- Significantly fewer brokers feel the economic climate is having a positive impact than six months previously, according to new research1 by Aviva.
- Despite this, almost half of broker owners are planning to expand over the next 12 months.
- Compliance/regulation remains the top headache – with Brexit the second greatest concern (for over one in five brokers).
- Brokers are increasingly thinking about the future – over half of business owners now have a succession plan in place.
- Market/product diversification is seen as the greatest opportunity, followed by cyber insurance.
What the brokers said
Almost half (48%) of broker owners said they were planning to expand their business in 2019, despite only 7% thinking the economic climate is having a positive effect (down 13% since May 2018). While most will recruit externally (93%), there has been a significant increase (from 36% to 53%) in the number who plan to grow through internal training and development.
Perhaps because of the current political and economic uncertainty, significantly more brokers are taking steps to secure the future of their business. The number of broker owners who have some kind of succession plan in place has more than doubled (from 25% to 56%).
Phil Bayles, Aviva’s Managing Director, Intermediaries said the findings were encouraging for the future of independent brokerages – and showed that most were feeling positive despite the challenging business environment.
Our first broker barometer survey in 2018 highlighted a lack of longer-term thinking, and I’m delighted so many brokers are starting to address this by putting a succession plan in place. Taking the time to plan for the future now will enable brokers to protect their legacy for tomorrow and beyond.
The increase in those planning to grow through internal training and development is also good news. Aviva offers all independent brokers free access to industry-leading learning and development tools through our Aviva Broker Community, helping them to develop their people as well as keep up-to-date with market and legislative changes and other essential knowledge.
The survey also showed a significant rise in the number of brokers concerned that clients may be underinsured or have gaps in their cover should they choose not to follow advice (up from 78% to 87%), suggesting that underinsurance remains an important issue for the industry to address.
Phil Bayles commented: “2019 is likely to see upheaval that could have a deep impact on businesses – from changes to their supply chain to potential tariffs and uncertain exchange rates. To help brokers navigate these waters for their clients, Aviva has produced an online guide to the questions brokers should be asking their clients to help ensure they recommend the right level of cover.”