Specialist insurer, Ecclesiastical, recently commissioned research with brokers, which provided some interesting insights
To gain deeper insight into what help brokers need to build a more positive profile and get closer to their customers, Ecclesiastical is carrying out a series of broker research surveys as part of an information-gathering and listening exercise. The programme aims to enhance the targeted support the specialist insurer already provides to its brokers.
The first wave of research, carried out with 200 brokers in December 2016, revealed that although more than half of brokers feel fulfilled in their careers, 71% of them feel that the public perception of them needs to change. The strong message coming through was that more needs to be done to position brokers as professional and trusted advisers and to educate the public about the value of what they do.
Overall, 49 of the top 50 national brokers answered this survey and the findings showed:
- National brokers are the least satisfied with their careers -- just under half (49%) are either extremely or very fulfilled while 12.2% are not very or not at all fulfilled. This compares to
62.5% of provincial brokers who are extremely or very fulfilled.
- National brokers also feel the most strongly that the public perception of brokers needs to change -- 77.6% of them feel this way, compared to 68.8% of provincial brokers.
The research also revealed what could be done to help improve the reputation of brokers and of brokering as a career, with a third of brokers highlighting that more needs to be done to educate the public on what a broker actually does and how they can help people.
Adrian Saunders, commercial director at Ecclesiastical, said: "Brokers play a vital role in using their experience, expertise and specialist knowledge to ensure their customers have the right cover at the right level from the right insurer. Often, customers only realise how important that is when they need to make a claim.
"There is an opportunity for everyone to do more to educate the public about what brokers do and the value they add -- the CII, British Insurance Brokers' Association, brokers themselves and insurance partners like Ecclesiastical. It's in everyone's interest to break down any barriers to business growth and tackle these reputational risks in our industry."
SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE
A second wave of research carried out with 250 brokers by the research company, FWD, on behalf of Ecclesiastical in February and March 2017, delved deeper into the support brokers feel they need to differentiate their businesses and their profession and to target younger customers.
Interestingly, this revealed that almost a third of brokers felt they would benefit from support to reach the under-30s on social media and 23% felt that portraying a business persona and approach that appeals to a younger mind-set would help them target this market.
Alongside carrying out further research during the year, Ecclesiastical is currently planning a number of events with brokers to start tackling some of the issues highlighted and to continue to shape its package of broker support.