When you’re a broker, you need to believe in what you do
The role of a pension and insurance itermediary between buyers and sellers, is one that is not always properly understood. However it can be a real advantage for companies. We take a closer look at this little understood profession where standards still vary depending on the brokerage company.
There are two categories of brokerage consultants in Switzerland: tied insurance brokers and non-tied brokers The difference between them boils down to how independent they are from the insurance companies. Tied brokers work within the internal networks of companies. They can also be former insurance agents who have decided to set up on their own, and who make their living from their existing portfolio and the products which they know. Using a tied broker is, in itself, not a problem, but then customers should be aware of the limits of their services. Yvan Roux, Director of the Corporate Business Unit at Swiss Risk & Care Unit explains: ”The analysis focuses more on what would be acceptable to the brokerage company and this means that the customer is not given the chance to compare the market to find the most suitable solution for its requirements.”
As their very name suggests, independent brokers (un-tied) are, however, completely independent from insurance companies. The people working for brokerage firms all come from different backgrounds and are not just tied to a particular range of products which means that they are able to offer more suitable solutions. ”At Swiss Risk & Care,
we greatly value our independence and our multidisciplinary approach. These are our essential guiding principles which every one of us follows in our business of broker”, asserts Yvan Roux.
More than a broker, an insurance and pensions provider
Being independent in the ways we think, choose and act is the very basis of our ethical approach and for our customers is a guarantee of trust and transparency. It’s thanks to this freedom that we can consider ourselves as genuine providers of insurance and pension solutions. These solutions are fully focused on the issuesand needs of our customers.
Our dynamic entrepreneurial spirit encourages us to constantly challenge ourselves by analysing the market, its needs and sometimes its shortcomings. This proactive approach allow us to be more audacious and more innovative in the solutions we provide. ”Our independence allows us to reinvent our business and to translate our creativity into tailor-made solutions”, explains Yvan Roux (see interview).
Advice from people you can trust
The support we provide starts with a dedicated advisor whose role is first and foremost to build a lasting relationship based on trust and in which both customer and advisor listen to each other. We simplify the risk management process so that taking decisions is easier and crystal clear. As Yvan Roux points out: ”One of the first things we do in particular is to explain how we make our money and that there are no extra costs for the customer.”
With their in-depth knowledge of the markets, which they are constantly tracking, our experts automatically carry out a detailed audit before recommending a precise product package. They negotiate in complete independence with the insurance companies and pension funds. Then they set up and manage the contracts. Customers can also subscribe to additional services: in particular claims management, payroll management, Individual Employment and Company Assessment, advice to employees. It is this rigorous methodology, which involves regular contact, which is the guarantee for the excellence of our services.
The number of millions of policies under management
The % of services linked to brokerage at Swiss Risk & Care
The strength of Swiss Risk & Care is its ability to innovate and create insurance and pension solutions and this is what makes the difference in today’s brokerage market. We catch up with Yvan Roux, the ”Mr Broker” from the French-speaking Swiss group.
How would you describe the brokerage market in Switzerland?
The market is ”spread around” in the major urban centres where it is “concentrated”.“Spread around” because it is rare to approach a company which does not already use a broker. “Concentrated” because in order to withstand the strong competition, the small brokerage firms stick together. Indeed this is what led to the establishment of Swiss Risk & Care in 2014! Because of the volume of our business, we now have more leverage when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies and we can offer tailor-made solutions.
What do you mean by “tailor-made”?
If we have a customer who is looking for something which the standard products from other companies can’t provide, then we develop our own insurance solutions based on our experience, with help from our lawyers and of course by taking into account our customer’s own experiences. By mapping out the market, our experts can also identify needs which haven’t been addressed by insurance or pension products and this is where we can provide the answer.
But what products have you actually developed?
We’ve created Fronta+, which is a complementary CMU (universal health care coverage) product exclusive for French people living near the border but who work in Switzerland, and then there’s also an accident insurance solution for organ donors. As the exclusive representative of the Medical Insurance Company Ltd, we act as an insurance company in that we create the product, manage it and perform the actuarial calculations. This is how we created a ”Professional civil liability” solution for plastic surgeons in Switzerland. We are committed to the satisfaction of our customers and we’ll go to extraordinary lengths to find the solution that works for them.
Who has a Federal certificate in personal insurance and more than 20 years of experience in the field of insurance, both with insurance companies as well as in brokerage firms. Yvan Roux is currently Director of the Corporate Business Unit of Swiss Risk & Care.