From a broking perspective, finding your niche is fantastic – but being a ‘jack of all trades’ can be just as lucrative. We spoke to three brokers across the Bravo Group who explained how General Insurance continues to be a successful line of business.
Martin Claydon, Director at Broker Network Member James and Lindsay, says it is knowledge of the region in which they are working and its people that is key for independent brokers.
He said: “I think fundamentally as brokers it is about having expert understanding of the industry, so you can suggest the right products for your clients. It’s also about having that local knowledge and knowing what your clients need that makes a difference to how you trade. Professionalism and quality service is key.”
“There are times when specialising in a very specific area works for some brokers. However, equally as a general brokers, on occasions a client may come to you with a certain risk and you need to use a specialist market, which is correct and then you move on. It’s about local brokers, working in local areas and understanding the best possible solution for their local clients, which makes them specialists in their own right.”
Steve Whetham, Director at Ethos Broker MCM Insurance, believes having a more general approach allows brokers to jump at opportunities when they come knocking on their door.
He said: “Brokers need to be adaptable in this ever-changing market. I think it can be good when brokers have specialism or niches, such as property or motor fleet, but if you have a broader approach you are more open to options that come your way from both clients and insurers.
“You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Why would you turn away a client because they’re out of your specialism? You wouldn’t. Brokers by nature are opportunists, we’re entrepreneurs.”
Steve added: “I think people buy from brokers they like and trust, regardless of whether they are a specialist or generalist broker. It’s our job to have a good knowledge of the industry and make complex products easy to understand for our clients.”
Generalist broker and Compass member, David J Killen & Co (Insurance Services) Ltd, has grown by almost three times over the last three years, increasing the brokerage’s GWP by more than 130%.
Managing Director, Curtis Dowman, explained: “Over the last three years, we’ve grown by an amazing 250%. When I bought the business in September 2016, it was a £850k GWP business, now it’s a £2m GWP business. In the last 12 months alone, we’ve boosted our business by over £300k across both Personal and Commercial Lines.
“I think being a generalist broker has actually helped us to expand and develop as it has meant we’ve been able to help our clients in all areas and aspects of insurance.”
Curtis added: “I believe as an industry we should be supporting and promoting independent brokers as a whole and encouraging people to use a broker, whether they are generalist or specialist.”