The Australian insurance market is complex and challenging to navigate for the average SME client. This is where insurance brokers add value, providing that essential link between insurers and the insured.
But the intermediary market offers so much more than just the service of broking a deal.
Brokers add value not only to clients and insurers but to the economy, government, and broader society. While reports like NIBA’s Broking in 2025 provide a blueprint for the industry’s future, BizCover for Brokers has decided to talk to the next generation of brokers forging their own paths.
Digital broking with the human touch
Technology is understandably a central theme for brokers looking toward the future.
Once considered digital laggards compared to the broader financial sector, the Australian insurance industry has pushed ahead in recent years, adopting technologies such as automation to gain efficiency.
Brokers save each insurer an average of 3.3 hours, equating to more than 1,380 full-time equivalent staff each year, according to a joint study by Deloitte and NIBA.
And with SME clients wanting faster turnaround with high service levels, technology that enables brokers to optimise their time at work has real benefits for their stakeholders.
But Aimee thinks of technology as a double-edged sword, hoping brokers can harness its benefits without losing what gives brokers value.
“The most important thing about being a broker is having that human touch,” says Aimee.
“I don’t think technology will advance to the point where we lose the need for our relationships with insurers. If that happened, not all brokers would provide the best solutions for their clients, and I don’t think that will be good for the industry.”
Aimee says that she has seen brokers misuse technology, putting in occupations that are close but not correct to win business.
“I’ve had prospective clients come to me from a different broker and say, ‘this broker has quoted me less than you‘. I’m like, what occupation did they use? A gardener. Well, you’re a landscaper that’s not the right cover, and it’s never going to pay out.”
With processes drastically streamlined, brokers will have an even greater responsibility to ensure the service they provide reflects their clients’ risk profiles. But in terms of the technology itself, Aimee couldn’t be happier.
“BizCover for Brokers is a solution we often use at Grace Insurance as it removes the time-consuming admin tasks, so you can spend more time doing the right thing and servicing your clients.”
Grace Insurance WA State Manager Aimee Henderson
The next generation of brokers
While the future is full of uncertainties, Aimee is confident the next generation of brokers can rise to the challenge and push the intermediary industry into new and greener pastures.
Aimee says her biggest advice to the younger generation is not to be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and find a passion in your work.
“I’m a bit of an introvert. I don’t like going to those big conferences and talking to everyone. But growth comes when you stretch yourself and I know I must get out there and network,” says Aimee.
“Something else I learned was talking about your achievements. People will say it’s boasting but no one will be your biggest cheerleader aside from yourself.”
Another thing that Aimee hopes will change is the representation of women in senior roles in the insurance industry.
While it’s easy to push the responsibility on young women to appear more confident and assertive, the reality is that those in leadership roles – male or female – must push for systemic change.
With Australian women in the insurance industry holding only 23.7% of chair positions, Aimee hopes she can be a role model moving forward as she steps into her role as State Manager at Grace Insurance.
“It’s important for younger women to see other women in those roles. I think it’s essential to be open and approachable and to be available and help guide them,” she says. “I think for young women coming through, find a female mentor in those roles because its invaluable in this male-dominated industry that can be hard to navigate.”
Building relationships through thick and thin
With the Australian insurance market hardening, many brokerages are scrambling to find the balance between broking a deal with insurers and supporting their clients.
From catastrophic events to lower investment returns and the risk of litigation, the future will likely be tough if the present is anything to go by.
Learning the trade of broking during the Christchurch earthquake in 2011, Aimee knows how to operate in harsh market conditions.
“The market crumbled. We had insurers pulling out, you had people write new business, rates went through the roof, and reinsurance was bad. That’s the market I learned in.”
Aimee says people struggle in this market because they haven’t laid the groundwork to build personal relationships.
“Brokers need to work with insurers to get a good outcome for your clients. How can you do that if you don’t have that relationship with that person or know who to ring?”
Aimee says the lack of communication has been from both sides throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with not being able to see BDMs a particular sore point.
“We’ve recently had dedicated BDMs who come and see us, and building that relationship with them has been really beneficial,” says Aimee. “I can ring them, and they put us in the right direction, which has helped us given the best solution for our clients.”
While building a relationship with insurers is essential, Aimee says the number one thing she focuses on is meeting with her clients in person.
“When you meet your clients in person, it creates a different relationship than just communicating over the phone or by email,” she says.
Aimee hopes this approach is not lost in the digital-heavy future as it’s essential to build that foundation of trust.
“Go see your client and take the time to learn about their business. Show that you care, and they will trust that your advice is correct because you understand their business and risk exposures.”
“But use technology where you can to streamline your processes, saving you time and reducing the manual work you do.”