Aussie insurance brokers: customer service harder than finding cover for natural disasters or cyber attacks

A STRANGE TWIST in the insurance industry is occurring as insurance brokers struggle to manage an onslaught of customer service demands. Brokers are finding that situation more difficult than dealing with finding adequate cover for natural disasters or cyber attacks.

Brokers’ customer service challenges have been highlighted in new research from insurance technology provider JAVLN. According to the JAVLN report, Brokering Change, Australia’s insurance brokers now believe that providing the right level of customer service is becoming a greater challenge than finding adequate cover for the big headline issues of natural disasters or cyber attacks. 

This is despite the frequency and severity of natural disasters and cyber attacks increasing in Australia. Intensifying customer demand comes second on the list of significant industry challenges, according to 26 percent of brokers in Australia, led only by insurance affordability at 28 percent.

Third and fourth on the list respectively are increasing competition (25%) and providing cyber insurance (24%). Finding adequate cover for natural disasters, measuring an evolving risk landscape and attracting and retaining talent all come out at 23% each.

The news comes off the back of recent research by insurance giant Vero, which found that client satisfaction with brokers is at record highs, suggesting that while brokers are succeeding, they are finding it difficult.

In JAVLN’s research, brokers admit that meeting those demands is tough. Just 28 percent of brokers say their clients would rate their customer service levels at least eight out of 10, while 23 percent say they found 2023 a tough year for customer relationships.

As a result, 24 percent of brokers say they would specifically like to develop their customer service skills in 2024.

Brokering Change report

JAVLN’s research-led report called Brokering Change used global research company, Censuswide, to survey 500 insurance brokers working in small broking firms in Australia in January 2024, uncovering the mindset and challenges facing the industry this year.

Part of the reason brokers see customer service as such a challenge is because of how much they are being pulled in different directions by menial tasks every day, the report revealed. According to the research, 70 percent of brokers spend more than three hours per day on administrative tasks like processing and data entry, while a quarter (24%) said adhering to compliance was becoming harder and more time consuming.

Founder and CEO of JAVLN, Dale Smith said, “The insurance industry in Australia needs brokers more than ever, but if those brokers have to fight battles on multiple fronts every day, they’re naturally going to struggle to deliver the kind of customer service they’d ideally want.

“When you look at the root cause of most productivity issues in Australian brokerages, you quickly realise it’s a tech problem.

“Most brokers are lumbered with old clunky technology to do their jobs, which makes managing client and policy information extremely difficult, and in turn makes customer service difficult,” Mr Smith said.

Tech not fit for purpose?

JAVLN’s research backs up Mr Smith’s claims, with 27 percent of brokers saying the technology they use to manage clients and policy information was too confusing, and 23 percent believed the technology currently serving the insurance broking industry was “not fit for purpose any more”.

Almost a third (30%) of brokers say that having a more modern cloud-based tech setup for managing clients and policies would be a real differentiator for their business.

“Technology is now more important than ever in insurance, not simply just to keep up with other financial industries, but also to help broking firms in Australia take their services to the next level,” Mr Smith said.

He described JAVLN as a “world-class intelligent insurance software company” formed in 2011 to create a SaaS cloud-based platform specifically designed for insurers, agents, underwriters and brokers. Mr Smith said JAVLN provided “full end-to-end policy visibility, delivered securely in real time”.



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