With the digital channel growing within the commercial insurance space, brokers are looking for insurers that can combine efficiencies in e-trading while maintaining a sense of relationship. The development of live online chat functions is key.
Insurers with live chat facilities were rated highly by brokers for online support according to our 2016 UK Commercial Broker Survey. Aviva remained way ahead of the rest, with over a quarter of brokers (25.6%) selecting the insurer as best in class for online support. However, Allianz has also gained notable recognition year-on-year (up 5.6 percentage points to 10.4% compared to 2015), which can be attributed to the launch of its live chat feature in October 2015.
Allianz’s rapid rise in share demonstrates that live chat is a tool brokers rate highly and want to use. This also helps explain Aviva’s long-standing reputation for online support, as its live chat function has been in place since 2011.
Live chats give brokers direct access to underwriters in realtime. It is a quick and easy way to resolve queries, and is also convenient for brokers that are already organizing insurance online, as previously they would have had to change channel to seek support.
More insurers should add online chats to their service. It will improve insurer-broker relationships and connectivity, and will also be an essential part of building a true multi-channel service. AXA has announced that it is aiming to launch a live chat function to its online broker eServe platform. It is only a matter of time before others follow suit.
By Danielle Cripps, Insurance Analyst