The fresh approach to the insurance space being taken by Brolly, which offers a new way to interact with and guide customers, could be every bit as relevant for the SME space as the personal lines market it is targeting.
In its own words, Brolly is the “UK’s first artificially intelligent insurance advisory application” serving as a “free personal insurance concierge.” Using its app, customers are shown whether they are over or under-insured or have missing or overlapping cover, in which case they can also find insurance to buy.
With Brolly yet to launch, it’s perhaps jumping the gun to consider broader applications. However, there is a market that could benefit just as much – if not more – from a quasi-advisory approach: the SME space.
Our most recent SME Insurance Survey found the direct channel’s footprint grew 3 percentage points on the previous year. Within the micro-enterprise segment, direct and broker channels are near enough at a 50/50 split of the market.
In ever-increasing numbers, the UK’s smallest businesses are taking a more direct (and convenient) path to purchasing, reflective of behavior in buying personal cover. The danger here is of businesses slipping between the cracks when it comes to purchasing adequate cover. This is revealed most vividly by the number of businesses with payrolls not holding employers’ liability insurance or the still-low take-up of business interruption cover. Particularly for businesses that are not yet complex but are growing, a personal lines-esque experience in combination with AI guidance could be a great fit.
The SME segment is ripe for disruption by “robo-advice,” and it may only be a matter of time before we see it. As a result, traditional brokers need to consider a response before seeing their market erode even further.
By Stewart Mcewan, Head of Content, UK General Insurance