Although it is a rapidly expanding and potentially lucrative market segment, the high-value homeowners space can be difficult to break into. In many cases, the coverage is purchased by clients in the upper echelons of society; people who are known to be loyal to the insurance professionals who work on their behalf.
For both brokers and carriers, high-value homeowners insurance represents a challenge with significant rewards. “It can be hard to break into a class of business like this because a client naturally goes to the place their parents got insurance and their parents did the same,” says Amie Vandevenne, Property Underwriter, South Western Insurance Group Limited (SWG). “But, with so much competition now and so many options in the marketplace, people are starting to look elsewhere.”
After entering into an agreement with AIG, SWG now has the capability to compete with the traditional big players in the high-value market. “When you think of high-value homeowners, the first companies that come to mind are Chubb and The Guarantee Company,” says Vandevenne. “As a result of our partnership with AIG, the market is getting more competitive and we are starting to see an influx of submissions as people realize there are more options on the market.”
As Canada’s economy grows and more wealth is created, it makes sense for brokers to become savvy in the high-value space and the products on the market. It’s a customer base that is not concerned with paying a premium for the best product and once brokers prove themselves to be a trusted and reliable resource, their high-net-worth clients will see them as indispensable.
“It enables brokers to show that they have different aspects to their business; it shows them to be more versatile,” Vandevenne says. “Being well-informed in this space will give brokers access to the high-net-worth individuals who are likely to spread the word if they have a good experience.”