Smaller advisers being strangled with global red tape

Article by Health and Protection:

National regulations are making it harder for smaller firms to expand their business into more international private medical insurance (IPMI) markets.

In addressing delegates at the Health Compass Transforming the Transaction in the International Private Medical Insurance Market event, Lourdes Peters, president and CEO of independent benefit advisory insurance brokers World of America, said companies operating in the IPMI market were facing restrictions in selling their products in countries they were not registered in.

Picking up Peters’ point, Asia-based Trevor Keidan, managing director of Infinity Solutions, said one of the big challenges for IPMI was increasing red tape for businesses across the world.

“I think one of the major challenges for us and really globally is that of regulation,” he said.

“Regulation is making it harder and harder to do business especially cross-border business and I think smaller companies will continue to suffer under the weight of the compliance and licensing that’s needed to operate today and to obtain distribution agreements.”

Keidan predicted these restrictions would continue to be a burden to business but this was not the only challenge they face.

He continued: “We’re also facing margin pressure from our competitors and not only the competitors but also far more savvy clients, who obtain a lot more information online, not necessarily the right information I hasten to add.

“I think the access to information online can be dangerous and people perhaps tend to overly believe what they read on the web because it’s written there. So while there is a lot more information online, it’s risky in terms of what clients are reading.”

But Keidan added there remained an opportunity for brokers to demonstrate their worth through providing solid advice and an excellent client service.

“The opportunity is one where we can provide the ability to effectively dissect vast amounts of information and present them in a comprehensive and easily understandable way to our clients, especially where we can tailor the proposals to meet their exact needs,” he said.

“These can only really be ascertained by discussion and exploration. In essence, the demonstration of knowledge and skill by using tools, perhaps not currently available to us, to drill down to the best recommendations and outcomes for our clients.”

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