Given the indispensable role that the broker plays in the insurance value chain, it makes good business sense for insurers to continually focus on training and developing this important distribution channel. That’s according to Richard Eales, Managing Executive of Guardrisk Insurance.
The broker plays a vital role, both in the worlds of the insurer and the client. The broker acts as the agent for the client, giving appropriate risk advice and placement of insurance cover; and the insurer wants the broker to offer the most suitable insurance product from their suite of products. Thus, providing both broad-class training and specifically product training is a worthwhile investment.
A well-trained broker creates a mutually beneficial environment for the brokerage, clients and insurers. Brokers, through their relationships with their clients, acquire intimate knowledge of the client’s business and industry. Armed with the relevant training from the insurer, the broker is positioned to offer sage advice and, more importantly, select the most appropriate insurance product to suit the client’s specific risk needs. But, like most things in life, it’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds.
In a multi-dimensional broker environment, the challenge for insurers is to find appropriate and efficient means of delivery for brokers to access the training. Web or similar enabled training is likely to be the preferred method as the cost and logistics of insitu training may be practically or logistically difficult. Simply put, insurers that “get it right” when it comes to product training are likely to draw greater interest in their product range from brokers. This could result in the broker effectively reducing the number of insurer suppliers it draws from and the client doesn’t necessarily get the best solution. But this is a challenge that it is in the interest of the entire industry to overcome.
Notwithstanding regulated obligations, and the practical challenges, for product training, it is important that the industry continues to build skill and expertise. For insurers, the ease and effectiveness of your broker training could become a competitive differentiator.
“Insurers can and must continue to uplift the broker segment through training and development. The concomitant outcome of broker training, hosted by the insurer, ensures the sustainability and indeed the relevance of the profession,” says Eales.
“Investing in the development of the broker distribution channel, will allow the industry to grow and equip future professionals, thereby safeguarding the future of the industry,” says Eales.