After financial stability, value for money and then flexibility and innovation are insurers most valuable qualities, a survey found

Financial stability is the number one factor that risk managers consider when they select an insurer to partner with, according to a recent survey.

Fifty percent of risk managers and 37% of brokers said this was the key factor when they were asked by QBE at the ARIMIC conference in Bournemouth.

After financial stability, the survey indicated that risk managers prioritise, first, value for money and then flexibility and innovation over any other factor. Brokers said they felt that specialist knowledge was a more important quality in an insurer than value for money.

The survey also revealed the three factors that seem to have the least sway in the selection process for brokers and risk managers alike. These were: an insurer’s global reach, the speed and accuracy of their documentation and their available capacity.

The survey showed that for risk managers, an insurer’s available capacity is the least important factor, whereas the least favoured option for brokers was the speed and accuracy of an insurer’s documentation – with 0% of brokers citing this as a top priority.

25% of risk managers and 41% of brokers said the economic downturn was the greatest risk facing companies. Brokers also included in their top three business concerns, pressures arising from increased competition, 22%, and exchange rate fluctuation, 17%. Risk managers said after the current economic climate, reputational risk and legal/regulatory risks (20% and 21% respectively) were the greatest issues facing them at present.

John Neal, chief underwriting officer, QBE European Operations, commented: ‘In current economic conditions, it is unsurprising that the top two requirements of risk managers, when looking to buy business insurance, are financial security and value for money. However, it is clear that an insurer’s innovation and flexibility is also a priority for risk managers and at QBE we continue to respond to this need by delivering flexible, specialist solutions that offer our clients the highest quality protection.’