Opportunity knocking for underwriting agencies

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Underwriting agencies need to do more to add value for brokers, according to a wide-ranging new survey.

Created by business management software providers Gratex, the survey highlights the areas where brokers would like to see underwriting agencies perform better, such as helping identify growth opportunities and the speed at which they deliver new products to market and process requests.

“We see demand to accelerate turnaround times across all business processes, most importantly in claims processing,” the survey says.

“While there is still a strong need to have access to highly skilled staff, there is a strong correlation between operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.”

Brokers rated the client experience during the claims process as one of the areas with the biggest shortfall in what they wanted and what underwriting agencies were delivering.

LMI Group Founder Professor Allan Manning, who helped conduct the survey, says the claims focus was pleasing.

“While a speedy resolution is always desired it may not be realistic in every circumstance,” he says.

“Where an underwriting agency can really excel is by creating a positive experience for the client and broker with a transparent process and above all remembering their obligation to deliver a positive outcome.”

The survey also found 55% of brokers were expecting to increase the amount of premium they placed with underwriting agencies in the next 12 months.

Gratex International Managing Director Milan Neklapil says it is an exciting time for underwriting agencies.

“The nimbleness and speed at which agencies can develop innovative new products is vital to the market,” he says.

“In recent years accident and health, cyber insurance and strata products have been highly successful and a point of differentiation for agencies when compared with the large insurers.”

The survey was launched at the recent NIBA-UAC Underwriting Expo in Perth. To view it, click here.