The future of broking is more automated, with manual admin tasks becoming obsolete.
Hair and Beauty insurance specialist Bronwyn Martin shares how she streamlines her brokerage by using the latest digital technologies such as online quote-and-bind systems.
Underwriters and brokers may need to work together to improve service levels, with manual systems no longer viable, and quote turnaround times a major barrier.
The digital age of ‘now’
The digital age of insurance has been here for a while now.
In what was described as the “quiet revolution” in 2014, digital technologies have quickly become the leading voices that have and will continue to shape the future of broking.
For Bronwyn Martin, who opened her Hair and Beauty brokerage Salonsure in 2019, operating with these technologies has become second nature.
“We live in the age of ‘now’. Customers expect things now and not in a few days or a week. If you don’t provide that service straight away you will lose that client,” says Martin.
Everything is online. Digital. No cold calls, mail outs, or bus seat advertising exist in Bronwyn’s world.
Instead, it’s been replaced by social media, search engines, and email marketing.
“Online is key. Automation is key. Quick, efficient, and fast are the way of the future and there’s no escaping it so it’s time to get onboard.”
But while brokers like Bronwyn look to streamline their processes with the technologies they’ve always used, the remnants of the old system still continue to cause problems.
“I find the old-school, manual way of broking a challenge. It’s just so time-consuming and you’ll lose a client if you take too long.”
The relationship between underwriters and brokers
The relationship between underwriters and brokers is essential in the digital age, with brokers depending on underwriters’ overall service levels to reach their customers’ increasingly lofty expectations.
Yet quote turnaround time is still a major barrier for brokers, says Bronwyn.
“The underwriters that are doing it the manual way, the service is not great. Not answering phones and emails or just taking too long. It’s not a great experience,” she says.
“The clients get really annoyed because they’ve got to give that certificate to their landlord or client.”
Using old systems doesn’t just affect the relationship between the broker and their client either.
Bronwyn says there are many situations where sending off proposal documents to underwriters and waiting is just not viable.
“The amount of times I get a phone call at 3pm and they’re like I need a policy now. It pretty much cuts out any underwriters that do it manually.”
To counter this inefficiency, Bronwyn tries to exclusively get quotes from underwriters that use online quote-and-bind systems.
Instead of waiting for the insurer to send the quote, the broker can obtain quotes quickly and with ease online, immediately bind coverage and provide the client with proof of insurance.
Bronwyn says that since she gets many smaller clients asking for multiple quotes every day through her website, she uses quote-and-bind systems like BizCover for Brokers.
“It’s so much easier when there’s a system where you just do a simple endorsement. You add it on yourself, you get the certificate and within five minutes you’re done,” she says.
You’ve finished with that client and the clients happy because you were quick and efficiency’s so important. You can’t beat a quote-and-bind system to be honest.”
The future of broking
Looking forward, Bronwyn sees these old processes will increasingly become a thing of the past, with manual admin tasks becoming automated.
“Automation is the future. I don’t think that will go away,” says Bronwyn.
The online quote-and-bind systems are very much the way of the future and automating the whole process takes away a lot of that data entry and gives new brokers a quick way to quote their clients.”
It is these technologies that will help brokers streamline their processes and give value to their clients, and – according to Bronwyn – that can only be a good thing.
“What makes a successful insurance broker is great service – it doesn’t take much to be kind,” she says.
“Providing a quick and efficient service makes a good broker. It’s answering phone calls, promptly responding to emails, and being available – and technology helps us achieve that.”
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