How does the insurance industry define what a good insurance broker looks like? This is one challenge that the new insurtech startup, Gilchrist Standard, is solving.
Gilchrist Standard is a ratings agency that allows insurance brokers to benchmark themselves against their peers and an industry ideal. The annual assessment helps insurance brokers better understand the suitability of their operation and to quickly identify and mitigate risks. It can be completed online in a broker’s own time or a telephone audit can be booked where a trained auditor will go through the assessment with you.
Developed specifically for the general insurance sector, the platform measures an insurance broker against 18 key performance indicators whilst the algorithms designed by the Gilchrist Standard team produce a score and rating that can be used to evidence quality within the firm.
Insurance brokers also receive a report that shows the organisation how they compare to the rest of the market with an indication of the areas of their business where they should most focus their attention to raise their professional standards and reduce risk.
The 18 key topics that are currently covered by the Gilchrist Standard audit include:
Firm Details, Structure, Business Controls, Client Money, Finance, Business Controls, Corporate Governance, Sales, TCF, Marketing, Human Resources, Data Protection, Professional Indemnity, Supervision, Training & Competence, Complaints, Crime & Fraud Prevention and Emerging Risks.
This highlights the broad range of oversight that the platform provides and by measuring performance in such a way, firms are able to use Gilchrist Standard as a fixed ‘yard stick’ from which they can focus their high-level attention.
Firms are rated by the platform as either an A, B or C in terms of the levels of standards identified and firms are encouraged to consider the improvements needed each year to maintain or raise their rating.
Head of Partnerships, Peter Townsend, said: “Gilchrist Standard allows our audit team to indicate to an insurance broker how they compare against other insurance brokers and the industry norm. We are finding this to be a highly motivating factor in encouraging firms to use our independent review model to raise their own professional standards. The solution helps firms throughout the distribution chain meet their obligations under IDD, SM&CR and as a response to the recent ‘Dear CEO’ letter from the regulator.”
James Woollam, Managing Director of Hayes Parsons, also commented: “We were one of the firms invited to help benchmark the gradings and found the exercise to be both efficient and informative. I was delighted to have received one of the few A ratings so far for our firm, and this provides affirmation that we are on the right track and allows us to readily demonstrate our overall quality and professionalism. Being able to anonymously compare our results with peer practitioners adds so much recognition to the efforts our staff put into being a professional team and will open up commercial opportunities.”
As well as rating professional standards, brokers going through the process to date report that they are using the solution to help them meet organisational objectives such as supporting mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, accessing commercial opportunities, identifying risks along the distribution chain and supporting agency consolidation.