The iTOO Broker Awards 2021 were held on Tuesday, 9 November 2021, recognising insurance brokers and brokerages that have continued to make strides in the industry during the past year.
Hosted by specialist risk insurer iTOO, the awards are in their second year and are a celebration of the top achievers within the South African and African insurance sectors. Among the nominees were some of the region’s biggest names in the industry.
The winners, chosen from a variety of nominees in different categories and subcategories, represent some of the most prominent insurance firms and their intermediaries from across the continent and South Africa.
The most sought-after accolades were the high-profile Expert Brokerage of the year: Multinational and Expert Broker of the year: Multinational, as well as the Expert Brokerage of the year: Independent Broker and Expert Broker of the year: Independent Broker.
Other categories included the Gross Written Premium (GWP) Awards that recognised the achievements of brokers and brokerages in various provinces across South Africa and in neighbouring countries such as Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique.
“We would like to congratulate all the winners of this year’s iTOO Broker Awards. We commend them for not only surviving, but for also thriving under difficult conditions as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the status quo and forced us all to do things differently,” says iTOO Managing Director Justin Naylor.
“The achievements of these firms and intermediaries speaks to the resilience of the insurance industry and we are confident that our sector is poised for future growth based on the dedication and professionalism displayed by both the local and regional players.”
Naylor points out that iTOO firmly believes that there is a bright future for insurance brokers in the industry, despite the notable shift to self-service within the insurance sector. This, he explains, is one of the main drivers behind the iTOO Broker Awards.
“The host of specialised and niche risks that are emerging in the modern era require context and brokers must be the experts that guide and advise customers about how best to navigate this landscape. They are pivotal to helping clients choose the insurance products and services that will best meet their needs,” he says.
“The insurance broker of the future must evolve and grow in step with the changing dynamics of the market, which are increasingly highlighting the need for expert and specialist knowledge. The ‘new normal’ ushered in by the pandemic has created greater scope for upskilling and training, as companies have moved to remote and digital training platforms that can accommodate hundreds of brokers at a time.”
To this end, iTOO has tested, pushed and innovated around the use of technology, consequently launching weekly webinars in the early stages of lockdown, in March last year. These ongoing online sessions are designed for the company to keep in touch with its brokers and provide them with the knowledge, expertise and the latest trends driving the industry.
“With the need to explore and do things differently, we have had to keep empowering and engaging with our brokers. We host weekly social gatherings that are aimed at bringing people together digitally and ensuring they are still connected,” says Naylor.
“The role of the insurance broker is still a very valuable part of the insurance value chain and there is no time like the present for intermediaries to reflect how they can gain trust by responding to customer realities and needs. The successful broker of the future will need to offer their clients new and innovative insurance offerings that are underpinned by expert knowledge and guidance.