Brokers mull solution to perception crisis

by Trevor Treharne12 Sep 2012

Three leading insurance brokers have suggested ways the industry can tackle a public perception that they simply can't be trusted.

Public polls have placed insurance broking as one of the least trusted professions in Australia, while research into the benefits of using a broker prove that it is by far the best means of gaining insurance.

There was little doubt from the brokers we spoke to that such a poor perception of brokers certainly exists. So what can be done to bridge the gap between the brilliant job brokers do and what the public think brokers do?

Paul George, general manager of MGA Insurance Brokers agrees there is also “the ongoing question of the public perception of insurance brokers” and "how we better get the message out as to what we do".

“Through our own advertising, we have always found the best method to communicate to customers is through another customers’ testimonials,” said George. “Most brokers promote the industry well and we know that our clients place significant value on the right advice.”

Adrian Kitchin, managing director of Insurance Advisernet Australia said the industry peak bodies need to understand the value of the broker compared to direct insurers.

“Those bodies need to focus on ensuring the broader community understands the benefits of dealing with a broker,” said Kitchin. “And the value brokers have by being part of the local, state and national community. Then it’s up to individual brokerages to position themselves within an educated environment that isn’t so focused on price.”

Craig Olofinsky, general manager of Brookvale Insurance Brokers also hopes there is an improvement in consumer perceptions of the industry.

“I think we are getting better at dealing with the press and telling the good stories,” said Olofinsky. “Industry performances have improved and the sharing of knowledge, such as the management of disasters has been exceptional. People like Alan Manning need to be acknowledged for their contributions.”