Canadian Underwriter

What independent brokers expect from insurers post-pandemic: Canadian Broker Network

August 19, 2021   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

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As Canada emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, independent brokers will place strategic alliances with insurers at the top of their expectations list, members of the Canadian Broker Network (CBN) said.

“The pandemic has significantly increased the awareness and consideration for many independent brokers to sell, and certainly enhanced our partnerships with carriers through these challenging times,” said Lee Rogers, president of Calgary-based Rogers Insurance.

Rogers Insurance is an executive member of CBN, a nationwide network of independently owned brokers representing more than $1.8 billion in property & casualty premiums.

While competitive pricing, underwriting capacity and claims remain priorities for all brokers, Rogers said choosing where to place business will come down to a company’s level of service and responsiveness.

Jeff LeGrow, chairman & CEO of Cal LeGrow Insurance and Financial Group, agreed.

“It’s not enough to just have a brokerage contract anymore. Brokers want strategic relationships, which is all about how responsive insurers are to our needs and ensuring we’re on the same page. That will be key going forward,” said LeGrow, who is also CBN’s vice chairman, in an interview with Canadian Underwriter.

In addition to the impacts of the pandemic, brokers who want to remain independent are worried about factors like increased consolidation and M&A activity, as well as the pace of technology and digitization.

These brokers are feeling the pressure to sell, and support for the future of the independent broker channel is more critical than ever, LeGrow said.

“Brokers are really looking to insurers for responsiveness, to become strategic partners in the future plans of their brokerages,” LeGrow said.

But brokers have also realized such partnerships go both ways.

Like Rogers, LeGrow agreed the pandemic has forced many brokers to take a hard look at the need to invest in technology, both internally and externally — a challenge many brokerages have been struggling with.

“Insurers will be looking to partner with brokers who are invested in their own future, and technology plays a big role,” LeGrow said.

Brokers and insurers also need to work together on marketing and sales efforts, LeGrow added, in particular when it comes to selling emerging risks like cyber.


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3 Comments » for What independent brokers expect from insurers post-pandemic: Canadian Broker Network
  1. Alec Harmer says:

    I would like to think we were emerging from the pandemic, but we are just in the starting stages, in my opinion. We have another few years to battle this particular virus and the variations that are emerging from it. If it was only Canada, I would be more hopeful. However, people move from country to country and a chain is only a strong as its weakest link. And one of the weakest links is just South of us.

    It’s up to the people in our industry to continue to work well with our partners to serve the insuring public and communities. In a world where insurers and brokers are looked at to explain risk and mitigation strategies, we should be well positioned to help with the understanding of the virus and the benefits of the vaccines.

  2. tba says:

    How about: Insurers are looking for a fully completed quality submission? That = Responsiveness
    Poor Submission = SOV with some Building information
    Poor Submission = Attached every document you can find and have the U/W review 100’s of pages and see what sticks
    Poor Submission = having many emails back/forth between Broker/Insurer because the submission had lack of information or virtually none

    Good Submission = Fully completed application
    Good Submission = Roof, Plumbing, Wiring, Heating, all “REPLACED” no updated
    Good Submission = Occupancies of Buildings, what percentage is Vacant and Occupied
    Good Submission = If tenant occupied, what are the operations of the tenants, hazardous or not, restaurants, confirm semi annual fire supression inspections in place and you will provide those inspections at time of binding
    Good Submission = Inclusive of all the information above in “1” application only

    This will get the Broker the responsiveness, instead of the broker submitting poor quality submissions and see what sticks.

  3. TBA broker says:

    As brokers, we are customers of the insurance company, plain and simple.
    Underwriting guidelines = rules? Two different definitions – implied flexibility or false advertising?
    As a shopper, do you deal with the company that has the nicest people, the ones that are happy to hear from you, the most helpful and cooperative or do you go elsewhere only to be told, “no” and to deal with people who are hard to work with, who make your job harder, and increase your workload? Honestly it feels as though insurers have forgotten the concept of customer service. Brokers spend their days thinking of nothing less than providing the best customer service to their clients – only to be told by some underwriter commenting on an article, that their poor submission affects the relationship between brokers and insurers. This underwriter should be thankful for the business and be happy to work through the challenges with the broker. If the brokerage is providing bad business, get it dealt with. Of course a poor submission is more work, but I think that’s a different issue and not the intent of this article. This underwriter needs to spend some time on the broker side to see that challenges go both ways.

    Since brokers and insurers have so much overlap in their duties, there needs to be seamless interaction between the two – through technology and ideology. You know, “I want the same as you want, now how do WE get it??” The days of dedicated underwriter, the ones who cultivate relationships, provide a brokerage with assistance to generate business – that’s what’s I miss cause that’s who I want to place my valuable clients’ business with! Someone who thinks that me and my clients are valuable! Isn’t the goal of both the underwriter and the broker to keep their customers happy and generate more business? Quality service for all!!

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