Speaking at the MAB conference, MAB’s chief executive Peter Brodnicki (pictured) said that over the past few years income protection penetration had improved and it was the “biggest provider of income protection in the country right now”.
He added that MAB had gone from writing 20 per cent of income protection business to almost 50 per cent, with over 23,000 policies written year-to-date and estimates that it represented 12 per cent of the entire income protection market.
However, he noted that there still some discrepancy between firms on protection and general insurance penetration, and over the next few years he wanted to narrow the difference.
Brodnicki said that whilst there were some “amazing performances” from some firms, there were some quite “wide gaps”, even within firms.
“Of course, we’re all individuals, we can’t all be robots and do everything exactly the same way and there’s always going to be differences, but there can’t be this many differences. We have to be more aligned; we have to work together as this is an objective,” he added.
Brodnicki continued: “From my perspective, I need to look at our firms and look at our customers walking into those firms and knowing that it doesn’t matter who they get to see, they’re going to come out in the best possible outcome for them. And we need to work on that.”
However, he said that MAB was “on a journey, and we’re moving in the right direction”, and “great progress” had been made this year already.
Broker sector ‘resilience’ is ‘phenomenal’
Brodnicki said that the broker sector had performed “brilliantly” since the mini Budget last year.
“Whatever gets thrown in the sector, we will deal with it amazingly well, and the resilience we have is phenomenal. And not only have we done that, but we’ve increased market share further, so that’s an incredible outcome.”
He continued that firms had contacted every single customer before the end date, similar to the pandemic, and had focused on protection and general insurance to “make sure they optimise every opportunity”. He noted that some had brought in extra specialists to do that and had asked for more recommendations.
Brodnicki said that a lot of businesses were now looking at embedding this further so when the market does improve and get better.
“Let’s not lose all those disciplines, let’s make sure that we have got systems and procedures in place to retain all that performance moving forward.”
“We’re lucky as an industry to have that many levers that we can still pull on. If we lose lead sources in the purchase market, then repurpose all your resources and go out and get some more leads.”
“I think now we are 12 months post mini Budget, we can start to plan with of a lot more confidence because that shock is over, we’ve had time to get used to it and now we can start planning our way out of it.”
Brodnicki said that looking ahead he was more focused on 2025.
“2025 is the year where I want us to do so much better. I want this to be a record year for us and I do believe things will improve then, but also a lot more things can improve in terms of how we run our businesses.
“Now we’ve got over that shock, we’ve got a steady ship now to work with. Let’s plan over the next 12 months and get in fantastic shape so that everything we need to do is ready for 2025, to have the best year ever and catch up with a couple of years where we have had a bit of a struggle.”
“We’re not going to see a fantastic market in the next 12 months, so let’s start looking forward to 2025 and let’s make sure we’re fully in control of what that outcome is.”
“I can’t tell you when but what I can tell you for certain is that we never lose a housing transaction. The point is, those people that haven’t moved in the last 12 months and won’t move or buy in the next 12 months, will be moving in the years following that. It doesn’t just disappear, it’s a timing issue.”
Biggest disruption from technology will be ‘lead generation’
Brodnicki continued that his aims for MAB to be a forerunner in lead generation was still the case, adding that there had been “massive progress” made.
“I saw the biggest disruption from technology not being in terms of robo-advice, or whatever you want to call it, but more in terms of lead generation and lead capture. Who can use technology and capture customers and take them away from us or the other way around?
“How can we use technology and marketing better to capture more clients, more market share, and bring these people into our environment earlier? [We need to use tech] to nurture those customers until they are mortgage ready and convert them,” he explained.
Brodnicki continued that some of the progress made was behind the scenes, but it was “miles ahead of any competition”.
He continued that the “biggest part of my job is to make sure that I’m looking at all the things that are going affect you in the future, and this is the biggest thing”.
“I want to give you a lot more certainty in terms of leads, and therefore, your ability to grow your own personal production and business performance, and to scale, or whatever you want to do to fulfill your ambitions. That’s my objective and that’s what I want MAB to achieve.”
Brodnicki said that the mortgage sector needed to “embrace” AI and that AI would make brokers “safer”.
He explained: “I definitely don’t see it as a threat. I do see it as an enhancement to what we already do, to make us even stronger as brokers, to make us stronger as businesses and to make the whole intermediary proposition stronger than it’s ever been before. So, I don’t think you’ve got anything to worry about.
“I think I’d be excited about it, I’m positive about what it can do for us. We’re ready, as you would expect, and looking at what we could be doing in that regard.”