Viktor Vukovic from Queensland-based brokerage Sirius Insurance talks cyber insurance, technology, and predicts what the future holds for broking in BizCover for Brokers’ Future of Broking series.
From working with billion-dollar corporates to the smallest of SME clients, Viktor Vukovic has seen it all in the insurance industry.
“I have created alternative risk transfer vehicles for large corporations, worked with captives, and built schemes. I’ve also placed domestic insurance for homeowners using online platforms.”
But while Viktor has worked with the “big end of town” from Marsh to AON, his proudest achievement is leading his own SME brokerage, Sirius Insurance, in his home state of Queensland.
While Sirius Insurance specialises in Strata Insurance for Strata and Property Owners, Viktor also focuses on providing technology insurance, particularly cyber insurance, to various small businesses, including logistics and IT service providers.
“This is increasingly becoming a topic of concern,” says Viktor.
“While most SME clients don’t see themselves as a target, they are missing the bigger problem. They are not being targeted like a big fish. They are being targeted like a group of very small fishes!”
Small and micro businesses made up nearly 60% of total scam losses across the Australian business community last year, dispelling the myth that cybercrime only happens to larger corporations.
But as Viktor says, “many are open to talking about cyber and receiving quotes, but most of them are still not taking the policies up due to the cost.”
Yet with the average cybercrime incident costing small businesses $39,000 last year, cyber insurance is fast becoming essential for many businesses to operate in the digital age and SME brokers could provide serious value as this risk evolves.
“We talk about cyber to all our clients as we do about every other type of risk. If you are not talking to your clients about cyber, you are not performing your role as a broker.”
Throughout his 17 years in insurance, Viktor has seen technology change at breakneck speed.
While he still prefers direct contact with clients and underwriters, he acknowledges that technology can create far more efficient ways of engaging the market.
“Some of the coolest tools now allow you to obtain COPE information on buildings, or even a remote valuation without having to leave your desk,” says Viktor.
Another digital tool that Sirius Insurance utilises are quote-and-bind systems, which transact business and obtain multiple quotes at the same time, allowing brokers to demonstrate value with contestability to their clients.
“Our brokerage has steadily increased our use of B4B over the past year. It’s simple and intuitive, and processing the invoices is straightforward as schedules are provided in Word format.”
The Future of Broking
The future of broking is not without its challenges. As clients look to save money, many are taking less insurance than they need.
In some cases, Viktor says clients are unable to get any cover at all, which is a much bigger problem as time goes on.
“Accessing the market will become easier through use of technology, however brokers will increasingly start competing on price to win clients” he says.
Viktor predicts the increased regulatory and compliance obligations will potentially force some brokers to merge with others, and larger brokerages will capitalise as they have the resources already.
“AI will start being utilised to provide advice, which may mean that some industries stop using brokers altogether.”
Viktor says it all comes down to brokers providing value and being proactive – the same as it always has been, albeit with higher stakes.
“We speak to our clients regularly, so we can stay informed – and provide appropriate advice to our clients. In this way we typically call our clients before they realise they have a problem which needs fixing,” he says.
“This is the MOST important thing. Clients typically don’t realise where their major risks are, so a good broker will lead and prompt them to consider how to manage those risks.”
The Bottom Line
The future of broking looks set to be shaped by technology, changing client expectations, and emerging risks.
Brokers who can adapt to these changes and provide value and speed to their clients will thrive, while those who can’t, may find themselves struggling.
As Viktor points out, the most successful brokers are those who build strong relationships with both clients and underwriters, putting the needs of their clients first and thinking ahead about what their SME clients might need.
While cyber insurance can be hard to wrap your head around, Viktor urges brokers to keep presenting the risk to their clients and that there is nothing overly mysterious about “cyber”.
“I don’t see cyber risk being overly different to any other risk. It’s simply acknowledging that we all have digital identities and digital assets which are at risk,” he says.
“You lock your house and office, so you should also lock your digital information. Similarly, you insure your house, so why not your digital assets?”
With the right tools, techniques, and innovations, brokers can continue to provide essential advice and support to their clients in an ever-changing world.
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