The Big Question: How might a Covid-19 second wave and lockdown affect brokers?
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the insurance industry’s conferences and networking events take a hit, with social distancing still in force as the UK faces a second wave and another potential lockdown. Innovation remains paramount, as Insurance Times asks seven industry leaders, including Ben Potts, MD UK at Novidea, how brokers who rely heavily on face-to-face networking have adapted.
Ben responded: “Face-to-face networking is at the heart of our social business and many, including myself, surely miss it. The recent announcement by Boris for another six months will not help, but it does highlight the need to push forward with digital transformation, which has already been accelerated by the pandemic.
“Many brokers had already put their document management systems and e-mail (i.e. Outlook 360) onto the cloud, which has helped. However, few have done the same with their broking platforms. This has meant that these brokers simply have not been able to perform many tasks efficiently or have easy access to client, claims, and management reporting and analytics when away from their offices.
“Savvy brokers already understood the benefits of digital, data, and connectivity. For them, even pre-pandemic, the need for actionable data insights was growing exponentially, along with cloud-based platforms that enabled them to work remotely from anywhere, anytime, with access to everything as if they were in the office.
“It may be a while until we can all meet face-to-face, but this trend towards cloud-based solutions is set to continue, as other brokers already working in a challenging, highly competitive market are forced to catch up.”
Insightful commentary also came from other industry leaders, including: Neil Thornton, MD, retail division, GRP; Simon Matson, CEO, UK broking and underwriting, Gallagher; Branko Bjelobaba FCII, Principal, Branko Ltd; Jeffrey Skelton, MD, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, UK and Ireland; Amanda Fox, head of broker management and product governance, Markerstudy; and Neil Gibson, COO, Sedgwick.