In this blog Adrian Saunders, Commercial Director for Ecclesiastical Insurance, talks about the special relationship that Ecclesiastical fosters with brokers.
Relationships are built on trust and that’s as true in the broker market as it is anywhere else. Trusted partner might be an over-used phrase but for me it articulates perfectly the role of the insurer in supporting brokers. It means going beyond a transactional relationship and understanding what keeps brokers, and their clients, awake at night.
One of the most powerful questions you can ask anybody is ‘how can I help?’ and it’s this ethos that drives our broker engagement programme. Our goal is to help our brokers grow their business and we do this in three ways: advice and support, risk management guidance and championing issues to drive change in the sector.
One of the ways we’ve recently provided support and advice to brokers is through our social selling workshops. These were set up following feedback from a number of brokers that they wanted help connecting with customers through social media.
They could see the opportunity but weren’t sure how best to grasp it. Our aim was to help these brokers understand how to use the different platforms and how best to engage with their customers. Nothing pleases me more now than seeing a tweet or post from one of the brokers who attended the workshops.
We also see our role as helping brokers to manage their risks. The past couple of years has seen a lot of regulatory change, from the introduction of the Insurance Distribution Directive last year to the new Senior Management & Certification Regime, which came into force for intermediaries in December.
This has put pressure on brokers, who have had to navigate through new legislation and the additional burden of red tape this has put on their business. Partnering with consultancy firm RWA, our goal has been to support brokers through these changes and we’ve produced, webinars and guidance to provide some much-needed clarity.
We also feel passionately about championing issues in the sector. Last year we took the decision to support BIBA’s manifesto pledge to raise awareness and understanding of mental wellbeing issues. The result is our Broker Wellbeing Survey, now in its second year, which found that two-thirds of brokers have been affected by a mental health issue in the past 12 months. The good news is that awareness of the issues has risen in the past year, influenced by BIBA’s focus on the topic and increased coverage in the insurance press.
To support brokers in how to recognise and manage stress, we’ve produced a series of films with resilience expert Chris Moon which will be released early next year. Chris Moon is a former army officer, the first double amputee runner in an ultra-marathon across the Sahara and now an inspirational speaker who helps individuals and companies with a range of topics including mindfulness, change management and resilience.