For worldwide insurance brokers, agents and intermediaries that may be interested in IPMI market entry we asked an executive round table of leading insurance underwriters and providers of IPMI about the benefits brokers may expect if they add IPMI to their insurance product portfolio.
Aetna International, Generali Global Health, HealthCare International and Wellaway all had something to say:
Damian Lenihan, Aetna International: IPMI can provide a strong income and revenue stream for brokers. If a customer is buying more than one type of product from the same broker, they are less likely to go elsewhere. So, by employing a consultative approach, brokers can offer more opportunities to their customers.
Stuart Leatherby, Generali Global Health: Selling IPMI allows brokers to provide a more comprehensive solution for their customers. Most companies with over 100 employees will operate in more than one jurisdiction. They will have globally mobile employees who need healthcare protection. Offering a one stop shop solution places more value on a broker and makes it less likely that a customer will use another adviser.
We now operate in a global environment. And IPMI is one of the fastest growing areas of insurance. As IPMI is an expensive commodity it can generate a substantial revenue stream. And its ‘sticky’ nature means that annual churn is less likely.
Steve Gregory, HealthCare International: Like any business, a broker needs to decide for themselves which markets they want to operate within and whether they want to be one-stop-insurance shops catering for all needs, or specialists who focus on specific subjects.
But a compelling argument for getting involved in IPMI can be made, especially when you consider that domestic medical insurance is often stagnant or even shrinking in many mature, developed markets around the world. IPMI on the other hand represents growth as the world shrinks and workforces become more mobile. The demand for international insurance solutions is massive and growing all the time and it’s therefore an opportunity to be grasped by those seeking to expand their insurance base. IPMI represents excitement; energy and opportunity in an industry where these things are rare.
IPMI can create a new revenue stream for brokers willing to invest some time and energy in it. And those who do will also be providing a more comprehensive insurance solution for their new and existing clients – and one that many clients probably expect their broker to be able to offer them. It can be a means to both ring-fence an existing client base from competitors (why look after most of your clients insurance needs when you could look after them all) and at the same time open up new markets and attract new clients.
Whilst it’s true that the greater the effort, the greater the reward, brokers are often surprised to find how much ‘low-hanging fruit’ they have within their existing client bases. This can be as simple as the client who tells them they plan to retire in sunny Spain while their 21 year old has decided to go and live and work in Australia for a couple of years. The broker could say bon voyage and wish them well, but on the other hand they could also just as easily keep them as clients by moving them onto an appropriate IPMI solution for as long as it’s needed.
Griselle Chernys, Wellaway: A more complete service proposition to their clients by meeting more of their needs.
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ON THE FRONT COVER: Our intrepid traveller returns with a new business idea: an IPMI brokerage firm. Will he succeed, pass go, collect two hundred pounds or go bust and end up closing down due to BREXIT?