October 31, 2018

October 31, 2018 | Broker News

4 things I've learned since switching from broking

Before Hamish MacLean joined Zurich in 2017 he had a 20 year career as an insurance broker with household names like Marsh, Adroit, Willis and IC Frith. Here are Hamish's four biggest insights since jumping the fence from broking to insurance.

1. I’m still a broker

Essentially I am still a broker, I just broke exclusively for Zurich. In some ways this is more straightforward at Zurich which deals exclusively with intermediaries. I still believe that the essential ingredient in any insurance transaction is the tripartite relationship between client, broker and insurer. Even with the emergence of technology in different parts of the value chain, the relationship is still incredibly important.

2. Insurers think a lot about issues facing brokers

As a broker I sometimes had the perception that insurers sat in their ivory towers and didn’t know about or didn’t care about the issues facing brokers or their clients. In my experience at Zurich that couldn’t be further from the truth – we are very aware of the changing nature of the intermediated market and the issues that brokers and their customers face every day. The changes that are happening across the industry are causing brokers and insurers to have tough conversations, and Zurich’s desire is to have those conversations in a way that demonstrates honesty, transparency and empathy.

3. We’re all focussed on adding value

Just as brokers are focussing less on transactional relationships and more on becoming trusted risk advisors to their clients, Zurich is trying to support brokers in the same way. We have Risk Engineering options for clients from SME (through our Zurich Risk Advisor app) through to full suite Risk Engineering services from our in house team. These are all designed to support brokers to talk about the broader concept of risk and risk prevention rather than just risk transfer.

4. There’s a reason insurers ask all those questions

From working with underwriters I have a far better understanding of why underwriters ask the questions they do. Clearly the majority of questions are self evident but follow up questions are not just a sign of underwriters trying to be difficult (as I often thought) but more often are evidence that an underwriter is trying find a way to write a risk through understanding it better.

Hamish MacLean is Zurich's Southern Region Manager, with responsibility for Zurich's market presence in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. You can get in touch with Hamish on 03 9940 6596 or Hamish.MacLean@Zurich.com.au.