Meet a Broker: Laura Meyer | Director, MeyerInsure
Laura Meyer is a Ballarat-based Director of MeyerInsure. Advisr chatted with Laura about her experience as a broker, and how she works to educate and engage with clients.
How can business owners benefit from working with an insurance broker?
As a business owner myself, I don’t pretend to know everything about running a business. I outsource my accounting because I’m as far from a tax expert as you could get. I have a great solicitor, HR and compliance people, and a brilliant graphic designer, all who I engage to do their expert things for me and my business, because that’s their special thing. There are magical types out there who can do it all (I’m not one of them!) so I 200% appreciate the value and time saved that working with an expert in their field brings to me.
It’s exactly the same for working with a broker. The really good insurance brokers are the ones who take the time to connect with and develop strong relationships with their clients. The type of relationship that becomes an integral supporting role in their business. This is one of the big reasons I love what I do - I get to meet and know such a wide variety of people and businesses (there’s never a dull day) and learn the ins and outs of what they do, so that I can provide seamless and stressless risk transfer and advice. This gives clients the breathing space to concentrate on their core business assured that it’s under control and they’ve got someone on their side if the you-know-what hits the fan.
On top of all that, an experienced broker is industry qualified, accredited and usually members of multiple national insurance bodies, all of which mean they have access to excellent continuing professional development, industry resources and beefed-up policy wordings that offer more bells and whistles than what you get shopping direct. You’re also getting tailored advice, guidance and management of your claims, and continual support of your risk management needs.
Who makes an ideal insurance client and why?
I love to meet new people and am a naturally curious person, so working with clients who mirror this is always exciting and rewarding.
I get a real kick out of working with enthusiastic business owners who clearly love what they do - and in doing what they love, they make an impact in others lives. They’re the people I’ve found who are most invested in their risk management and who understand the value in a meaningful broker-client partnership.
I would also add that there is something incredibly satisfying with those clients who take ownership of their risk and insurance responsibilities and who take the time to learn what their unique exposures are and work proactively with me to understand the role insurance plays in their business.
You can be a part-time house cleaner or a national household name - it doesn’t matter to me; if you love what you do and you’re making a difference to someone (anyone!), I’m your biggest fan.
What do you love about being an insurance broker?
I love that I get to solve my clients problems, not just by finding the right insurance solutions for them, but also by demystifying insurance and risk so that my clients walk away with understanding and peace of mind. That I can do that AND learn about different businesses, industries, products and services, and what motivates and inspires different people, is the icing on the cake.
Ultimately I just like helping people, and the fact that I think insurance and risk is super interesting, is an opportunity to combine my knowledge and experience with my professional and service skill-set and provide a personalised and helpful solution to a person's needs. It’s a bit of a natural fit for me, and I will never get tired of talking shop (even if my partner is!).
The way I see it is, it doesn’t matter if you don’t find insurance and risk as interesting as I do (although I’m keen to change your mind if you’re willing!), but surely you’d want your expert to love what they do? That’s me!
How do you go above and beyond as an insurance broker?
I really believe in the value of timeliness, and always delivering more than what was asked for or required.
Everyone’s time is precious, and who on earth wants just a satisfactory customer service experience? I know I appreciate those times when I’ve received that extra mile from someone - I try with every interaction to exceed expectations and leave that customer raving about their experience (not just satisfied).
It probably doesn’t help that I have never been, nor ever will be, someone that can do anything by halves. I am somewhat of a perfectionist and I just can’t not do my best - it’s just not in me. Being friendly, genuinely interested and invested in my client relationships is a no-brainer and something that I take pride in.
And lastly, being helpful is the most important part of my service delivery. I want my clients to be confident in their partnership with me, and know they can rely on me and trust I have their best interests at heart.
What has been your experience of marketing your services online?
I think the biggest challenge is in communicating about a topic that isn’t everyone's cup of tea! Like I mentioned before, I find insurance really interesting, but for most, their experience is underwhelming or worse, negative. How do you go about getting information out there that is relevant and topical, and in a way that resonates with your intended audience? I’m still figuring this out.
Most social media is very visual - lots of graphics, short videos and stories. People want you to keep it short and sweet, but they’re also wanting the “real you” and not just what you do. That ability to be authentic and not just a business, is a personal challenge for me as I’m not someone who likes to be in the spot-light or in-front of a camera.
It’s definitely forcing me to think outside the box when it comes to what I’m posting on my channels and how I can make it interesting, informative AND not overwhelm or bore my audience to death!
Do you have a particular area of expertise?
I really like being an all-rounder, it keeps things interesting and encourages me to stay on top of a lot of different industries and goings-on. I’m a learner at heart, so I enjoy being across lots of different areas and exposures.
Which skills are most important for an insurance broker to succeed in today's market?
Empathy - the ability to connect with clients beyond their dollar value to your brokerage (it’s like fingernails down a chalkboard to even say that!), so that you can provide actual meaningful and helpful assistance and really get to the crux of clients needs, and develop long-term valued relationships.
Communication - brokers need to be great communicators, and not just the old “people-person”. Our customers come from all walks of life with varied needs, expectations and their own ability to effectively communicate. An ordinary broker will tell you what they think you need to hear. A great broker will listen to what you want, learn all they can, and communicate informative and educative solutions in a culturally and socially relevant way.
Integrity - it goes without saying brokers need to be honest and open in their dealings with customers and insurers, but ensuring everything you do is couched in integrity (for the best interests of all involved), is the only way to roll. Do what you say you’re going to do, don’t leave people waiting or unheard, and check that you are understood.
Technical and Industry knowledge - I really believe a broker is only as good as the learning he or she puts in. If a broker loves what they do and cares about the service and advice they’re providing; they’re actively involved in industry discussion and news, keeping up to date not only with Australian news, but global happenings. They need to read and understand policy wordings, question underwriters and develop solid relationships with them, seek out professional development opportunities beyond the required CPD each year, show an interest in and dive into their clients' industries and, actively network outside of the industry - you never know when your non-insurance network can work in a client's favour!
What areas of insurance should people be aware of over the next 12 months?
Covid really has shaken things up and the insurance industry has seen its fair share of surprises and unknowns. There are lots of developments happening both overseas and in Australia around Business Interruption, which are updating frequently. How our major insurers go with potential interruption claims in the next 12 months and the potential knock-on effect to customers, will be interesting. As we know there are already Coronavirus exclusions being written into covers, but there are a few brave insurers willing to provide options out there (some travel insurers for example) that are looking at covering Covid related claims.
I also think we would have been having the conversation about Cyber insurance regardless of Covid, however it’s become an even hotter topic since everyone started working from home and businesses that were previously not transacting online, moved to digital shop-fronts. I would hope that all brokers are having conversations with their clients about what their online presence looks like, how they’re transacting and how they’re keeping customer data safe. The increase in use and dependency of QR codes also raises interesting questions for all stakeholders in terms of security of data and the potential for massive privacy breaches. Watch this space, I think.
You can find me here: Laura Meyer on Advisr