How AIG Iberia is helping small and medium-sized enterprises manage risk
Benedetta Cossarini is leading innovations that cater to local businesses in Spain.
Imagine an entrepreneur in Spain searching for an insurance policy to cover the operations of her growing startup. She reaches out to an insurance broker, who assesses her business’s needs and almost instantly provides an insurance quote using AIG’s new online broker portal for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The online portal, which AIG is launching in Spain and France with select brokers, is part of a larger SME initiative that is planned to expand across the broader European market.
“Time is of the essence for SMEs,” says Benedetta Cossarini, who leads AIG Iberia as the General Manager. “Because many of these enterprises have limited time and resources, they’re looking for efficient solutions to help manage risks and their businesses.”
AIG was already underwriting policies for SME clients when Benedetta joined the insurance organization in 2005 as a Financial Lines Manager. However, at the time, the insurance products available were designed for large corporations and therefore took extra time to adapt to the different needs of smaller clients. This proved challenging for brokers, who serviced the SME market at higher volumes and needed a quicker and more efficient process to respond to their clients.
With SMEs making up most businesses in Spain and Portugal, Benedetta saw opportunities to make it easier for brokers working with small and medium-sized business owners to turn to AIG for insurance coverage.
Adapting products for the SME market
Benedetta strategized to further penetrate this market when she assumed her role as AIG Iberia’s General Manager in 2016. She recognized that to be successful, AIG needed to readjust existing insurance products and create solutions designed for SMEs. For example, whereas a large company operating in several countries may need policies that comply with regulations in different regions, a smaller company that operates only in Spain may need a more slimmed-down version of that coverage to follow local legislation.
And because the financial health of most SMEs is more closely tied to the net worth of their founders and owners, AIG Iberia restructured its insurance products to expand protections.
Traditionally, directors & officers (D&O) coverage only covers claims against individuals. For SMEs, a more comprehensive package is offered, which includes D&O coverage, plus professional and general liability to insure the entity.
“The idea behind this product offering is to protect both the company and individuals, since their liabilities are more intertwined,” Benedetta says.
Digital transformation allows brokers to process SME coverage quickly and easily
AIG Iberia is launching its new online portal as part of its efforts to deepen its footprint across the local SME market. Through it, brokers can review offerings in the SME product suite, select the coverage the client needs, and immediately get a quote for the policy. This digital approach saves both the broker and the client valuable time, while providing the client with an insurance solution specific to their needs.
“This new portal represents a digital transformation to efficiently process SME policies, virtually eliminating the need for phone and email communication with the broker,” Benedetta explains. “That’s a big time saver.”
The SME portal currently offers cyber, D&O, and general liability coverage, with AIG Iberia planning to add professional indemnity, environmental impairment liability, marine, and accident & health policies at a later stage.
“SME is a flow business – it’s all about distribution,” Benedetta says. “It involves partnering with brokers already working in that niche that can input a high volume of submissions.”
Tapping into AIG’s allyship and expertise
Although this approach to the SME market is new for Europe, Benedetta notes, other AIG offices have similar online portals supporting SMEs and have shared their experience with AIG Iberia.
“One of the things I am most proud of at AIG is its allyship,” Benedetta says. “Colleagues from other countries are always open to share their knowledge. It’s such a valuable resource when working through new strategies.”
AIG is also an ally to its broker partners, sharing expertise and market trends to help them attract clients and find insurance solutions. For SMEs, being aware of risks that could potentially impact their business is crucial and AIG’s experts proactively share new and emerging insights with brokers to help them manage risks.
“By providing brokers with the right resources and tools, SMEs are strongly positioned to operate with more certainty and realize their business potential,” Benedetta says.
“Our SME-specific products and efficient, online portal are key to growing AIG Iberia’s business and diversifying our portfolio of clients.”
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