Brokers display appetite for automation and digitalisation to boost customer service

Our latest Broker Barometer research has highlighted that brokers are showing an appetite for increased automation and digitialisation in order to better serve their customers and gain a competitive advantage.

Broker Barometer key findings

  • 70% of brokers said they'd be interested or very interested in further digitalisation or automation
  • improving customer service was the top reason given (58%) by those showing interest
  • gaining a competitive advantage (39%) and increasing new business (37%) were other reasons listed
  • brokers showed a slight preference towards automated rather than in-person underwriting2 but still appear to welcome the human touch where necessary

More than two-thirds of brokers (70%) said they'd be interested or very interested in enhancing their operations with digital or automated processes.

Local brokers showed the most interest (76%), with national and regional brokers at 62% and 60% respectively.

Among those expressing an interest, improving customer service (58%) was the most popular reason given, followed by gaining a competitive advantage (39%) and increasing new business (37%).

Other reasons given were finding new market opportunities (27%), remaining competitive (22%) and consolidations (12%).

Brokers were also asked where they'd prefer to write most of their business on a scale ranging from fully automated underwriting to in-person underwriting.

A tenth (10%) opted for automated underwriting, while 7% said they would prefer in-person. The vast majority (84%)3 chose a point in between, showing a slight preference for automation, but suggesting brokers still welcome the human touch where necessary.

Restrictions imposed during the Covid pandemic saw a growth in e-trading as more brokers took advantage of digital routes to market and Aviva has continued to invest in its award-winning channels.

The pandemic also highlighted the importance of brokers’ role as risk advisers and digital tools have helped free them up to deliver their expertise.

Maria Crockart, SME Digital Trading and Automation Director at Aviva, said:

"Brokers are key to Aviva’s success and when they give us their views, we take notice. They're always looking for new and innovative ways to meet customers’ constantly evolving needs and demands and so are we.

Customers need the flexibility to make routine changes to their cover when it suits them, quickly and with no fuss. They're already comfortable with using technology in every aspect of their lives and value the time-saving and convenience it brings.

Brokers, meanwhile, want digital solutions that reduce or eliminate repetitive tasks, freeing them up to deliver a better class customer service.

Our Commercial Intelligence Tool (CIT) gives our underwriters access to data and insight, helping them to understand customers better and make sure cover is tailored to their needs. In Fast Trade we have the industry’s top rated extranet and are also the number one insurer for service via software house platforms.We've also launched support for brokers who want to self-serve regional mid term adjustments via Aviva Broker website and also the capability to lapse and bind regional business.

Regional brokers continue to be at the heart of our distribution strategy and we’re continuing to invest in our network and in our digital channels to make sure we’re offering market-leading underwriting options while never losing the human touch."

Self-serve support

For more information on our new self-serve tool that allows you to process mid-term adjustments, and renew and lapse regionally-traded Commercial business, view our dedicated page

Find out more

1 Research was conducted by Censuswide, on behalf of Aviva, with 220 general insurance brokers with at least 120 operating locally, at least 50 operating regionally and at least 50 operating nationally. The fieldwork took place between 29 March and 1 April 2022. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.

2  Respondents were asked to indicate on a scale from 1 (automated underwriting) to 5 (in-person underwriting) where they would prefer to write most of their business. The mean average was 2.87.

A sum of those respondents who chose points 2 (28.18%), 3 (34.55%) or 4 (20.91%) on the 1-5 scale with 1 being automated underwriting and 5 being in-person underwriting.

4  Insurance Times’ 2022 eTrading survey.