Covéa Insurance Survey Reveals Key Broker Predictions for the Coming Year

13th May

Independent broker research, commissioned by Covéa Insurance, has highlighted the opportunities and threats commercial and high net worth brokers believe will impact their business over the next twelve months. Although growth, professionalism and customer service were consistently strong themes, many brokers fear premium hikes due to the increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will have an adverse impact on business levels and profitability.

The in-depth survey, which was undertaken by an independent research specialist, sought the views of 515 commercial and high net worth brokers, who were invited to give their views of broader market conditions that would affect their growth, including their preparedness for the Insurance Act, and their view of Chartered Status.

Growth

An encouraging 64% of respondents expected to grow their business over the next twelve months, in spite of challenging market conditions, with the commercial and high net worth market identified as having the most growth potential. Intense competition and the increase in Insurance Premium Tax were the reasons most cited by brokers as limiting growth, as well as the dominance of ‘online’ trading, particularly in the personal lines market. The increase in Insurance Premium Tax was a significant concern across all product lines, with a number of brokers saying many customers will be shopping around to avoid the rise. One broker predicted this may lead to some customers ‘self insuring’.

Opportunity

One opportunity facilitating broking growth appears to be cross-selling, with several respondents revealing that their growth plans centred around cross-selling of products between High Net Worth and Commercial clients. It seems these higher spending customers still appreciate the value personal relationships, often preferring to talk to a broker about their insurance needs rather than go online. Customer loyalty was also a theme, with many brokers anticipating a rise in repeat business, and factoring this into their growth plans.

Professionalism

The research also revealed impressive professionalism and customer service amongst brokers, with less than 1% of brokers saying they did not feel they were ready for their obligations arising from the Insurance Act when it comes into effect in August, and 62% saying they either already had, or were considering, CII Chartered Status.

Speaking about the results of the survey, Simon Cooter, Covéa Insurance’s Commercial Lines and HNW Director commented:

“This research has given us valuable insight into what our broker partners would like, and their priorities in the context of broader market conditions. We will be using the detailed responses to refine our product proposition further, and look forward to announcing plans for enhancements to a number of our commercial and High Net Worth products later in the year as part of our ongoing commitment to providing our broker partners with first class products and service to ensure our mutual profitable growth.”

 

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About Covéa Insurance

Covea Insurance plc is the UK underwriting business of leading French mutual insurance group Covéa, who are number 1 for property and liability insurance in France and served 11.5 million policyholders, generating over 16.4 billion Euros in premiums in 2016.  

Covéa Insurance handles the insurance needs of 1.5 million policyholders; delivering financial reassurance through its Standard & Poor’s A+ stable rating, as a guaranteed subsidiary of Covéa. 

The company offers motor, household, protection, mid and high net worth insurance and a range of commercial insurance products, designed to meet the needs of most individuals and businesses. Employing over 1500 people, Covéa Insurance has a strong people and service ethos, having Investors In People Gold accreditation and featuring in the 2015 and 2016 Sunday Times Top 100 Mid-sized Best Companies to Work For. It also has World Class service accreditation from the Institute of Customer Service for its Motor Claims, Home Claims and Underwriting Services teams as well as Chartered Insurer status for its Commercial and Mid/High Net Worth business.

In January 2016, Sterling Insurance Company Limited became a fully integrated part of Covea Insurance Plc, following a Part VII transfer under the Financial Services and Markets Act. 

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