How training can increase insurance sales

Paul Thompson, CEO Cavere Group, writes a regular column in Mortgage Introducer Magazine.

July 2019

As a General Insurance (GI) provider I believe it’s my responsibility to support the growing demands placed on intermediaries and their employees to continually learn and develop their knowledge, after all in a competitive market it’s the nimble and agile intermediary that will survive.

Training and continuous professional development is important for four reasons:

Firstly, in a rapidly changing environment, intermediaries must modernise their business models if they are to better match customer needs and demands.

Secondly, whether brokers/advisors are bringing about contracts of insurance on an advised or non-advised basis it is still paramount that they understand the products in detail. Something that will become ever more important as the FCA sharpens its focus on product governance and the importance of understanding target audiences. Knowing a product in detail and thoroughly ensures that the customer is treated fairly and given sound accurate advice.

Thirdly, training is important for attracting and retaining talent. Training doesn’t just help create knowledgable brokers and advisors, with advanced technical skills, product and service knowledge, and regulatory acumen, it also helps attract talent and retain them for the long-term. Intermediaries that provide robust, comprehensive, and ongoing training are a beacon for improving standards and delivering the highest levels of customer service by nurturing their brokers/advisors and empowering them to achieve.

Fourthly, it’s a regulatory requirement. Under the terms of the EU Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) those involved in selling protection and general insurance (GI) products must complete a minimum of 15 hours CPD. The IDD CPD Requirements sets out specific areas of competence that advisers, need to be proficient in, including product knowledge, processes for claims, general business ethics and understanding different laws governing protection and GI.

Finally, investing in training pays…

In the current economic climate it is natural for businesses to cut all discretionary costs, unfortunately this often includes training and development, but in reality research tells that those that invest training are more likely to prosper.

Typically within the mortgage broking market, insurance sales now account for 35% of revenue (according to FCA figures), what is more, the intermediary sector as a whole is seeing rising revenues from the sale of insurance products.  With insurance sales now forming such a massive part of an intermediary’s bottom line, investing in doing it properly pays dividends.

The more confident and knowledgeable brokers/advisors are about the products they are selling the more confident the customer will be to buy from them.

Is your GI provider doing enough to help?

Typically when you look at the website of any GI provider they talk about their quick quote and buy solutions, large panels of products and providers, price beating, and commission and referral benefits, few however talk about training and development.  What a shame.

Improving standards is a shared responsibility.  I believe GI providers must facilitate profitable partnerships with intermediaries, and as such should provide free of charge training and development programmes, after all when our brokers and advisors succeed so too do we.

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