QBE is increasing regional focus with UK Head of Trading appointments
Scott Stratten, author of Unmarketing: Everything has Changed and Nothing is Different said, “If you believe a business is built on relationships, make building them your business,” and I think he’s spot on.
May sees the arrival of a major event on the insurance industry calendar, the annual BIBA Conference – and with it, the opportunity to build on existing and new relationships, while focusing on the importance of a local touch point when sharing a global message.
The needs of our customers are everchanging, but when it comes to the business of insurance – which is also the business of selling protection and peace of mind – we know that people want to do business with their local markets.
For brokers and customers dealing with larger scale policies, they want to trade with people they know, and who are empowered to make decisions. In my experience, this is no different whether you’re in Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds or anywhere else.
Within all professions you get different characters, and insurance is the same. We engage with a range of brokers, for example, who all have expertise in different market segments and industry verticals. But one thing remains consistent – they know who they want to trade with and how they want to trade.
During the last year we have worked to ensure we have the optimum structure to support growth by creating a strong local focus and leveraging our local relationships. It was also important to have a structure that supports the development of our people and provides opportunity for them to learn and progress.
QBE has been growing its UK business across all our products and the regional offices have contributed to that growth. Our local teams have been available to support customers and brokers through the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis and that has positioned us as consistent and reliable insurer partner. These foundations provide us a real and exciting opportunity to grow further.
We have invested in our UK business by creating a number of new underwriting and distribution roles. These are real, additional roles and not just replacing existing positions. A key part of this investment has been to create the new position of Head of Trading in each regional office and these individuals will lead the underwriting teams in each office. As the name suggests, the purpose of this role is to encourage trading at a local level and bring together all our product and proposition capabilities when considering the needs of a customer.
A QBE underwriter has always been technically orientated, and this is the professional background of each of the new regional Heads of Trading. Being technical experts is one of the things that sets us apart, as we can consider and trade more difficult risks compared to many of our peers. Our regional teams have the empowerment to handle these risks locally which further strengthens our broker and customer relationships.
Alongside our expertise, our regional offices will broaden QBE’s package offering in the Commercial Combined segment, which is an area where we really want to concentrate and build growth.
We also launched a Contractors Combined product to meet the needs of the mid-market contracting sector last year, and so far, it has been very well received. Packaging together contractors’ offerings under one product is a big hit with both brokers and insureds, and the regional offices should enjoy a lot of interest in the commercial combined space.
I believe this is another benefit of bringing our regional alignment together – we’re not just selling one product line but can cross-class our motor, casualty, and property lines for customers. When an insurer can do that effectively, it makes a big difference, especially if you’re competing against another insurer who doesn’t write one of those classes of business.
QBE’s regional developments sit against the backdrop of our wider proposition to bring together effective claims handling, risk solutions and insurance products to all our customers and brokers. I’m delighted to share the new regional Heads of Trading appointments and look forward to seeing their further success.
Every project can be different, so contractors need to be open-minded, agile, and adaptable. That’s why we have the insurance to match. Our new Contractors Combined packages the main insurance covers into a single policy to meet the specific needs of the mid-market contracting sector.
Customers can also access a library of Risk Snapshot guides, guidance notes, toolkits, and other risk management material, along with RoSPA accredited online health and safety e-learning.
You can find out more about QBE Contractors Combined insurance here.