UK brokers reportedly believe that the pandemic has strengthened customer relationships, according to GlobalData, with customers now in contact with insurers more than compared to pre-pandemic times.
GlobalData’s 2021 UK Commercial Brokers Survey found that over half (52%) of respondents stated they contacted customers more often now than prior to the pandemic. Just under half (47.8%) believed their relationships with customers had strengthened because of the pandemic, while only 17% believed it had deteriorated for this reason.
Furthermore, 49% of brokers said their clients were more interested in learning about coverage gaps since the pandemic. GlobalData said this will be “particularly encouraging” for insurers looking to grow business after last year, as customers are expressing interest in expanding coverage.
As the Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses to operate online, this has had a “more positive” impact on brokers in the UK than was previously expected, the data and analytics company said.
The success of new online operations were said to have provided insurers with the opportunity to “reach their customers directly with ease”, which was found to be particularly beneficial for personal and small business lines.
Ben Carey-Evans, insurance analyst at GlobalData, said: “This is extremely encouraging data for brokers, who would have had to work really hard at client relationships throughout a very trying 2020. One of the main consequences of the pandemic was that it forced people and businesses to operate solely online.
“This therefore posed a risk to the broker channel, and increased the pressure for these direct channels to strengthen. Fortunately, the success of this new online operation in fact allowed insurers the opportunity to reach their customers directly with ease, which was particularly beneficial for personal and small business lines.”
He added: “The need for expertise and advice looks likely to increase as businesses return to normality, and that is backed up by just under half (49.4%) of brokers’ customers enquiring about gaps in their cover.”