VIEW: On the role of commercial insurance brokers

Written by Ant Gould, director of faculties, Chartered Insurance Institute

How many risk managers and commercial insurance buyers outside of the major corporate really value their brokers? How many see them as business advisers rather than just a mechanism for getting a decent deal on their insurance once
a year?

A new report from the CII Insurance Broking Faculty looks at this question from the perspective of small and medium sized businesses as part of a wide ranging analysis of the present and future state of the UK’s SME commercial insurance broking market. It looks forward ten years to how the market, and those working within it, will need to adapt and change to be both relevant and successful in 2027.

One of the key findings of the report is that the majority of SME customers see their relationship with their insurance broker as a transactional rather than an advisory one and would, in principle, be comfortable buying all or some of their insurance products online in the future.

Over half also see their broker only once a year, yet 50% said they would be willing to spend more time with a well-informed risk adviser to discuss elements of their business and the risks they face.

The report’s authors, John Warburton from broking start-up Konsileo and John Needham from accounting consultancy PKF Littlejohn, predict that whilst advances in artificial intelligence will automate processes that transfer information between the client and the underwriter, the value-added element of a broker’s role should come to the fore.

They suggest that if insurance brokers can see artificial intelligence not as a threat but as a way to free themselves from mundane, time-consuming tasks, focus on work where human input makes a real difference, and embrace lifelong learning, they should have a positive future. And insurance buyers should of course get the help, support and advice that they need.

Readers can download the Future of Commercial Insurance Broking report at

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