Tackling 'what's next' for our customers, together

The theme of this year’s BIBA Conference – What’s Next? – gets to the heart of insurance and what it enables. Purchasing insurance should give customers peace of mind – whatever comes next. This year’s event will, as always, be a great opportunity to meet with brokers and partners, as we work together for the benefit of our shared customers, whatever comes next. If recent experience is anything to go by, the future will have a few surprises up its sleeve.

I’m confident we can handle these head-on. We’ve faced some of the biggest challenges this industry has seen, from a global pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, to surging inflation creating ongoing cost-of-living challenges. Through it all, we never wavered from our focus of delivering great customer outcomes.

Thinking about and preparing for what’s next is at the heart of our purpose at Aviva. Whether delivering automated solutions that save time for brokers, investing in our future partnerships to ensure our customers have access to the insurance markets and solutions they need, or investing in our capability and capacity to support our brokers, we remain firmly future focused – whatever comes next.

Broker service is more important than ever

Insurers play a key role in supporting brokers to provide their customers with advice that drives better outcomes. We collaborate with them to make sure that we're on the front foot in supporting them to adapt and evolve to meet customers’ changing needs– such as using data and insight to support brokers and make sure customers are adequately protected. We know that this requires us to be more visible, more responsive and deliver flawlessly on brokers’ individual needs.

So this BIBA Conference is a great opportunity for us to talk to our brokers about some of the changes we’ve made to how we work with brokers, and what they can expect next from Aviva. This has seen us redefine our regional footprint, giving enhanced empowerment to the regions and bringing decision making closer to our brokers and customers. We’ve also aligned our underwriter skillsets to broker demand, making sure we play to our strengths and enable technical expertise to be better shared.

We've aligned the core disciplines that matter to brokers and customers: claims, distribution and underwriting. All regions and markets now have a dedicated team and escalation points.

These changes will build on the strong foundations we already have in place, supporting our ambition to be the clear market leader in the UK.

Commitment to personal lines brokers

Having highlighted the importance of brokers to our business, and recognising the increasing pressure they're under, I’ve been surprised to see capacity being withdrawn from the personal lines broker market.

As Graeme Trudgill highlighted in this year’s BIBA Manifesto, we recognise the challenges that need to be addressed to make the market thrive and deliver better outcomes for customers. As the personal lines market comes under increasing pressure, brokers’ abilities to access capacity and service customer needs is critical. Recognising the manifesto highlights some regions are facing particular challenges, we continue to provide support across the UK with one of the largest broker footprints.

Underinsurance remains a prevalent issue

Market conditions continue to provide challenges – to insurers, brokers and our mutual customers. A clear example of this is the impact of inflation and the resulting issue of underinsurance.

Inflationary pressures have been the principal driver behind the rising threat of underinsurance, together with customers not reviewing their sums insured regularly. Our partner Barrett Corp & Harrington (BCH) conducted around 2,000 valuations last year, which revealed that 70% of our customers were underinsured for buildings by an average of 67%. These customers were obviously referred to BCH for a reason, but the scale of underinsurance is startling.

Education on the risks of underinsurance is a priority that we must, as an industry, deliver on together. Broker advice is more important than ever to support businesses in finding affordable solutions and avoid underinsurance, which can have significant financial implications for businesses, while undermining trust in our industry.

Our Commercial Intelligence Tool (CIT) helps brokers proactively identify underinsured customers, so that they can discuss the issue and offer personalised advice to make sure their clients are adequately insured. 

Supporting a sustainable future

Our support of brokers and customers’ transition to net zero will be a key focus for us this year. Brokers play a key role helping their customers with their transition to net zero; our job is to make sure that they're equipped with the tools to do so. That’s why we launched the Sustainable Business Coach. The digital tool is free to use and designed to help brokers discover the impact that their business has on the environment and wider society.

Our purpose is to be with brokers today for a better tomorrow. Helping our partners to become more sustainable, across all aspects of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), and getting climate-ready is an integral part of how we run our business. To showcase the benefits of our Sustainable Business Coach, our stand at BIBA will be offering free demos of the tool so brokers can see how easily they can set sustainability goals. And keep an eye out for Aviva’s ‘Fringe’ event on sustainability on Thursday 16th May, from 12:00 - 12:30pm.

Navigating emerging cyber risks

Perhaps no risk encapsulates ‘what’s next’ as well as the fast-emerging threat of cyber attacks. Large-scale attacks have become a frequent occurrence as hacking technologies become more sophisticated. Our research found that 30% of businesses cite cyber security and incidents as the top risk to their business. Furthermore, one in five businesses have been a victim of a cyber attack in the last year and 12% of businesses suffered business interruption, either as a result of a cyber attack or online fraud.

It's essential to have both preventative measures and protection in place. Affordable products can provide a crucial lifeline, should the worst happen.

Working together to make a difference

BIBA provides an important opportunity for insurers and brokers to come together and explore the ways in which we can best support our customers. That starts with making sure we're delivering for our brokers across commercial and personal lines. I’m looking forward to talking with brokers about issues like underinsurance and sustainability, and hearing from them on the emerging risks their customers are facing.

Whatever comes next, collaboration will be key for the sector to evolve in step with the changing environment in which we operate. I'm looking forward to hearing more at this year’s conference.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s BIBA event and encourage you to come and find out how we can help you and your clients go further on our stand - starting with a coffee and conversation with our expert team! See you on stand C20.

Dave Martin

Managing Director, UKGI Distribution and SME, Aviva