims-handling concerns but also driven by portfolio remediation undertaken by some companies. It reveals overall satisfaction for CGU dropped to an average rating of 45%, down from 54% six months previously. QBE also suffered a significant drop, down to 37% from 46%, while Vero fell one percentage point to 43%. Allianz stayed the same at 44%, while Zurich increased to 36% from 29%. “We have seen some significant changes from the last survey,” the report says. “Most [are] the result of a reduction in satisfaction of claims responses in certain areas. Certainly claims-handling is a major contributor, but not the only factor.” Brokers’ increasing concerns about claims have been highlighted previously by See earlier story. The AIMS report says claims are the “rubber hits the road moment” for customers. “All insurers are investing heavily in providing ‘best practice’ outcomes for the customer,” it says. “Unfortunately there are always examples where the customer’s expectations are not met, and our brokers are at the forefront of managing this. “The commentary in this report is driven by these adverse outcomes.” However, the report emphasises that “it should never go unnoticed that in general, insurers respond very, very well to the vast majority of claims”. AIMS GM Glenn Schultz told the falls in satisfaction for CGU and QBE were “driven by remediation to their portfolios”. Zurich’s bounce was due to it coming out the other side of a similar process “and no longer delivering constant bad news”, he said. The report also talks of a “tipping point” in competition, where nimble, tech-savvy companies are able to enter the market and pick up business. “There was a point where we felt new competitors couldn’t come in, but that is no longer the case,” Mr Schultz said. “Competition will increase pressure on all companies to meet client expectations and that is probably a good thing.” Mr Schultz believes the survey of 150 AIMS member brokers is “representative of the wider marketplace”.

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