A new insurance comparison platform that offers brokers the infrastructure to sell general insurance at the point of sale could ‘shake up’ the mortgage industry.
The Ensurance platform, which is set to be soft launched next month, has been developed specifically with brokers in mind, according to the company’s CEO Stefan Hicks.
“One of the reasons Ensurance was developed was to help the mortgage broking industry easily and profitably cross-sell general insurance to their clients,” Mr Hicks told The Adviser.
“Mortgage brokers often say they are frustrated with turnaround times for quotes and policies. In addition, brokers want, and should, control the transaction with their clients. When a client is referred onto a third-party insurer, the broker is losing control of the service levels promised to their client.
“Ensurance successfully addresses both of these issues and gives the broker full control and instant service and products.”
After signing a distributor agreement and being provided with a hyperlink, mortgage brokers can then complete limited sections such as the residential address, description of the house and the type of cover required.
According to Ensurance, the process should only take two minutes to complete, with quotes appearing immediately.
“We have had to re-engineer the entire quoting and proposal process of the insurance transaction. Gone are the cumbersome five-page paper proposals and insurance quotes that took hours, if not days, to provide,” Mr Hicks said.
“Insurers websites have gone half the way in tackling this problem. But while they provide proposals in a digital format, most of the questions remain and it can take the consumer up to 30 minutes to complete the online form just to obtain a quote.
“Ensurance provides quotes within 90 seconds and a live policy within three to five minutes.”
The broker or client can then choose the desired policy and enter payment details, after which the policy is issued.
Mr Hicks said the offering will be attractive to brokers as the platform “not only provide[s] upfront commissions, but similar commissions each and every year of renewal”.
“So, it is very easy for mortgage brokers to use our system and should only take a broker an additional five minutes or so to earn an extra $120-$200 from the same client,” he said.
“A client is kept with the same insurer for an average of six years, making the five minutes invested into cross-selling a home insurance or landlord policy worth thousands of dollars, all for doing nothing thereafter with the policy.”
The platform is also attractive to brokers because it provides “multiple quotes from multiple insurers”, Mr Hicks said.
“Insurers may be becoming slicker in the provision of their digital offerings. However, Insurer A is never going to sell Insurer B’s products, which means clients have to double/triple key all their personal information on several sites to obtain several quotes, a process that can take precious hours to complete,” he said.
“We have a fiducial duty to represent its clients and not the insurer. Therefore, the provision of correct advice in matching a risk to the correct policy is paramount… So we have developed unique IT platforms that address the provision of accurate advice that is essential in the purchase of a financial product.”
The Ensurance platform will initially only be available to mortgage brokers in Australia, but the company said it is in the process of establishing an office in the UK to service Europe.
[Related: Insurer makes broker-centric appointment]
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