Aviva Schemes and delegated authority – Commercial lines

Chris Hill was appointed as Aviva’s Head of Commercial Schemes on 1 March 2014 and having worked at Aviva, and in the Broker Market for the last 30 years is well placed to give his thoughts on the ever evolving General Insurance market and outlines his plans to grow our commercial schemes in 2014.

Q. Chris, Firstly tell us a bit more about yourself….

A. I’ve had various roles in the insurance market and some of you may know me from my most recent position at Aviva as Head of Mid Market. Schemes is an area I’m familiar with as I’ve previously worked there and I’m really excited to be back again. I’m looking forward to sharing all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained since my previous time in schemes and getting on the front foot with both new and existing broker partners.

Q. What excites you about your new role as Head of Commercial Schemes and Delegated Authority?

A. It’s always changing and moving forward! Broker led schemes are often at the forefront of developing new products to meet the emerging needs of customers or in using new technology to bring fresh insights to underwriting.

We understand that brokers have the expertise and knowledge of their customers’ requirements and how to access the markets they work in. Utilising this knowledge alongside our underwriting, pricing compliance and regulatory capabilities will allow us to develop an excellent partnership based on service and products which work for the broker and their customers alike.

Q. What are your future plans for Aviva’s commercial Schemes Account?

A. Having recently reviewed our scheme book, to ensure the account is profitable, the great news for me is that a lot of the heavy lifting has been done and we can start to build on the foundations we have in place and focus on developing the account.

This starts with focusing my efforts and those of my team, in helping our existing schemes grow. Traditionally, Schemes brokers have maintained a lasting relationship with customers, resulting in greater loyalty and strong client retention. We want to help our schemes develop on this.

I also want to write more new schemes in 2014. Already this year Aviva has written 6 new schemes and we have more in the pipeline but with a schemes market of c£3bn in the UK there is still plenty of opportunities out there.

Q. What challenges do you see in the Schemes market for both insurers and our Broker partners?

A. Change can be exciting but challenging as well. The changes in our regulatory environment provide just one example. Brokers are well aware of the need for strong compliance and governance, making certain that products and processes meet the needs of customers and are fit for purpose. Our dedicated team are focussed on ensuring Aviva’s Scheme account is robustly managed and controlled and provide support to help ensure our brokers are free to focus on trading, knowing all processes are well governed.

The speed of change in technology is another area that we at Aviva, and our brokers, need to be very aware of. The growing use of third party data and the need to transfer data easily and securely between Insurer and Scheme partners will steadily grow. A good business plan and a clear vision about how schemes will be managed 3 to 5 years in the future is a great way to ensure schemes are future proofed.

Q. What are you most looking forward to, throughout the rest of the year?

A. Aside from achieving my goal for profitable growth, I’m looking forward to working with each and every one of my new team.
Whilst I have known many of them for years it’s not until you start working with them in the same team that you truly appreciate the depth of knowledge, skill and expertise they have. For instance, I wasn’t aware that, between the 10 of them, they have over 150 years of scheme market experience and more than 250 years of working in underwriting and insurance. I’m really looking forward to getting together as a group and sharing thoughts & ideas, I’m sure we’ll all learn a lot more about each other over the coming months.

I’m also very much looking forward to getting out of the office to meet with many of our schemes brokers, to understand their objectives and priorities and help jointly develop our business plans with their needs at the forefront.

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