Meet a Broker: Adam Ware

Adam Ware is Partner & Branch Manager at BJS Insurance Brokers in Victoria. Adam specialises in holiday rental insurance (landlord insurance) and founded https://www.holidayrentalsinsurance.com.au. He was recognised for the Warren Tickle Memorial Award, and as NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year in 2017, as well as Insurance Business Australia Young Gun of the Year 2018.

Advisr spoke to Adam about his experience as a successful young insurance broker, his tips for brokers starting out, and where he sees the industry going.

What is it about insurance broking that makes you get out of bed every morning ready to go to work?

If you enjoy what you do then getting out of bed and heading off to work is the easiest part of the day. Our industry is so diverse and forever evolving which creates plenty of opportunities for brokers to evolve their own businesses as the world changes. We are lucky to work in an industry that unfortunately does not get the recognition it deserves for the results that are achieved. For all the negative comments you hear about Insurance, the facts are that a huge number of businesses, personal assets and infrastructure continue to exist today from the work completed by insurers and brokers alike.

Is there a difference in how the ‘young guns’ work compared with the ‘old guard’?

Yes, I’ve witnessed quite a few differences having worked both with the younger and older generations in my career to date. There is an endless amount that younger brokers can learn from their experienced counterparts. Young Brokers have these incredible resources at their disposal which allows them to learn from almost anywhere, about anything and everything. Also as a result of the technology revolution in the past decade, young people in general are incredibly adaptable, which is a huge advantage for these individuals entering the industry. The younger generation have a great ability to come up with new ideas on how to complete a variety of tasks. Some of the procedures BJS have implemented recently were developed by our youngest staff members. They provide a fresh set of eyes on potentially outdated processes and can often identify an alternative that could save time, money or increase productivity.

Alternatively, there is one trait often associated with more experienced brokers where I believe young brokers should place a sharp focus. The skill of being able to handle an emotional and/or difficult situation in a calm and mature manner, by listening to understand as opposed to listening to react. This has been a major focus of mine for a number of years. It is not an easy skill to implement at first, especially at times when emotions can be running high from multiple parties and even more so if you believe you are “right”, however you quickly learn that YOU can be the difference in either solving the problem, or escalating the problem further, simply by the way you listen, understand and the manner in which you respond. When dealing with a wide variety of people across the industry each day, including broking, underwriting, claims, etc, younger people can be emotionally charged. That is certainly not every young person and likewise not every experienced broker has their emotions in control either, however this is a trait I have seen regularly among successful experienced brokers and feel is vitally important for Young Brokers to learn and implement if they intend to have long term business relationships and ultimately career success.

What advice would you give to young brokers starting out in the industry?

Master the discipline of being able to complete the tasks required of your position without becoming distracted by external sources. At present, the world is constantly trying to get our attention all the time via Social media, “fake news,” politics, spam emails we never subscribed to. Ignore them. These things will be there after work.

What do you think is the secret to your success as a young insurance broker?

I had fantastic mentors at the start of my career. I truly believe anybody who receives mentoring similar to the quality I received, would have a sound foundation for long term career success. In addition I have always been willing to attempt anything. I really enjoy researching potential new ventures and trying new methods of broking. I was extremely fortunate to have the backing of the BJS Board when exploring new ventures as they followed me through with these new ideas on the basis that even if an idea “failed” it would be a great learning experienced. There were a few ideas that did not work, some had moderate success however one of these ideas became the biggest Insurance program within our Branch, making it all worthwhile.

Clients now seem to use email as their main method of initiating contact with us. Personal meetings and calls are still very frequent, but many clients initiate the contact via an email to our office first.

How has the way you communicate with clients changed over the years?

Since beginning with BJS in 2008, where email was practically an internal communication method only, clients now seem to use this as their main method of initiating contact with us. Personal meetings and calls are still very frequent, but many clients initiate the contact via an email to our office first.

This transition, along with streamlining some internal processes within our office has also helped us keep our operating model profitable. For example: 3 years ago we decided that we would make a conscious effort to contact every client asking them if they would be happy to receive email correspondence going forward. At the time we probably emailed 25 – 30% of our clients and hard copy went to the other 70 – 75%. Today email is roughly 95% of correspondence and our combined postage, printer and ink costs are down almost tens of thousands of dollars.

Having said that, I find it hard to foresee a technology that could replace the person to person relationship that only a broker can develop with their client.

We must adapt to the changing service environment. When you’re adaptable, you’re often willing to consider the best approach for each particular client situation. Therefore if we do not launch ourselves into these new areas and adapt to meet our clients future needs, our clients will eventually not need us.

 

View Adam’s profile on Advisr

 

Meet a Broker: Byron McPherson

Byron McPherson

Byron McPherson, CPRS Insurance

Byron McPherson is a successful Melbourne-based Insurance Broker with CPRS Insurance. Advisr spoke to Byron about his experience being a Professional Indemnity insurance specialist and his insights into being a customer-focussed insurance broker who goes that extra mile.

What do you love about being an insurance broker?

I really love working with my clients and prospects to come up with practical insurance solutions to address their concerns, that help them to run their businesses effectively without having to worry about risks.

What insurance lines are your core areas of expertise? Core areas you service?

I specialise in Professional Indemnity insurance products for anyone who gives independent advice for a fee. Currently, a number of professions are struggling to find cost effective Professional Indemnity insurance. Over many years I have built up strong insurer relationships around the world, these relationships enable me to provide various solutions many other brokers are unable to. I also offer a range of general insurance product options to ensure the clients are fully covered.

What is the most unusual request you’ve had?

Only the other day I had a prospect approach me for Professional Indemnity insurance for a digital diagnostics consultant! I did have to look up what this entailed, as I did think I had heard of just about every profession, but this was new….
Who knew there’s so much we can learn from machines! For those who want to know, simply put, digital diagnostics is the technology that will make it possible to deliver a remote diagnosis, particularly in the medical sector.

What makes an ideal client and why?

Right now, I’m seeing two types of client in particular asking for my help. Firstly, people who are jumping out of paid employment and contracting back to large corporations. These contractors, no matter what field, often need to have Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance in place as part of the contract. Secondly, professional services organisations that have just found out their insurance renewal terms have changed dramatically.

When have you gone above and beyond for a client?

One of my clients was applying for a specific AFSL (Australian Financial Services License) and needed quite a number of wording customisations to cover the unusual financial services they were offering. This involved numerous meetings and emails with their compliance lawyers to get the cover exactly right first time for the application with ASIC. If their initial application had been rejected, it would have likely led to a 6 month delay in being able to kick their business off.

Why should someone consider using an Insurance Broker?

These insurances are complex products and clients have complex evolving needs which are best managed by a professional insurance broker. It really is the best way to get the best possible result.

What areas of insurance should people be aware of over the next 12 mths?

The insurance cycle is most certainly changing and insurers are looking to pass on the increased costs of claims in virtually all insurance classes, especially Professional Indemnity. A professional and competent insurance broker will work closely with you to mitigate these increases, by presenting your risk profile in the most positive light to the insurance market.

If you have any questions about Professional Indemnity insurance then feel free to reach out to Byron McPherson.

Meet Meena Wahi

Meena Wahi

Meena WahiMeena Wahi is an insurance broker from Cyber Data Risk Managers based in Melbourne. We’ve interviewed Meena to share some of what she loves about working in the insurance industry, her thoughts on where the industry is going

What do you love about being an insurance broker and an insurance expert?

Insurance broking offers the opportunity to add value to clients business, plus I like Insurance because it offers a high ROI to my clients.

What insurance lines are your core areas of expertise? Core areas you service?
  • Cyber Insurance
  • Intellectual Property Insurance
  • IT Liability Insurance
  • Director & Officers Insurance
What is the most unusual request you’ve had or heard about?

Another broker, who specialised in different insurance lines referring me their client as they did not fully understand cyber risk

What makes an ideal client? Why?

Someone who understand the risk and obligations and are willing to invest in mitigating the risk. I also like clients who understand emergent risk so take up policies that offer wider coverage.

When have you gone above and beyond for a client?

My client was refused cover by a number of Insurers. When they approach me, I was able to help them understand what they evidence they had to provide of their own internal procedures and controls, I spent a lot of time speaking with their team and explained to them in detail and also provided them with research. This lead to them to follow up on my suggestions due to which they were able to get the insurance cover required.

Why should someone consider using an Insurance Broker?

It is very important to use to an Insurance Broker as they can help you identify exposures, provide information to the underwriter which promises them full coverage, and educates your business about your obligations – so that you have a very high chance of your claim getting accepted.

What areas of insurance should people be aware of over the next 12 mths?

Businesses must do a health check on their insurances as changes in regulations and increase in use of the internet is likely to create more digital risk. Traditional insurance may no longer be relevant or provide adequate coverage from new and emerging risks like Cyber risks.

 

If you’re a broker and would like to be featured on Advisr, please get in touch.

Meet Brett Thiedeman

Brett Thiedeman is an insurance broker from Thiedeman Insurance Solutions based in Melbourne. We’ve interviewed Brett to share some of what he loves about working in the insurance industry, his thoughts on where the industry is going

What do you love about being an insurance broker and an insurance expert?

I get to help people. I have a passion to help others every single day. Taking the time to help other people is one of the greatest joys in life. It helps me connect deeper with those I help and humanity in general.

What insurance lines are your core areas of expertise? Core areas you service?

Professional Indemnity, Cyber Insurance, Business Insurance, Motor Insurance, Home & Landlords Insurance.

What is the most unusual request you’ve had or heard about?

Not a request of me but one I heard of.  A good moustache is a thing of beauty, and apparently, it can be very valuable as well. Cricket player Merv Hughes insured his moustache for a remarkable $370,000.

What makes an ideal client? Why?

1) When customers know that they are getting value and that your services are worth what you charge. They pay your price without an argument or long negotiation.

2) They listen to what you say and act on it. That feels great.

3) I genuinely enjoy working with them.

When have you gone above and beyond for a client?

Assisting a person to lodge a claim with the Financial Ombudsman after their claim was denied.

They were not a client & I did not receive any fee for my service.

Why should someone consider using an Insurance Broker?

A broker can help you navigate the insurance market to help you get .the right cover, at a competitive price.

An insurance broker works for you – not the insurance company. This means someone is helping you through the claims process when you need to claim – making the whole claims process easier.

What areas of insurance should people be aware of over the next 12 mths?

New Australian privacy laws came into force on February 22 this year.

You may be left scrambling if you haven’t locked down personal information and developed a response plan to deal with privacy breaches.

In the event of a serious data breach, cyber liability insurance may provide financial protection for your business. Policies can cover losses arising from hacking, data theft or accidental loss of client information, including the costs associated with cyber response and business interruption

 

 

If you’re a broker and would like to be featured on Advisr, please get in touch.