Brokers moving to speciality may need MGA support

Published: October 30, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



In a climate of drastic change in the industry, brokers in Canada are aiming to stand out from the pack, says Nick Kidd, president and CEO of April Canada.

The broker network is being challenged in new ways, mainly from technology and direct-to-consumer solutions. Insurtech and innovation means the personal lines market is increasingly noisy and standing being recognized is getting harder.

“Brokers are trying to move away,” Kidd said in an interview Insurance Business. “Most people I talk to are moving towards commercial lines over personal, and then those commercial lines brokers seem to be moving towards specialty areas and niches rather than generic SME package business.

“I think there’s a gradual migration in the broker world towards being niche-focused – and we at April Canada want to help brokers get there. That’s our aim.”

There are around 1,300 MGA brokers in Canada, covering insurance markets as diverse as auto, home, commercial, professional, marine, and more. The broker market is changing, and so too is the focus. Kidd says the relationship between April Canada (and other MGAs) and brokers will also inevitably change. Indeed, it is essential that it does change.

Kidd says the company has increasingly moved to a more synergetic relationship with brokers:

“We are starting to identify brokers where we have more synergies and through that we can develop unique offerings, exclusive products and different service packages for certain brokers. We have started to tier and segment our offerings to different broker needs,” Kidd said.

“If we have a synergy – something that strikes a chord with a particular broker, or vice versa – then it really makes sense to offer something a little bit more unique, rather than provide an off-the-shelf product.”

While brokers are increasingly searching for niche and speciality business, it is not always a smooth process. That’s where an MGA can help, easing brokers through the transition.

“Our model is open to all brokers, despite having a keen eye on specialty lines. We don’t want to reject brokers who need help for their clients on a random or one-off basis. That’s our bread and butter, and we will continue to support that,” Kidd concluded.