The changing face of high net worth / 4 February, 2019
The changing face of high net worth

There’s far more that goes into mid net worth, high net worth and ultra high net worth insurance than the policy limits which defines them.

Each step-up in classification, for the most part, brings with it a more personalised level of service, and fewer restrictions, as insurance providers understand that an increase in net worth can bring more complicated risk scenarios.

As these above-standard needs are having to be met with a more robust insurance solution, which naturally comes with a higher premium, policyholders quite rightly come to expect a higher-quality level of service, including a faster claims settlement.

The service demands may remain, but the delivery expectations have changed

Just like the older generation, HNW clients under the age of 35 still have high expectations of service – but just in a different way, as Lennox Bunting, London market manager at Zurich Private Clients explains,

“The younger generation expects insurance providers to be available 24/7, with electronic access to policy documentation and more ways of getting in touch, like web chat. Whereas the older generation tends to favour the more traditional routes of getting in touch with us and may appreciate receiving documentation in the post.” He said.

“That said, the younger generation does still want to develop a relationship with a provider that can grow with them.”

A 2015 survey from Gallup showed that millenials are twice as likely to buy their insurance online and least likely to engage with insurers – an incentive if ever there was one to provide a digital route to HNW policies.

This approach also offers a level of recognition into how digital risk is becoming evermore standard, which, as Bunting explains, is important if brokers are to adapt to this market,

“Ever improving technology brings emerging risks that must also be understood and managed by all parties,” says Bunting. “For example, digital art with customer records kept in the cloud could be susceptible to data breach by cyber attack. Likewise, wearable technology that would hold personal information could be susceptible to a malicious attack. The issue around where liability for the insurer starts and stops is one we’re particularly alive to.”

Understanding still comes first

The next generation of high net worth clients may look for speed of service and instantaneous document delivery, but effective insurance based on a good understanding of the client remains a priority, and is not something which can be sacrificed.

Because of this, some clients may still need the more in-depth conversations with their insurance broker to establish their requirements and work to their lifestyle. Only then can the broker deliver the quality of service and flexibility in protection that can come with a high net worth policy.