A new online survey by the trade magazine Pfefferminzia shows the trend that more and more brokers are entering the segment of commercial customers and freelancers. Because even with a small number of corporate customers, higher revenues can be achieved than with private households. According to the survey results, 31 percent of the agents surveyed take out commercial insurance once a month. 25 percent sign such a commercial policy more than once a week. Just under three quarters of the brokers surveyed invest at least one hour of consulting time before a commercial customer signs the insurance contract. The duration of this preparation period varies according to the size of the company, the degree of risk and the level of protection required.
Cyber insurances are becoming more important
When it comes to the most frequently selected commercial insurance, business liability insurance will continue to occupy the top position in 2018 at around 87 percent. However, this figure has fallen by 7 percent compared to the previous year. This is followed by business content insurance, which currently stands at 76 percent and has lost 8 percentage points compared to 2017. At the same time, the importance of professional liability insurance has increased from 63 percent to 67 percent. There was also an increase in machinery breakdown insurance, which was 30 percent. Cyber insurance is now taken out almost twice as often as last year. It has risen from 8 percent to 15 percent. This increasing demand for cyber insurance results from the fact that business customers want to insure themselves against impending cyber attacks.
Cyber attacks as a threat
Such cyber attacks can result in major financial losses for the damaged company. Think of hackers, for example, who use ransomware to encrypt countless company data and only reverse it against payment of a ransom sum. Companies are threatened with a loss of image, a drop in sales and compensation payments. According to a 2017 Gothaer survey, 32 percent of respondents classified hacker attacks and data theft as well as viruses and Trojans as acute threats. Two years earlier, it was only 26 percent. Even greater threats are burglary and vandalism as well as fire fires and explosions.
Criteria for good commercial insurance
Various factors play a role in the decision for a commercial policy. Above all, tailor-made products with simple specifications and reasonable premiums are in demand. Brokers assess commercial insurance according to whether it offers good value for money. This was confirmed by 88.6 percent of the survey participants. 80.1 percent of those surveyed consider a good claims service to be important for commercial insurance, while 77.7 percent advocate special insurance products for certain sectors.
Brokers see need for improvement
Many brokers complain that the complicated insurance conditions and the difficult claims handling make it difficult for them to advise commercial customers. In addition, the intermediaries lack competent contact persons in the insurance companies. Comparison calculators cannot replace the professional information provided by authorised insurance consultants. In addition, some administrators lack the time, willingness and knowledge to create special insurance offers, as one survey participant notes.
Simpler commercial insurances
The desire for simpler commercial insurance has reached the providers. Established insurance companies are now endeavouring to simplify their sometimes complex insurance offers. One possible approach is to calculate the insurance rates according to the number of employees or the amount of turnover, as the managing director of the analysis company Softfair reports.
The desire for industry-specific insurance is also taken into account. For example, there are offers where commercial customers can easily select the appropriate content insurance from several packages and determine the corresponding maximum compensation amounts. The packages cover several hundred operating modes from predefined sectors such as building and construction, health and wellness, crafts, fitness and city.
Simpler insurance conditions and an industry-specific solution make for good business insurance for many brokers. Insurance companies are responding to the current trends and needs of commercial customers by offering simplified insurance products, special industry concepts and cyber insurances.