In a fast-paced world, the insurance industry is having to adapt to the many hurdles it faces, but brokers are facing two major challenges, according to Brokerslink CEO Jose Manuel.
First is the process of transforming – both in reality and through outside perception – to a consultative role and not just a transactional one, Manuel told Insurance Business during an interview at the Risk Management Society’s annual conference in Philadelphia, USA.
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“I define a broker as a talent company,” he said. “Our main asset is talent, is people, is knowledge, is information. Of course, the transactional process is quite important, because we need to place risks in a very efficient way with the best carriers and so on, but it’s much more than that. It’s an everyday job with the client, so that transformation process is a great challenge for us.”
It can be difficult for brokers to demonstrate that they are more than transactional, but in the current complex risk landscape, “we have a great job to do with our clients and insurers in terms of information, knowledge and consulting,” Manuel explained.
The second key challenge, which is likely to come as little surprise, is dealing with technology and digital.
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Brokers have long been facing the threat of disintermediation, but “we are here and stronger than before, so we have a very important job to do,” commented Manuel.
“I think that technology is a great opportunity that if you don’t leverage, can be a threat, of course, like always, and technology can also be a great challenge and opportunity in different areas.”
The increased capacity to gather large volumes of data provides an opportunity to produce “fabulous” information, but new challenges are springing up from insurtech players, as well as insurers going direct.
But rather than see the newer start-ups merely as competition, brokers need to embrace the innovation they can bring.
“I think brokers need really to be close to that world, to be close to the start-ups and insurtechs,” Manuel said. Through partnerships and integration, established firms can reinvent the wheel and “not miss the train,” he added.
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