Aston Lark's Peter Blanc on how to beat complacency

Peter Blanc

Aston Lark's group CEO Peter Blanc explains why it is essential that brokers advise clients on emerging risks that could affect their business and encourage discussions to ensure the right solutions are found.

One of the great parts of my job is that I still get to meet some of our corporate clients. They have great day-to-day support from my fantastic team, but I really enjoy getting them to discuss the issues that are easy to gloss over - questions such as ‘what are the other risks that your business faces that you don’t insure?’, ’What’s the biggest threat to your balance sheet?’ and ‘How many times this year do you think your systems have been hacked?’.
The intention, of course, is to encourage both our clients and ourselves to ‘break the mould’ and not fall into the dreaded trap of all insurance brokers - complacency. All too often the discussion can lapse into questions about what they bought last year, what last year’s premium was and whether any changes are needed. This, to my mind, is not acceptable.
Ensuring the right cover is in place in the event of a claim is rarely at the top of client agendas - how many times have we heard insurance referred to as a ‘necessary evil’ or ‘just another overhead’ - until something entirely unexpected happens and knocks the business for six. Then the discussion gets really interesting ‘are we covered for cyber attacks?’ being a common question these days.
I applaud the work of Hiscox with its new Cyber Academy and the video that it produced to show SME clients exactly what a cyber attack actually is in the real world. It’s a great way of helping us as brokers to break the mould. It’s our job to get clients thinking about the risks they face right now, not just the risks they used to face twenty years ago. We need to be innovators and solvers of problems, not just resellers of products that were designed in the 1980s.
Our job is to seek to understand all risks faced by our clients and then help them to either eliminate them, reduce them or insure against them - and not just be constrained by what the insurance market normally offers. Refusal to accept the status quo will ensure that brokers have a long and healthy future despite artificial intelligence, digital disruption and commoditisation - it’s innovation and solution finding that defines us as advisers. What a great role to play.

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