After more than 30 years in this industry it still never ceases to amaze me that brokers can’t or won’t see the value of ongoing client contact, especially at key times in the client product lifecycle, and nowhere is this truer than with general insurance.
As an adviser you work hard to get your clients on board with your product recommendations but once set-up the products that you have put in place need to reviewed regularly to ensure they still meet your clients’ needs and in today’s highly competitive market this is crucial if you don’t want to lose them to a competitor or aggregator whose aggressive marketing tactics have become ever more pervasive.
It is dangerous to assume that the policy you established some time ago for your client will become somehow self-managing allowing you to move on to the next piece of new business. Whilst my focus is on general insurance I would argue that financially protecting your income in this area is as important as the heroin hit of indemnity commission. The average life expectancy of a household policy used to be around seven years but this is dropping as the market gets more competitive, however, you can mitigate this with just a little bit of effort, and it’s something we will help you with.
We have for some time automatically re-quoted on renewal (unless a broker has asked us not to) on the basis that there may be a cheaper alternative available to the client and if we point it out the likelihood of them renewing was considerably higher. This does work but not as well as you might think, in fact in some cases it may actually encourage a client to look around by making them feel that there may be better value to be had elsewhere.
We have therefore, enhanced this service from the beginning of this year with the introduction of our proactive retention team, initially focused on those policy renewals that we consider are most at risk, our team makes contact with the client by phone prior to renewal, re-establishing the link with their broker as well as making sure the policy still meets the clients requirements and looking at areas that may save money on their premium if they want to pursue this.
The results are surprising, our re-broking numbers have not increased, in fact they have reduced and on top of this the renewal retention figures have increased, in the case of the most high risk cases this retention rate has gone up by more than 10% making the whole exercise extremely cost effective.
The only meaningful conclusion we can draw from this is that people on the whole just like to feel that they are being looked after, this hygiene factor runs to the very core of our human nature and you ignore it at your peril.