Brokers steal the show back from comparison sites
Brokers have reemerged the king when it comes to personal lines
The broker remains the king even in the times of comparison websites. Although, the comparison websites may have had the limelight for some time when it comes to personal lines, it is the broker which is back in focus. Visiting a broker remains the priority for a large number of clients who want to make sure they have someone whom they can talk to for resolving their issues.
All this has come to the fore as a result of a survey by Broker Network. It said that the reality is quite different from what is generally perceived – that the comparison sites have eaten into brokers’ business in terms of personal lines. The survey revealed that, on the contrary, the personal lines are growing. Tim Rolfe, chief product and underwriting officer, said that not only are personal lines not dead for brokers, but the national network’s membership base is showing an active interest in them. He said that it’s very easy to assume that brokers don’t do personal lines, but 30% of its members’ business is personal lines, and some of its members are 100% personal lines focused. Rolfe further said that it has heard for sure from its membership that they want it to focus on delivering these things for them.
While aggregators have had an undeniable effect on the personal lines market in the UK, brokers are regaining ground, said Rolfe. He added that there are always significant swings and changes in distribution, and then there will be a correction in that. He thinks that correction has been happening over the last three or four years in personal lines.
The product and underwriting officer commented that in reality, comparison sites boil down to spending several hours filling in various different websites with tons of information and then get a quote back from somebody you might never have heard of. Rolfe said that for some customers, the lure of a potential saving in their ultimate premium cost means it is worth that time and effort, but it is not the same for everyone.
Therefore, for those who are less driven by price and more by the value of their time and the service provided, especially those who do not have off-the-shelf insurance needs, the broker is the person of choice.