The Hard Market Part 2

Welcome to BLW’s latest blog, designed to initiate conversations and support collaboration between brokers, insurers and customers.

The market has changed

In our last issue, we gave our views on the changes likely to take place in the market over the coming months, including possible rate increases and cover restrictions. Most of us will, no doubt, have experienced some of these changes by now.

A major additional impact to the market has been an increase in the withdrawal, or reduction of, authority from local underwriting teams. With the combined difficulties caused by additional workloads and homeworking, it’s clear that challenging times still lie ahead for the placement of new risks and the obtaining of terms for renewal business.

Major insurers support this view of the hard market, as confirmed by Aviva in a recent article in youTalk-insurance.

The Customer Experience

Whilst those of us in the insurance industry are feeling the impact of the events of this year, we must continue to keep the customer top of mind. Their businesses or livelihoods can be hugely dependent on the availability of affordable insurance cover. In these difficult market conditions, as always, the best interests of our customers must remain at the heart of everything we do.

Some brightness on the horizon

Fortunately, we can now be more optimistic for the near future.

  1. Most importantly for our communities, and the world at large, is the heartening announcement of the forthcoming availability of a vaccine for Covid-19. It is anticipated that the major rollout will take place from Easter 2021. Such a major step towards the return to a safer country for all will hopefully provide a much-needed boost to the economy in general.
  2. There are signs too of new capacity coming into the market. In recent days, for example, a new specialty insurer, Inigo, confirmed in a recent article in Reinsurance News that it has raised significant capital and will soon open for business.

Communication is key

More importantly than ever before, consistent, regular and clear communication between insurers, brokers and customers must continue. The timely sharing of full and accurate information with one another is critical to our successful negotiation through these challenging times. Brokers must work hard to gain a full understanding of their clients’ needs, presenting them to insurers in good time and taking into account any additional layers of risk consideration.

Working closely together and communicating clearly and promptly will provide us all with the best chance of a successful outcome in this current hard market.

Photo by Sean Pollock on Unsplash