Digital networking will become more important for UK brokers than networking face-to-face within the next ten years, according to a survey released today by Chubb for the BIBA 2017 conference, where this year’s theme is ‘Connections’.
The survey of almost 300 British brokers reveals that they expect the percentage of time they devote to digital networking, including on social media, to rise from 30% today to more than 50% in the next decade while face-to-face networking will drop from 70% to slightly less than 50%.
The survey also suggests that while many UK brokers have some work to do in terms of how they realise social media’s full business potential, they are making progress. Asked how effectively their businesses use social media today, 20% describe themselves as “social media savvy”, while 45% say that they are “getting there”. 27% admit they are “slow adopters” and 8% are “technophobes”.
Further exploring the theme of interconnectedness, the survey also considered how well insurance carriers join up their capabilities, for example on product, service and relationship management, to make life easy for brokers and their clients. While 51% feel that insurers are ‘somewhat effective’, a significant minority (44%) say they are ‘not too effective’. Having a single, named point of contact; a clearly communicated risk appetite; and a well-coordinated team are the three top asks from brokers of insurance companies when it comes to interconnectedness.
Sara Mitchell, Head of Corporate Division, UK and Ireland at Chubb, said:
“Our survey captures brokers at a fascinating moment in time. The results underline that, even in ten years’ time, face to face relationship building will still be extremely important in the middle market. However, the pendulum is moving very clearly in the direction of online and digital networking and brokers are showing an increasing degree of confidence in their social networking and online skills.”
“The survey also shows that insurers need to work more to improve their effectiveness when it comes to joining up their offerings and capabilities for brokers. However, I am pleased that more than half of the brokers we surveyed say that Chubb is better than most and we will continue to listen carefully to what brokers want from us as we evolve our middle market strategy in the UK.”