What would you change about the insurance industry?
While insurance professionals are often passionate about the industry and committed to their career, it would be wrong to claim there aren’t any common complaints or widespread grievances.
Insurance Business spoke to several major players to find out the most frustrating elements of working in insurance and what they’d change about the industry if they could.
Maria Parry – Austcover CEO
“I would really like our industry to be seen in a positive light. If you tell someone what you do, they don’t seem particularly interested in hearing more and I think we need to change that perception.
“The hardest part of the job that I have found, particularly in my later years, is the reputation that the industry has overall. So the fact that insurance brokers are among the least trusted professionals in Australia, I really struggle with that and I’m very passionate about looking at ways to change that.
“I would like insurance to be viewed as a career of choice and our industry to be viewed as a profession and discipline. A lot of brokers, and a lot of the industry bodies and cluster groups, are working harder on changing our reputation and presenting ourselves as professional to the outside world – it’s just difficult, it’s a big thing to change.”
Colin Fagen – Blue Zebra MD and co-founder
“There are probably a couple of things I’d change – firstly, to be more dynamic and customer-focused rather than product-focused.
“A lot of organisations make the mistake of building product silos instead of thinking of the customer and I think that might be seen as a short-term gain in respect to profitability but I think it’s a long term loss with respect to clients.
“It creates expense structure issues and it creates the infrastructure issues that are actually very poor with respect to the organisation building for the future.
“Also, like a lot of the insurance industry, I don’t like when you see negative press so we’ve got to think about how we get our message into society about the positives that we produce and stop seeing negative issues being blown out of proportion.”
Katie Stephenson – YIPS president and Marsh broker
“I’d probably change the preconceived idea of who we are. When people think of insurance, they think of elevator music, telephone sales and a very dull outlook – but it’s so much more than that.
“It’s exciting, it’s interesting, and you get to learn so much about the world. It certainly broadens your ideas and your knowledge of how things work.
“I’d also change the public perception of what we’re about. Ultimately, we’re here to help people get back on their feet. We plan, and help them plan, for the unexpected. We want them to thrive and survive and that’s what a broker should be about – we’re not that dull industry that people may think we are. We’re passionate.”
Marcus Pallotta – 2018 NIBA Young WA Broker of the Year and Marsh broker
“We must advocate for a higher level of base education to ensure we are attracting top talent. Being able to incentivise young, ambitious people into undertaking a career in insurance and in broking is crucial.
“Additional to that, we must ensure that products being developed for formative risks are fit for purpose from the off. Cyber is an example of a product where coverage has traditionally lagged behind the actual risks that businesses are facing.”