How AIG meets the evolving needs of wholesale brokers

As AIG manages its risk appetite, the organization is doing more to support brokers.

AIG is focused on profitable growth versus growth at all costs.

That’s a key message AIG’s Ella Broks shares with wholesale brokers as they search on behalf of clients for insurance against complex or hard-to-place risks.

Even though AIG’s Lexington Insurance Company specializes in covering risks that traditional carriers can’t or won’t cover, the company is focused on building a profitable book of business.

“We have to be pretty upfront with brokers,” says Ella, Wholesale Distribution Leader for North America.

Lexington and AIG member companies proactively evaluate their portfolios – making sure the categories of underwritten risks reflect a diverse and balanced mix to drive profitable growth. This involves making strategic decisions around the types of risks they take on – and developing creative solutions to support brokers in a way that also allows the business to grow.

“We remain adaptable and flexible to the needs of brokers and their clients,” says Ella, who began her career at AIG leading business development for Lexington.

Now with an expanded role driving the company’s strategy to support North America’s wholesalers, Ella is dedicated toward providing them with more options to manage risk.

This includes connecting brokers to a wider range of AIG member companies’ products, services, and capabilities beyond Lexington’s surplus lines of insurance – whether it involves helping clients better understand, and reduce, exposures to loss, or helping newly-combined companies quickly identify and develop a coverage policy for distinct risks they face after an acquisition.

Because brokers may not be aware of all the options available to them through AIG’s member companies or know which expert to contact, Ella’s job is to bridge these gaps, such as assessing a broker’s portfolio of clients to determine the right solutions or connecting them to underwriters specialized in an area of interest.

Through data and analytics, Ella is also helping wholesalers solve problems more quickly and efficiently. For example, to help build a more holistic relationship with brokers, Ella proactively reviews and assesses the client needs of key wholesalers with business lines provided by AIG member company insurers versus Lexington alone. AIG is also using data drawn from brokers’ portfolios to help its underwriting teams find opportunities to provide wholesalers with the insurance solutions their clients require.

Overall, this approach is geared to position AIG for profitable growth for years to come, and support wholesale brokers as they anticipate broader market changes across the insurance industry.

Shifts across the excess and surplus insurance market

For example, the U.S. market for excess and surplus lines (E&S) insurance has risen rapidly: During the first half of 2021, E&S insurance premiums rose by approximately 22% to more than $24 billion from a year ago, according to the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association.

The surge in demand comes in recent years as the frequency of exceptionally high jury awards have driven up the cost of insurance. Carriers have reduced the amount of liability they’re willing to assume, leading more businesses – large and small – to rely on multiple insurers to get the amount of coverage they need.

For instance, some carriers once willing to provide liability limits of $25 million now have reduced their liability limit to $10 million. E&S providers have stepped in to meet demand for coverage that traditional insurers are unable or unwilling to provide.

“We’ve seen the E&S market explode over the last few years,” says Ella, adding that market demand for surplus lines will likely continue to grow, particularly as businesses face increasingly complex risks.

AIG prioritizes the ease of doing business to meet the evolving needs of brokers

AIG has continued helping wholesale brokers manage the significant uptick of submissions, making it easier for them to access a wide range of AIG member companies’ insurance lines of products and services – whether it includes coverage for Inland Marine, Environmental or Product Recall.

“We’re making the speed and ease of doing business a top priority,” says Ella, who is currently based in New York City after spending her earlier career in Switzerland working with brokers across Europe.

Whilst speed and ease are a key priority, Ella is also working with colleagues across AIG member companies to help refine the number of brokers it engages with so that partnerships with wholesalers are both strategic and mutually beneficial: “The AIG capacity needs to mean something to our partners, and we are looking to deepen our relationship with our key trading partners,” Ella says.

The focus recently is on providing insurance solutions that appeal to the middle market. To meet the needs of wholesaler brokers supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), AIG is investing in new systems and processes that allow underwriters to deliver insurance quotes more quickly and easily within hours versus days. This is because time is of the essence for many brokers supporting clients. The speed and ease of doing business matter more than ever, and AIG has continued its path to reshape the business and support the changing needs of brokers.

Bottom line

With the E&S market showing lots of opportunities in the near-term, wholesale brokers will need more flexibility from insurance carriers. AIG is taking initiatives to anticipate the market’s changes, while also remaining prudent about managing its risk portfolio for long-term growth and profitability.

 

AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group, Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.com. All products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc.

 


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