Broker satisfaction levels at four year high – despite more SMEs going it alone
While the pandemic saw many Australian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) pivot their businesses, Suncorp Group's intermediated insurance brand Vero has found over half of SMEs renewed insurance without seeking expert advice.
During the pandemic, Australian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have had to pivot, changing their business and ways of working to remain viable.
Vero’s 2022 SME Insurance Index, released this week, found over half of SMEs renewed insurance without seeking expert advice – potentially leaving themselves open to increased risk.
Despite this, brokers have never been more valuable, with the uncertainty of COVID providing them with an opportunity to showcase their relevance and expertise. This sentiment is reflected in the latest Index, with broker satisfaction at 84% among SMEs, up from 67% in 2018.
Vero’s SME Index, now in its 11th year, surveyed 1500 SMEs to understand the current business climate, insurance purchasing behaviour and perceptions of brokers and the insurance industry.
Vero Head of Commercial Intermediaries Anthony Pagano said the role of brokers is rapidly evolving, but remains highly relevant throughout the business lifecycle.
“Although broker satisfaction levels are at a four-year high, which reinforces the role and advocacy that a broker plays within the current environment, there remains many opportunities for brokers to take advantage of,” he said.
We know business growth and increased business complexity are the biggest reasons for SMEs to engage a broker. With risks and uncertainties associated with COVID-19 still present, it’s never been a better time for brokers to re-connect, re-position or reinforce the strength of their client relationships.Vero Head of Commercial Intermediaries Anthony Pagano
For the first time, insights from 100 larger businesses (200+ employees) have been included to uncover how this group differs from SMEs and how brokers can meet their distinctive needs.
The research found larger businesses are less likely to have reviewed their insurance at their last renewal – a concerning insight given the higher levels of risk facing larger businesses – and more likely to use a mix of channels to buy insurance.
#Vero SME Index 2022 – key insights
Over half of SMEs renewed insurance without seeking expert advice.
Broker satisfaction is significantly higher, with 84% of SMEs scoring their broker 8 or more out of 10, up from 67% in 2018.
There is a rise in SMEs using a mix of channels.
The index revealed clear gaps for how brokers can stay relevant, including advocating on SME's behalf to insurance companies, providing information on emerging risks, mitigating risks, and finding cost-effective ways for SMEs to insure their business.
The biggest reason SMEs don’t use a broker is the belief that they can do it easily themselves, not broker dissatisfaction. Price is also a key factor – one third of mixed users don’t use brokers as it’s more expensive.
Claims represent a moment of truth for SMEs – with 88% reporting that they made changes to their insurance following a claim.