Customers don’t want insurance so brokers must make it easy

Published: March 2, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The best customer service comes from sectors that do not sell insurance, but ironically it is insurance sellers that could benefit more from smoother customer relations.

According to speakers at the Technology Conference (ICTC) on Tuesday, brokers must rise to the challenge to improve customer services. Experts pointed out most customers view purchasing insurance as a necessary but unwelcome “grudge purchase” but many brokers do not excel in customer services.

“We [brokers] quickly forget that we sell a product that the consumer doesn’t necessarily want,” Sherif Gemayel, president of Calgary-based brokerage Sharpe Insurance, said at an ICTC seminar in Toronto. “I don’t know anybody who ever got up in the morning and said, ‘Man, I just can’t wait to shop for insurance today.’ And even with the people in the industry, there is not that excitement to go out and have an interaction.”

Gemayal pointed out three core ways in which a broker has contact with a brokers, such as:

  • When processing a claim
  • When customer is shopping for a better deal
  • When customers is buying a new policy

Retail provides good customer service and involves purchases where consumers mostly want the products they are buying. This makes it easier to create a good customer environment because there is less friction between buyer and seller.

Speaking of communicating with customers by phone or Internet, “retail does it really, really well,” added Janine White, vice president of marketplaces at Kanetix Ltd. White and Gemayel were speaking during an ICTC session titled CX: Today’s Reality and the Path Ahead for Insurance. Citing a Lululemon, White said insurance payment need less fuss:

“The last time I purchased something by Lululemon, through Apple Pay on the phone, it probably took me six seconds, which is dangerous,” said White. “But would it not be great if we could buy our insurance that way?”

With Amazon, “you almost stop price-shopping a lot things because it’s just so damn convenient,” added White’s co-panelist Adam Mitchell, president of Whitby, Ont.-based Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“One of the things I experienced with one insurer is that, going on to the website and doing a little investigation of a product and kind of getting myself stuck, I realized I needed some help and called the contact centre,” Breading said. “They knew exactly where I was [on the website], so I didn’t have to start from scratch and repeat everything.”