Authored by Rob Flynn, Director of Digital Trade/SME at RSA
Now that we are heading into winter, it causes me to reflect on the first nine months of 2022 and what the industry will be managing into next year. In my mind, it is the ever-changing regulatory environment that has undoubtedly brought both insurers and brokers the largest amount of change and will continue to alter our working practices.
This year we have met the challenges of product governance, and 2023 brings additional regulation around consumer duty. Looking further ahead, the regulator is considering compulsory industry qualifications for brokers.
Tighter controls offer enhanced protections for the consumer and will build trust, which is essential for the reputation of the industry. Yet, the increased work involved, for brokers and insurers alike, means it is even more important to offset that additional time by ensuring the way we trade together should be as easy as possible.
Proving product quality and fair value in your selection of cover for your clients will have to be considered. Insurers can help with this by providing high quality, independently reviewed products which brokers can use to demonstrate fair value to the regulator.
Efficient and fast trading is ever more important for brokers
Additional regulation has led to extra processes and checks, with less time for brokers to chase down quotes and referrals; they need to be sure in the speed of trading and ease of placement process with their insurers. As a major and experienced insurance provider we understand this. We are expanding by +40% our teams and deepening expertise by producing product focused teams which are empowered to make quick decisions and offer helpful insights – in doing this we strive to help everyone’s journey to success to be as smooth as possible.
Brokers need proof that products offer ongoing fair value
Brokers must now prove that the products they have placed meet their client’s needs and offer fair value. The significance in selecting products that are independently assessed and scored by organisations such as Defaqto will become increasingly important in supporting a brokers’ decision. At RSA we have invested time working with Defaqto to ensure many of our products meet and exceed their stringent assessment.
As our country faces an intensely challenging period with cost of living rises and economic uncertainty, the numbers of vulnerable customers will increase as inflation bites. The need for broad yet flexible cover, with flexible limits and sections of cover, will be especially relevant into the future.
Monitoring and staying alert
New rules from the regulator will continue apace, requiring all brokers to understand what changes are in the pipeline and how those new obligations might be best managed. This is a significant Network benefit, providing brokers with a critical source of regulatory compliance information and guidance, helping them to prepare for change, for new processes and systems. Belonging to a Network that offers this sort of advice will continue to be extremely beneficial, as will tapping into the information readily produced by insurer partners – such as the RSA newsletters and website
Regulation will lead better outcomes for policyholders but also continue to lift standards and develop ever greater professionalism – an advantage that has always been the hallmark of our industry.