Partnership key to navigating today’s inflationary pressures
With SMEs facing and having to absorb increasing costs as inflation and Brexit begin to bite, the need to be able to identify the right level of insurance at the right price has never been greater.
Small businesses and self-employed operators across the UK are not only having to deal with rising costs as inflation soars but are also facing rising insurance premiums according to recent research from the Federation of Small Business.
According to the FSB’s report, 60% of the small businesses surveyed saw their insurance premiums rise in the last year, and over half (52%) of those whose premium costs had risen, faced hikes of 11% or more.
The report included various recommendations for regulators, insurers, and the Government on how to improve many of the difficulties facing small businesses, but the best solution is surely for brokers and underwriters to work together in true partnership. That is, for the insurance market to respond to customers needs by providing access to affordable, highly targeted, and relevant insurance cover based on their actual needs; and of course, to be able to identify and bind cover quickly and remove as many frictional additional costs from the process as is possible.
And that is exactly what Aqueous is all about and has been from its inception back in 2016.
As an MGA focused on the professional indemnity and SME package (food, hospitality, leisure, and hotel) markets, we know perhaps more than most just how tough the last few years have been for our broker’s customers. And that is why we have continued to invest in our technology and recently restructured our operations to ensure we can deliver a one-stop shop for our brokers. We also expanded our underwriting and e-trading teams, increased our independent local, regional, and national broking partners, and secured new, long term A-rated capacity.
Brokers are key to helping small businesses identify cost effective and relevant insurance cover – with the support of a targeted and focused MGA. Listening to and responding to brokers needs is embedded in Aqueous’ culture, an approach that has enabled Aqueous to continually increase its footprint throughout its chosen markets.
Last year, as our broker’s customers’ businesses returned, on and off, to near normal, the key message coming from brokers was that whilst they wanted to continue to have access to Aqueous’ experienced and empowered underwriting teams for fast and informed decisions, they also wanted to be able to access more products through Aqueous’ speedy e-trading capability. Finding a solution to these dual demands has been a key focus over the last year.
An MGA structured around trading style rather than class with an expert open-market
underwriting proposition and e-trade platform.
And that is exactly what we have done. We restructured our internal operations to meet changing broker needs, enhanced our distribution channels for brokers, bolstered our seamless and efficient e-trade platform and expert open-market underwriting proposition, and structured the business around trading style rather than class.
It was also clear last year that in the PI market in particular, wider market insurance capacity was retreating and that we had an opportunity to build on our established reputation for providing continuity of capacity and cover in the sector. And again, that’s what we did – we sourced and confirmed more capacity, enabling our brokers to place ever larger risks.
“The most important thing of any relationship is we are in it for the long haul. We’re an MGA that work very closely with brokers to ensure longevity for both partnerships. With the brokers in mind we’re looking to offer sustainable pricing, sustainable products that stand the test of time. And that’s empowered and delivered by proper cohesive and long-term capacity relationships.”
Tom Hill – Head of E-Trade
Working in partnership with our brokers, and capacity providers, Aqueous’ now has a new product agnostic strategy providing access to e-traded product lines and underwriting expertise via a single contact. All of which enables our brokers to find affordable, targeted, and relevant cover for their customers, enable them to continue to trade and help drive forward the UK economy.
Our once small start-up has now really come of age, a fact that has been recognised by our nomination as MGA of the Year at both the British Insurance Awards and the Broker Innovation Awards.
And as we look ahead to the autumn, and the likelihood of yet more inflation and economic uncertainty for all businesses, we are confident that our approach to pricing, underwriting, slick processing, and service will ensure we can continue to support our brokers and their customers to access the right insurance, at the right price, and plan for a brighter future.
Work with us
We Believe that our intelligent application of data and technology, underpinned by direct access to human expertise can deliver solutions that exceed the existing market expectations on speed, quality and ease of partnering with an MGA.
If this is what you are seeking in an agency partner, then let’s talk.