How technology will save your small, independent brokerage in today’s Covid world
If ever there was a time to look to technology to assist your brokerage, the time is now.
Covid-19 has affected all of us. Personally, and professionally. We can’t get together with loved ones, our kids are separated from their teachers and classrooms, and our homes have become our offices and boardrooms. And what is the single most important enabler, allowing life to continue in the face of all this change? Technology. We can “House party” into our grandchildren’s birthday parties, we can upload homework and engage with our teachers. We can meet with staff via Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
Many brokerages have embraced technology over the past decade and the way it can enable better service and delivery for its policyholders. Many engage with administrators and use their world class systems to take the slog work out of underwriting, capturing, policy delivery, claims handling and even premium collections, binder facilities and adherence to regulatory compliance. But we know that there are many small independent brokers out there still intimidated by the change.
How am I supposed to keep a handle on my business if I outsource most of the function to technology that I do not understand, and how will I afford it?
This thinking is misinformed and could be detrimental to a great future for many of the vital small business operations across our country.
The very essence of a broker is relationships. Relationships built over handshakes, laughs, rounds of golf and face to face engagement. And that will again resume and be possible… but what about the 12-18 months ahead? When social distancing and restricted movement stop brokers from sitting down in front of their clients? When brokers won’t be able to physically be there at a client’s business operations?
If brokers wish to remain relevant now, they must look to the unbelievable world-class systems, apps and tech services that can be an overnight game changer to their business operations. Many of these systems have been built for the purpose of suiting those who are not tech savvy. They are simple, easy to use and literally take the guess work out of most of the day to day functioning of a brokerage. If you can operate Microsoft Office and you can send a WhatsApp message, you will be able to operate these systems with very limited time in training.
What to look for in a good tech platform:
- A single platform that meets the strict requirement of the insurer, and allows business to be written off-platform
- An application allowing your clients or prospective clients access to a broker quote
- An application allowing your clients the ability to manage their policy through self-service, but at every step having the broker involved in the process
- A single point of call for any queries on all books placed through the administrator
- Regular and relevant training on all underwriting partner products and product enhancements
- A single point of contact for all claims in progress
- Full-scope binder services
- Regulatory compliance
- Broker commission management – a single, timeous commission payment for your books of business will result in peace of mind and great cash flow management
You might be surprised to learn that most of these services are available at zero cost to the broker.
As we stare down the barrel of an unprecedented global economic crisis, your single focus as a broker should be giving your client the best possible service to retain as much business as possible, while at the same time looking for new clients. With all your IT, systems and admin functions taken care of, you will be able to do this confidently.
The time to act is now.