For over a year now, Covid-19 has dominated the media, commerce, and our personal lives. As a global health insurer, issues in any region have a direct impact on business, customers, and the broker community with which this industry work so closely. Extraordinary then, that something as seismic as Brexit could be overshadowed. This week marks the 5-year anniversary of the vote on Brexit, a time which seems both a lifetime, and a blink-of-an-eye ago.
Relocating during Covid-19 and Brexit
Impact of Brexit on Brokers
We work with a lot of brokers and other partners across the world to deliver a global service to our customers. At Allianz Partners, we made the decision back in 2016 to set up a dedicated taskforce to prepare for a worst-case scenario, a no-deal Brexit, ensuring the service could continue in all markets regardless of the outcome. Fortunately, many of our global brokers and partners undertook similar measures to mitigate the impact of Brexit, which has enabled a seamless transition for us and our customers.
However, this is not the case for a significant number of brokers based in the UK. Many of these brokers work entirely from the UK, and Brexit has caused them significant upheaval due in part to the fact that they worked off the Freedom of Services Act, which has since been removed. Most of these brokers are part of wider, global broker networks, which they would have previously used when dealing with clients who have a global presence outside of the EU. Now, however, they must tap into these networks for EU-based clients, making their workload more complex and adding a layer of bureaucracy. It’s our responsibility to look at ways of supporting and helping our brokers and partners as much as possible, and now we are trying to find ways to help them navigate Brexit.
The need for iPMI
While we were well-prepared for Brexit, our learnings from the pandemic have made our practices even more robust. The last 12 months have shown us the need for agility in the face of unexpected change, and that extends beyond one’s internal ways of working. Our business operates at a global level, so various issues arise at different times in every region, and the last year has further emphasized the need to stay connected.
We can now see that the issues of displacement and uncertainty that arose as a direct result Covid-19 are starting to reduce, as many populations await vaccination. We have also identified issues faced by some of our brokers and other partners since the Brexit deal came into force and are working alongside them. These have been difficult times, but it is indeed true that sometimes those that challenge us most teach us best, and I look ahead to the next five years optimistically.