09 September 2021
In this article, Lee and Alex explore how RSA is helping its partners navigate the period after significant change. They discuss:
- RSA's support for regional brokers
- How we do things differently to engage with you and build confidence
- RSA's appetite in the hard market
- The long-term plan
Unrivalled service and growth
For several years, we have been adapting and enhancing our approach with brokers. The sole aim has been to develop a model which provides them with unrivalled support and solutions. Our teams have all driven this as their primary goal and we have seen the benefits of this approach help many brokers over the past year.
Lee says, “We have invested a lot of time and effort into creating a new way of working with brokers. Over the last few years this has worked exceptionally well, and we have continued to get above-average market growth. This has enabled us to further enhance our approach which has given brokers better support and access to specialist advice."
Our focus has been to look for long-term partnerships so that the tripartite relationship between insurer, broker and client performs well. RSA now has trading sites and a footprint that covers all of the UK market in most major cities. At each location brokers can find empowered underwriting teams that are able to look at any risk brokers may be evaluating with clients. The benefit for brokers is that they can speak to someone with detailed knowledge of the local economy and marketplace rather than having a remote conversation with someone miles away from their clients. It’s also not unusual to have these conversations in the broker’s office to further understand our knowledge of their business. For the last three years RSA has grown at an accelerated pace built on strong underwriting foundations and our plan is to continue this trajectory, with greater expertise and support. We don’t always get it right, but we are constantly looking at how we can improve.
"What pleases me the most over the immensely challenging time we’ve had over the last year is that we’ve been able to continue to work closely with clients and brokers to help them deal with the new challenges we all face”.Lee Mooney, Regions Managing Director
How we do things differently
A critical part of our success is being more visible to fewer brokers. We have a slightly narrower distribution network than some insurers, so we can focus on depth and quality of service range rather than offering a shallower service to a greater number. This means we have a deeper relationship model in the regions. This approach allows for us to both work closely together to create solutions for brokers, clients and partners to create the right outcome for all. When trading is tough, as it is now, staying close to brokers and their clients is really important.
Lee explains, “For renewals, our aspiration is always to avoid surprises. The market is hardening, and we’ve tried to have discussions before the renewal date and work with everyone involved to maintain support. We are trying to balance escalating costs with the need to keep pricing consistent for clients, whilst keeping our commitments to the markets in which we operate. We’ve been able to have more conversations with our new clients in advance and identify precisely what is needed.”
Alex adds further, “We’ve extended our engagement to give ourselves and brokers the lead time that trickier conversations need in order to manage expectations. As a result, we can provide solutions for two thirds of the cases we review.”
"We’re helping brokers convert 66% of their new business as a result of the wealth of support that they can draw on. We also strive to tell brokers early if we can’t find the right solution, so neither side is wasting time.”Alex Hardy - Sales & Distribution Director
Our commitment to you
When brokers work with RSA, they can be confident that a long-term relationship dedicated to success for them and their clients is the aim. When we deal with brokers, we want to protect the effort and dedication they have put in. But if the client then chooses another broker, who approaches us later in the process, we’ll decline that business to respect the commitment put in. Brokers tell us that we’re number one for our claims service, and we’re proud to promote our claims capability. Last year, we launched our electronic First Notification of Loss (e-FNOL) platform, which was built in partnership with brokers for brokers. The platform is the first of it's kind in the industry and allows brokers and clients to submit FNOL's relating to weather, impact, theft, accidental damage and escape of water claims in relation to property policies.
Appetite - what makes a risk an RSA risk?
Lee confirms RSA is open minded and want the opportunity to talk about your clients specific circumstances. Every risk is looked at on its own merits but in general:
- Why is it coming to market?
- What is the client looking to achieve?
- Is there a real desire to change insurers?
- Aside from price, what else is important to the client? (for example, certain coverages, particular areas of service)
- Is long term stability important to them? If so, what are the client’s long-term plans? For example, acquisitions, new products, relocation. These can all alter how an insurer views a risk. With more information you can help us plan for the long term with the client
Help us analyse the risk quickly and efficiently by providing good, clear risk information. This way, you'll get the swiftest response.
- Your clients should be encouraged to re-assess their risks. What is within their control? How can they improve processes and culture to better manage those risks?
- You can never tell us too much about the good work the client is doing to lower their risk
- What work have they done?
- When did they implement it?
- Who assisted them – a broker, insurer, third party supplier?
- Have they planned and budgeted for future work?
- Breakdown on trends?
- Details of the risk management work currently being done, or which may previously have been done?
- Good detail on any large losses - pick out any significant ones and tell their story. What happened? Why did it happen and what has the client done since to make sure it won’t happen again?
- Sound reasoning as to why certain claims won’t be repeated
The long-term plan
Our plans for the future are designed to build on our recent successes. In each of the last three years we have seen major growth, strong profitability and we aim to continue to set new standards for our partnerships with brokers and clients. We know that brokers who have entrusted us with their business value the way we operate. With more investment planned, we continue to look at ways we can improve and continually strive for success.
We are not here to be the biggest insurer in the market. But we are aiming to be the most consistent and to develop high quality sustainable support and solutions. We want to avoid knee-jerk reactions and drive forward risk managed based solutions that for those clients that require such, takes away the annual interaction to a true partnership.
You can get any commercial product from any of our regional locations outside of multinational which is dealt with by our specialist area. We deal with policies from £1000 to £50m and are in the heart of the commercial business.
Finally, the key challenge is managing a robust and resilient model for all in such a demanding time. Our strategy for brokers is to deploy our expertise to help them where and when they need it, but we know expertise on its own is not enough. You need to know how to apply it, what’s relevant and what’s not and what’s going to make a difference. For us, expertise is about experience and knowledge combined. It’s about what’s worth knowing.
Local knowledge, regional expertise. Our regional expertise allows us to support ambitious and innovative businesses across a wide range of industry sectors, right across the country.