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Why the right product and not cheapest price is key to customer satisfaction

At a glance

  • Colin Halliday of Trade & Commercial Broking Services says sourcing insurance is all about value and product suitability for the customer
  • Glasgow-based broker sees cyber as the biggest emerging risk
  • The main challenge for insurance sector is restoring consumer confidence

Colin Halliday, Managing Director of Trade & Commercial Broking Services, has over 69,000 Twitter followers.

With a fan base like that, Zurich Insider thought it apt to catch up with the Glasgow-based independent insurance broker to find out his views on the industry.

Q: What lines of business do you specialise in, and what are the opportunities and challenges you see there?

A: I handle all classes of commercial insurance and also home insurance. The main challenge I see in the insurance world, generally, is restoring consumer confidence, as insurance is mainly seen as a necessary evil and it is only when a claim occurs that insurance is proven to be valuable – provided it has been arranged properly, of course.

Q: Are you on social media? If so, what’s your Twitter handle?

A: Yes, I am on Twitter – @tandcbroking, on LinkedIn and my company has a Facebook page.

Q: Does the rise of the aggregator model worry you?

A: In my opinion, the aggregator model is price driven and cheapest does not always equate to the best. Insurance is always about value for money – not just the cheapest available. Plus, would a website come out and visit you to help you with a claim?

Broker Voice gives UK brokers the opportunity to voice their opinion on the state of the insurance industry, outline what makes their own personal style of business different from their competitors, and what personal interests enhance their professional life.

Q: What industry changes keep you up at night?

A: None really – I’m quite a sound sleeper and take most things in my stride.

Q: What do you think are the biggest emerging risks, and why?

A: Cyber risks, undoubtedly. Everyone is at risk and I can see cyber cover becoming commonplace and included as standard in commercial packages.

Q: Is the market hardening?

A: I think we are currently in a holding pattern. The race to the bottom appears to have stopped, which is good news. For me, it’s all about value for money and product suitability – not the cheapest rate available – as the cheapest solution sometimes isn’t the best solution for the consumer.

Q: Do you think brokers are recognised enough by the public for the value that they add?

A: Yes, I do. Using a broker is still the most popular way of arranging insurance and I think that consumers appreciate independent advice that a broker gives. A website won’t visit you, and a call centre can be a very frustrating experience.

Q: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to get cover for?

A: Public liability for a contractor whose work involved abseiling from an oil rig.

Q: Rugby or football? And what team do you support?

A: Football – I have followed Partick Thistle home and away since I was eight years old. And my wife caught the Jags bug as well!

Q: Fees or commissions?

A: Commissions.

The race to the bottom appears to have stopped, which is good news. For me, it’s all about value for money and product suitability – not the cheapest rate available

Colin Halliday, Managing Director of Trade and Commercial Broking Services

Q: If you were the head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), what would be the first thing you would do?

A: I would send round a memo to everyone in the FCA – and the government and the media – reminding them that PPI mis-selling was in no way attributable to insurance brokers.

Q: What would be the title of your autobiography?

A: Success isn’t a four-letter word.

Q: Newspaper or iPad?

A: I’m a traditional man, so it would have to be newspaper.

Q: What is your favourite word, and why?

A: ‘Hello’, because it opens so many doors.

Q: Can’t get through the weekend without…?

A: Golf, be it practice at the range or out on the course.

Image © Getty

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