The Cyber Insurance Academy team recently sat down with Olga Collins, the CEO of Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), to discuss the evolving role of insurance brokers, the changing landscape of the insurance industry, and the initiatives taken by WBN to address the talent shortage. The interview follows a highly successful, ongoing partnership between WBN and the Cyber Insurance Academy that aims to disrupt the insurance sector by nurturing the next generation of cyber insurance brokers with high quality, world-class education. Here are 5 take-aways from Olga’s insights, shedding light on the future of insurance and the crucial role brokers play in this rapidly changing market.
Insurance Brokers Need to Prioritize Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity Going Forward
We asked Olga how she saw the role of brokers taking shape over the next 12 months and what she felt they should be doing to ensure that they stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market. Olga explained how the broker role has experienced a significant shift in recent years due to global events and changing dynamics of Risk and HR managers within organizations, and how brokers need to prioritize communication, collaboration, and creativity to stay relevant in this competitive market. Embracing innovation and adopting an entrepreneurial focus is vital and a more consultative approach is proving the winning strategy in today’s broker roles.
Technology Will Revolutionize the Insurance Industry, and Brokers Need To Get Behind It Now
Olga explained that Cyber insurance has already gained traction, but that it is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the risks posed by advancing technology. While she acknowledged that technology, particularly AI, presents new opportunities for insurance professionals on a personal level, these developments also present threats that demand an expansive understanding of today’s technological landscape.
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Brokers Will Be Negatively Impacted By AI, Unless They Shift Their Approach
There has been considerable uptake of AI-driven products and services across the industry this year. While this has stirred a mix of both excitement and dread, we asked Olga what she felt the long-term impact of this evolving technology will be on insurance brokers. She highlighted that brokers primarily focused on transactional relationships should be concerned about the efficiencies that AI brings to the industry. However, those who adopt a consultative approach and become true extensions of client teams should view AI as an opportunity rather than a threat.
Insurance Brokers Wanting To ‘Expand Their Horizons’ Need to Focus on Knowledge and Training
Olga identified the increasing complexity of client needs, and the importance of adapting to meet those needs, as well as tackle major challenges faced by brokers today. This includes being able to confidently address changes to the traditional risk landscape, as digitalization takes hold of practically every aspect of modern lives.
She praised the partnership with the Cyber Insurance Academy for enabling WBN to focus on the most critical risks for their broker’s clients. By expanding the horizons of their broker network and staying updated on cyber-related changes, WBN aims to drive innovation and growth in the industry.
“Our partnership with the Cyber Insurance Academy continues to focus our attention on the risks that matter the most for our clients, so that’s very important to us.”
The Insurance Industry Needs Better PR if it is to Tackle The Talent Shortage
With a smaller pool of talent (both cyber and insurance) to draw from, cyber insurance recruiters now find themselves between a rock and a hard place, rarely able to recruit cyber insurance professionals who can hit the ground running with the requisite niche knowledge of both insurance and cyber.
To mitigate this, Olga believes that the industry needs to shift the mindset that the insurance sector is not vibrant or creative, and promote the insurance industry as a desirable sector in which develop a long-term career, particularly for those with a global and international business focus.
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WBN Is Pioneering Ways to Tap Into Young Talent
With a strong focus on training and nurturing young professionals, WBN has introduced the Catalyst program, a dynamic initiative designed to foster innovation and develop the future leaders of the insurance industry.
Recognizing a lack of innovation in training for emerging talent, WBN’s program goes beyond product-specific knowledge, emphasizing credits and soft skills. Targeting young professionals with approximately seven to 15 years of experience who are eager to advance in their careers, the program enables them to excel not only in mastering their respective products but also in navigating the path to leadership.
What sets WBN apart from its competitors is its focus on global talent pooling, creating a diverse mindset that truly differentiates the program. While other young professional programs and academies tend to be regionally focused, WBN’s Catalyst Academy stands out as an international platform for cultivating the next generation of industry leaders.
In addition, WBN provides mentorship opportunities with board members from different continents, allowing young professionals to gain insights from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
Watch the full interview here.
WBN is the largest independent broker network in the world. With more than 150 broker members in over 100 countries, WBN provides unrivaled service to multinational clients across property & casualty, and employee benefits. The organization prides itself on having a culture of care where members truly invest in each other’s success and make sure every client is their top priority.
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