By the end of the year Legal & General (L&G) will expand its general insurance quote tool, SmartQuote for intermediaries, to include new build homes and properties in Northern Ireland.
L&G launched the tool in March this year. Currently L&G only covers data in the mainland but Simon Hird (pictured), director of broker and intermediary at Legal & General, said it wants to service the broker community in Northern Ireland as well.
Although L&G’s SmartQuote isn’t yet available on new builds, Hird said L&G offers alternative solutions to new build properties and by the end of the year SmartQuote will apply and work for these properties too.
He said: “We’re trying to streamline that journey. The development is ongoing.
“I don’t think you can underestimate the value of advice. I think technology facilitating the process and making the advice process easier for brokers is important.
“I guess part of the challenge for the broker market is starting to get quote levels increased. One of the biggest challenges is actually getting advisers to give their customers a home insurance quote and having that conversation.
“With SmartQuote we can deliver a quote to the adviser for the customer quickly and accurately which means that the premium won’t change.
“We’re doing this with SmartQuote and integration with systems. That should improve the quote ratios that are fairly low at the moment.”
SmartQuote asks the customer for about five pieces of data – for example, their date of birth, address and number of claims they’ve had in the last five years – and then gives the adviser a guaranteed premium.
With new builds, L&G has some information such as information on the area the property is in, but a few more additional questions may be needed for SmartQuote to find out other pieces of data like the final number of bedrooms.
Hird said L&G is also looking to integrate SmartQuote into third party platforms, such as mortgage networks, CRM system and mortgage and protection sourcing systems.
He added: “This will mean that journey of providing the customer with a premium and going through the advice process will be a lot quicker.
“Our aim is to continue to roll out our SmartQuote proposition on as broad an intermediary base as we can work through.
“We have some new and exciting opportunities that’ll see us start to work with emerging businesses in the digital space and start to integrate SmartQutoe into some of our partners’ systems such as for mortgage sourcing or fact find systems.”
Hird said L&G’s SmartClaims, which allows customers to register a claim with L&G and go through the entire end-to-end claims journey on their phone, is changing every week as they write and develop code for it.
L&G has API links to various sources for protection measures, machine learning and some supplier interaction, allowing them to link it all to speed up the entire process.
Hird said L&G is looking to get to a position where it can ultimately set claims without the need for a claims handler to have to be involved with the decision by enhancing some of the machine learning and the API links with third parties
He said: “So this would be setting claims quickly and then utilising our resources and people to focus on the more complicated, detailed claims, giving them a better service. Feedback on SmartClaims from customers has been excellent.”
Hird said there’s a massive education piece needed to teach customers about the importance of general insurance, how the claims process works and how to prevent loss becoming worse.
He praised general insurance trainers going out and educating advisers how to position and advise on GI, awarding CPD points.
Hird added: “With this, fair premiums and fair price positions we believe that will follow in terms of conversion to sale and we’ll have more advisers protected. We’re trying to quote, help, sell and close the deal.”