An interview with Michael Smith of i-Brokers
i-Brokers launched as a new insurance intermediary in 2019 with a goal of embracing the changes offered in the insurance world and helping expats globally with a new service proposition. So, what does this actually mean? Here we talk with i-Brokers Michael Smith, and discuss his life as an expat and what the future holds in the world of insurance. Smith has lived as an expat for over 10 years living away from his native United Kingdom and has instead called Asia home.
“I have lived away for so long now and being able to share my experiences with other people who are setting up lives for themselves overseas really has been a major benefit to help understand exactly what people are going through. Having been in those positions myself in a foreign country it can sometimes feel very daunting and having a connection with someone who knows what your going through and what you need is invaluable. That’s something that we really try to achieve everyday with what we do and how we interact with our clients.”
Travelling the world seems to be constant topic that pops up during our conversation. Smith has certainly made the most of his time living abroad and has voyaged extensively. “I love travelling and seeing and experiencing new places. I have been fortunate enough to go on some to see a lot of places however I am still keen to see more. Being somewhere different is great and I think allows me to relax and recharge which I do need from time to time. I would love to see more of the Middle East and the region is rich in history and has some stunning scenery that just looks incredible.”
While history may be a keen interest, Smith is very positive about the future outlook for the insurance industry. “We have seen many conventional sectors flip on their head over the last few years and our habits and behaviours as consumers completely change. Today we see parents use an app and pay money to send their kids to school in a stranger’s car because they think it’s safer. If you think back to what that mindset was just a few years ago the idea of letting your child go into a stranger’s car was something that we were actively told not to do at school! The insurance industry is no different and today we seeing innovative solutions being brought in by many providers whether that be medical insurers who have the technology to do a video consultation with a doctor or an intermediary like us who allow clients to get instant access to quotes online. Technology is changing not only how we live and the products we buy but also how we interact with companies as well. This is something that we will really embrace in our company culture and I constantly think about how we can adapt our client’s habits into making their interaction with us better.”
It seems that i-Brokers are leading the way in their approach. “We like to think we provide something that no one else can. Our site allows user to search and compare online quotes for medical, travel and life insurance. This is global so it can serve expats no matter which country they are living. There is no other broker providing this one stop shop solution. And we intend to add more product lines in the future. On the servicing side of what we do we are the first global comparison website that lets you get a quote and apply all in one go. This is a major plus as our clients expectations these days are that they want things instant and we certainly try our best to accommodate this. The way that we communicate with our clients is also very important to us. We offer the chance to do Face Time meetings on their mobiles and message us over WhatsApp additional to conventional phone calls and emails. This might seem like a small thing however we find that our clients love this as they often respond much quicker on a messaging app than what they would if that same message was sent over email. While we know that this might not be for everyone yet but we are keen to purse a multi platform approach to converse with people to make them as comfortable as possible.”
“It is clear that the insurance industry is changing globally whether that be new tech or products which help improve the business and the customer experience. We very intend to be at the vanguard of this and hope we are able to add value to our clients as a result.”