Heidi Dias – Distribution & Marketing Executive at Constantia Insurance.
Nobody could have predicted the arrival and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to the devastating loss of millions of lives, the pandemic has forced substantial change to both our personal and professional lives.
Many businesses have been forced to shut down and those who have retained their employment are mostly working from home. Due to financial constraints, many have had to sell their homes, move in with family and even cash in their investments to make ends meet.
What many consumers may not know, is that these changes also have a material impact on their risk profile and the appropriateness of their current insurance cover.
A client who is now working from home needs to remember to update the daytime address of their vehicle, if previously noted as the address of their employer. A sales rep who previously spent substantial time on the road, but changed their vehicle cover to personal use during the hard lockdown, should revert to their original cover upon recommencing work.
This is an opportune time for brokers to proactively engage their clients and assist them to navigate these complexities by reviewing their risk profile, which will ultimately give the client the peace of mind that they have the correct insurance solutions in place. A good broker understands that their value extends beyond the sales transaction and claims administration, to regular engagement, an ongoing assessment of their client’s risk profile and risk mitigating advice. It is in this area that direct insurers simply cannot compete.
With many consumers financially crippled by the pandemic and forced to draw on their investments, financial advisors should also take a proactive approach and help ease the anxiety of their clients by scheduling time with them to review their portfolios and to answer their questions. Ultimately, engagement and collaboration help build and establish trust, an essential ingredient to any lasting relationship. Furthermore, during these unprecedented times that have taken such an emotional toll on many, engagements with clients should be infused with a healthy dose of empathy and kindness.
Equally, insurance companies have both a responsibility and an opportunity to closely collaborate and engage with their broker partners. Following the pandemic, all organisations will be thinking differently about their businesses. As the broker has direct engagement with clients, insurers should be listening to the learnings and insights from their broker partners as part of shaping future insurance solutions. Close collaboration will also ensure that brokers are always positioned to provide the right advice to mitigate the risks of their clients.
Unfortunately, insurance is often seen as a grudge purchase and the contingent BI saga has severely impacted the reputation of our industry. This sentiment is unfortunate considering the vital role our industry plays in enabling our economy.
Perhaps as an industry we should be doing a better job highlighting the value that we add and there is no better time to demonstrate this than now, through proactive engagement and providing sound advice to our clients. Long live advice.