Results uncover what clients expect from their brokers and identifies their top business challenges
MILWAUKEE – (Oct. 10, 2019) – Zywave, a leading insurance tech provider, today released the results from its highly anticipated 2019 Broker Services Survey. The annual survey of employers provides valuable insight into the constantly evolving broker-client relationship and reveals what businesses across the country are asking of their brokers.
Some of this year’s key findings remain consistent with previous results, with compliance and communication playing important roles in the industry. However, the respondents did provide new insights in regard to today’s top business priorities and challenges. What’s more, the survey results identified multiple service gaps that exist between what clients expect from their broker and what their broker is actually providing.
“Insurance brokers are expected to serve many different roles—from HR specialists and compliance consultants to risk managers and business advisors,” said Patrick Noonan, vice president of content development for Zywave. “The purpose of our survey is to help brokers identify what’s most important to their clients so they can prioritize the services they are providing and address their clients’ most pressing business challenges.”
Which Broker Services are Most Valued?
According to respondents, the most important services a property and casualty (P&C) broker can provide are coverage and policy language expertise, a solid understanding of each client’s business needs and the delivery of information that will help reduce the frequency and expense of claims.
For employee benefits clients, answering compliance-related questions is the most important service brokers can offer. Other important services that benefits brokers can offer include providing online access to policies, compliance and HR tools, and delivering customized employee benefits booklets.
Key stats regarding what employers look for when selecting a broker include:
- 83% want prompt and effective service and timely answers to questions
- 80% of employers want a trusted advisor, rather than an insurance salesperson
- 78% want their broker to offer compliance resources
- 77% expect regular communication from their broker
- 77% want competitive pricing
What Are Clients’ Biggest Business Challenges?
Each year, the survey asks employers to name their top business challenges. While some of these findings remain consistent, some new issues have arisen over the past couple years. For example, managing rising health care costs remains the number one employee benefits challenge, but attracting and retaining employees jumped to the second-largest employer challenge this year, which is new to the top five list over the last two years.
When asked to select their top three employee benefits challenges, participants identified the following:
- Managing health care costs (71%)
- Attracting and retaining employees (43%)
- Keeping in compliance and up to date on changing legislation, including the ACA (42%)
When asked to select their top three risk management challenges, participants identified the following:
- Managing exposures (40%)
- Keeping up to date on regulatory issues (39%)
- Controlling workers’ compensation costs (37%)
Where Are Brokers Falling Short?
With so many important roles to play and complex issues to consider, it is understandable that brokers are having a difficult time keeping up with their clients’ expectations. Zywave’s survey identified some of the largest gaps between what clients want from their broker and what they are receiving from their current broker.
For the P&C market, the top three areas where service gaps were identified include:
- Delivers information that will help reduce the frequency and expense of claims (46% gap)
- Provides employee-focused health and safety information (46% gap)
- Provides information of emerging risks in your company (45% gap)
For the employee benefits market, the top three areas where service gaps were identified include:
- Offers a way to build total compensation statements to show employees the value of their benefits (54% gap)
- Creates a multiyear strategic benefit plan that aligns with company goals (53% gap)
- Offers employee communications to help your employees improve their health and become wise consumers of health care (43% gap)
“While there’s a lot of information to digest from this survey, there are several key takeaways brokers can start implementing immediately,” Noonan adds. “By improving responsiveness and proactive communications on the subjects their clients have identified as most important, brokers can help ensure their clients truly recognize their full value.”
Zywave leads the insurance tech industry with the most expansive portfolio of sales management and client delivery solutions available. Through its deep expertise and unparalleled content offering, Zywave provides partners with solutions that deliver business efficiency, effectiveness and insights. More than 5,300 brokerages worldwide—including 97 of the top 100 U.S. insurance firms—use Zywave solutions to enhance client services, achieve organic growth, and promote greater health, wellness and safety. Additional information can be found at www.zywave.com.
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Editor’s note: The 2019 Broker Services Survey was conducted in mid-2019. More than 400 respondents completed the survey.