Five things to consider when choosing where to place your schemes business
Partnerships between insurers and brokers built on mutual passion, expertise and the same values remain the key to the successful growth and development of any scheme.
In our recent broker survey, 45% of brokers who are already placing schemes or thinking of doing so consider it to be a growth area*. But how do you pitch a scheme idea to an insurer? What is it that your potential partners need to know? Here are 5 quick considerations for that first meeting with an insurer.
There are some businesses that simply don’t fit with the insurer’s ethical profile. Before you pitch your scheme idea make sure you get to know the potential partner’s values, ethics and beliefs – this is an important part of the fit.
You need to understand risk appetite as well. Is there synergy with your risks and that of the insurance partner? It may well be the case that the schemes risk appetite differs to their open market appetite so it is worth spending time discussing your idea and understanding the potential fit. Most scheme providers will give you an initial feel for their appetite in marketing brochures and on their website.
This is a broad area but basically, it’s about asking yourself:
Ultimately, your insurance partner wants to understand the detail of how you’re going to access the market and how you’re going to stand out in order to grow and sustain your new scheme. The more data and insight you can provide, the more the insurer can buy into your vision.
Some of the best schemes we support were chosen by the broker because they have a personal interest in and a passion for the work of their customers. These include charitable causes, amateur sports, collections and the equine world to name but a few.
Having a passion for a particular sector not only makes launching the scheme easier but, more importantly, it gives you access to people you may already know through shared interests. Having access to networking groups that will help reach by demonstrating a shared knowledge and expertise in your chosen scheme.
Being able to show your insurance partner these attributes is an important factor in their considerations.
Insurers whilst generally focused on rollover and consolidation ideas, will remain open minded on speculative ideas but generally only those speculative schemes that are well planned.
A broker may feel really strongly about a speculative scheme idea but be unsure about how to reach the target market. That’s why a strong route to market plan is a must when putting forward a proposal to your insurance partner. A robust plan will prompt important questions around how you’re going to reach your market, your proposition and the timeframe for creating a long-term, viable scheme.
If you already have an existing and successful scheme somewhere in the business, use it to demonstrate your track record. If you can demonstrate traction to the insurer, then your plan will be all the more attractive. Equally if you have considerable open market experience in your chosen scheme area, share this with the insurer in your pitch. Insurers will also be more drawn to brokers with proven and qualified DA, claims and risk management team members and a proactive philosophy in these areas.
You’ve done the hard work so now you need to ensure that your insurer can work with you to support and grow your scheme. You need an insurer with the right underwriting skills and DA trust, award winning claims service, product development and governance expertise and the ability to provide you with the right trading platform to enhance your B2C capability.
If you’re asking the right questions, the insurer will recognise the thought which has gone into the pitch. Also, and this is key: quiz them on their ability to on-board your new scheme. Look for evidence that they have a robust, collaborative process where you’re fully supported during the transition.
Don’t be afraid also ask how they will support you in growing your scheme – the key to schemes success are like-minded people pulling in the right direction to make a mutually beneficial partnership.
* Scheme’s Study March 2022 with 171 brokers.
Simon is responsible for leading Ecclesiastical Schemes DA and MGA development and helping brokers to find solutions in the Schemes space across the United Kingdom. He is the focal point for all new enquiries, working with the team of Strategic Account Managers and New Business Underwriters within Ecclesiastical.
Prior to joining the Schemes team, Simon worked as an open market Account Manager in the Northern Region for Ecclesiastical and had enjoyed a 30 year career within corporate broking and insurance recruitment.
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