Broker Environment Needs Talent And Resilience (Matt interview)

By attracting young talent and focusing on the intangible asset space, brokers can create a sustainable business and ensure their long-term vision and success.
Matt Garrun, MD of Garrun, Johannesburg, shared his thoughts on the current state of the insurance industry in South Africa. He stated that over the past three years, many claims were paid in the South African market, including those related to SASRIA, floods in KZN, and COVID business interruption.

This, according to Matt, has resulted in reinsurers repricing, which could pose both a threat and an opportunity for brokers.

Matt believes that brokers will face a big challenge in the coming year as they navigate the cost of reinsurance treaties and rate increases. They will need to innovate and adapt to client's changing needs and demands, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clients now require not only accessibility and availability but also innovation and an understanding of what risks are not covered under the policy.
As the industry shifts into a hard market, brokers will need to guide clients on the coverage that is being taken away and advise them on their options. For example, most insurers have taken away the public utilities extended cover extension under business interruption due to the fear of grid failure and the power surge claims that have followed.

Another major concern for Matt is succession planning in the industry. With the average age of brokers in South Africa being way over 50, the industry must find a way to create and train the next generation of brokers. Matt believes that brokers need to do a better job in attracting young, talented people and advertising the industry as a fantastic career opportunity.

Furthermore, Matt highlights the opportunity for brokers in the intangible asset space. As businesses are becoming more tech-focused and providing services and software, they still have significant risks that need to be insured.

Matt believes that brokers can tap into this growth area by offering cyber and specialist liability insurance products. In conclusion, the insurance industry in South Africa is facing several challenges and opportunities in the wake of recent events. Brokers must adapt to the changing landscape and find innovative solutions to meet clients' needs.
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