Keychoice backs brokers with unique regional solution

Keychoice, the insurance distribution business owned by SSP, is creating the market’s first regional solution, bringing exciting new products and services to its broking community to help them win in the market.

This includes building new regional panels for personal lines and commercial lines business, with innovative new core products. Members will also benefit from a series of integrated add-on products, such as the Keychoice RAC fully integrated breakdown recovery scheme. Over 170 brokers have already signed up for this product, with some experiencing a resultant increase in sales of 25%.

Insurers who join the new Keychoice panels will have greater access to high street brokers, one of the most profitable channels in the UK insurance market. As Keychoice products are exclusively available through SSP, its unique position and make up mean its members write highly profitable business for insurers.

With all brokers using the same technology platform, Keychoice provides a holistic and continuous view of how they are trading. The meaningful insights generated mean insurers have the unique perspective required to understand the best brokers for particular business, fine tune their product performance and extend their trading footprint to new brokers and territories.

Brokers gain a significant competitive advantage from these enhanced-rated products, driving greater adoption. This, in turn, generates greater volumes of data, which enables further fine-tuning.

Ron Atkinson, Distribution Director at SSP, said:
“Keychoice has gone from strength to strength over the last three years, with an additional 40 brokers having already joined in 2017 and a further five signing up at our SSP Broking launch event.

“I am excited by the development of this unique solution that broadens our remit and further ensures our customers’ needs are at the heart of everything we do. As we continue to work with the industry, we are looking to engage with other insurers to deliver the most competitive products to help support our brokers.”

Keychoice: Creating a safe haven in a hardening market

Over the last few months, the UK insurance market has continued to harden, with both SSP and industry data showing a shift in premiums. At the same time, the rise in Insurance Premium Tax has continued apace. Experts predict June’s climb to 12%, which will bring a further upsurge in premiums, is just another step towards a VAT-matched rate of 20%.

This has somewhat put the cat amongst the pigeons for consumers, coming on top of greater regulatory scrutiny of the insurance industry. The legislative changes have created greater awareness in the public domain, drawing consumers’ attention towards ensuring they have the right cover and level of service, rather than just focusing on the cheapest price.

As a result, independent brokers have been in a great position to demonstrate the added value they offer and to capitalise on the engagement and relationships they already have with these customers.

While consumers who buy through non-aggregator channels are generally less price sensitive, as premiums continue to escalate in 2017, the waters are likely to become somewhat muddier. These discerning customers will still need guidance on the right cover for their circumstances, but they’ll also want products that are priced competitively.

As with many aspects of an increasingly digital society, the greatest benefits are realised by working together. While brokers can act collectively through networks, these structures are often unable to deliver the additional and more detailed insight that is required to effectively leverage their commercial buying power.

That is what puts Keychoice, the insurance distribution business owned by SSP, in a unique position. As its products are exclusively available through SSP, the over 500 independent broker members — who control in excess of £1.7bn GWP — all use the same technology platform.

With all member brokers working from a single technology platform, there is a holistic and continuous view within Keychoice of how they are trading. Converting this raw data into meaningful trading insights provides insurers and suppliers with the unique perspective required to fine tune their product performance with existing members, as well as extend and develop their trading footprint to new brokers and territories.

Enhanced-rated products are more valuable to brokers, giving them a significant competitive advantage. This drives adoption of these products, generating greater volumes of data and further fine-tuning. So the circle continues…

Over the last year, insurer partners have been able to enhance existing products and bring new ones to market based on untapped latent needs, enabling brokers to be more competitive and increase their revenue. For example, over 150 brokers have signed up for the Keychoice RAC fully integrated breakdown recovery scheme, with some experiencing a resultant increase in sales of 25%.

Combining this data and insight capability with all of SSP’s other technology assets and its continuing investment in the business further drives the best outcomes for both insurers and brokers.

Keychoice is helping brokers to continue surfing the hardening market cycle and remain in a strong position. As a result, they are able to offer a combination of price proximity with good advice and service. With the storm continuing to build in the market, this provides welcome relief for today’s discerning customers, who are seeking a safe haven from the deluge of price increases, jargon and legislative changes to ensure their valuable assets are adequately protected.

First published on bobsguide.

Keychoice 2016 highlights

Keychoice 2016 highlights

Download Keychoice 2016 Highlights PDF

  • New website launched in line with a refreshed focus for Keychoice
  • New partnership with RAC; over 150 brokers signed up for KC Breakdown

“We have increased our sales by 25% since we went live with the RAC product”
– Carlo Frijia, General Manager at Advance Insurance Agencies

    • New partnership with Markerstudy
    • New member joins the team. Daniel Watson joined the dedicated Keychoice broker support team in August, providing telephone support to members
    • 74,000 views of Keychoice tweets
    • New member joins the team. Scott Holmes joined the insurer relations team in October to help develop the Keychoice insurer partnerships
    • 25 new members
    • New partnership with Paragon
    • New product: AXA Car
  • More than 30 Keychoice products providing exclusive benefits
  • New product: Zenith Car
  • New product: Zenith Marque Car and Commercial Vehicle
  • New Product: AIMS guaranteed replacement on vehicle add-on
  • Almost 300 new followers on Twitter and LinkedIn

Keychoice — the independent route to profitable growth is making great strides

Six months on from introducing a new management team and a refreshed focus for Keychoice, Liz Mitchell, General Manager gives some insight into how things are taking shape.

Keychoice is SSP’s distribution solution and it’s been undergoing a major refresh. We’ve been listening to what member brokers have been telling us about what works and what doesn’t, and we’ve also been looking at how we stand as a compelling offering in the market.

More and more, market conditions are turning favourable for brokers, and the high street is becoming a great place to trade again. As aggregators and direct insurers continue to fight the battleground on price, new regulation amongst other things, is paving the way for brokers to really show customers how they add value. With confusion being stimulated around products structures and lack of consistency and clarity in approach to addons, brokers can guide customers to buying what’s right for them. Keychoice is geared up to help members make the most of the current market potential. With the right team now in place and a proposition that sets us apart, we can help brokers make the most of it.

What our members have told us

We held the most recent Keychoice Broker Forum in London on 19 April where member feedback on our progress was very positive. This group plays an important role in helping us steer the way and their regular input and involvement is invaluable.

Members told us they want:

  1. More truly differentiated products.
  2. Greater clarity on what Keychoice stands for and the connection with SSP.
  3. Greater understanding of the value they could get from the immense data and insight capability  SSP has to offer.

What’s changed?

We’ve long been considered a network alongside all the other networks out there, but the reality is we have a distinct distribution offering that’s quite different.

We’ve outlined a refreshed offering with 5 key elements:

Competitive products — helping brokers and insurers win and retain more business with a range of enhanced core products from a panel of leading insurers

Unique data & insight — helping brokers and insurers trade more intelligently using SSPs sophisticated data to provide unique insight

Technology advantage helping brokers and insurers streamline trading by using SSPs technology to access markets more easily and trade more efficiently

Market access — helping brokers and insurers develop business by working with our members as a collective group to influence insures to provide differentiated products to open up new markets and enhance existing relationships

Enhanced service — making business easier with exclusive access to specialist training and compliance support

Delivering enhanced products

We’ve made good progress in bringing enhanced and/or exclusive products to members, initially focusing on motor.

  1. Axa — Private Car
  2. Zenith — Private Car
  3. Zenith Marque — Private car
  4. Zenith Marque — Commercial vehicle
  5.  RAC — Breakdown
  6.  AIMS — Guaranteed replacement vehicle

Engaging with members

We’ve taken a good look at the way we talk to members too, to make things clearer and only discuss the things that matter to brokers. We want to make sure we help them make the most of what’s available to them. Creating more of a business community spirit is high on the agenda too.

So far our members have benefited from:

  • A brand new website guiding visitors through our refreshed offering making it clear and simple as to what’s available — take a look
  • New regular online and offline newsletters that update on the latest product news and new launches.
  • Up-to-date consistent product fact sheets that make it easy to see what the key features and selling points are at a glance.
  • A social media programme including regular Twitter and LinkedIn feeds with dedicated member groups to encourage member feedback and discussion.

You’ll have seen more of us in the insurance press too. The new Keychoice management team have been out talking to journalists about the value that Keychoice brings to members, helping raise the profile to ensure brokers can make the most of the likes of new products launched such as the Keychoice RAC breakdown product that went live in January.

What next?

Recognising that offering more enhanced products is top priority, building a healthy product pipeline is now continuous. We’re talking to insurers all the time to build the Keychoice panel and deliver.

We’re also recruiting a much larger team to support Keychoice. We’ll be introducing a broker support team — a mix of Business Account Managers out on the road talking to members, combined with telephone based Execs for brokers who prefer to contact us this way. Ensuring that we have regular contact with our members to support their business is important to us.

To further build product awareness and provide support to help with selling the products available, we’ll also be building a new “members only” private area to the new website. Members will be able to go and get detailed product information and comparisons as well as additional support and useful tools to help them.

It’s been a busy and exciting time for Keychoice. There’s still plenty to do, however we’re well on our way to taking it to the next level, to ensure members benefit from its success in the future.

This article is an extract from SSP eye issue 8

Keychoice to influence the future of distribution with new team

Keychoice, the distribution business owned by SSP, has recruited a new team as it launches its next phase of growth and evolution.

The move is just part of the revitalisation of the Keychoice proposition, and reinforces its commitment to delivering exciting new products and services that will help its brokers win in the market.

Together the new team consisting of Liz Mitchell, General Manager, Claire Faulding, Strategic Development Manager, and Ron Atkinson, Head of Insurer Relationships, has over 60 years’ experience working in the broker and insurer distribution arena.

Mitchell joins from BGL, Faulding from Marsh and Atkinson from Swinton.

The Keychoice business moved into the direct control of Adrian Coupland, Managing Director, Data and Distribution, at SSP, earlier this year, when SSP realigned responsibility for all its intermediated relationships and data strategy under his remit.

Speaking about the new team, Coupland said:
“I am delighted with the team we now have in place. They all have outstanding track records of building relationships and maximising commercial opportunities, so their knowledge and experience will be vital in bringing value to our broker base. We have worked very hard to revitalise the Keychoice business and proposition over the past six months, and the fruits of our labour will be evident in the coming weeks.

“We have used our position in the insurance value chain to augment the Keychoice proposition and business. Our member brokers are highly profitable for insurers, and they deserve to be rewarded for their quality books of business. Through the use of our data and insight, as well as negotiating great products, that’s exactly what will happen. We are taking Keychoice back to the future.”


A valuable distribution proposition for brokers and insurers alike

Keychoice’s 25th year in business saw the appointment of Claire Faulding, to the role of Head of Keychoice and commercial e-trading. Claire tells us how the new dedicated team and growing range of products are helping brokers continue to drive value from their Keychoice membership.

Keychoice is a unique insurance distribution group owned by SSP. We have been offering enhanced trading solutions since 1994, to help brokers grow and develop business.

Having worked closely with the Keychoice team for many years through other roles at SSP, I was delighted to take on the Head of Keychoice position during 2019. As a part of SSP that has now been operating for 25 years, Keychoice plays an incredibly important role within the SSP broker proposition and I know how important Keychoice is to our brokers, so I was excited at being given the chance to develop Keychoice further and to make the most of the opportunities available.

One of the first areas of focus for me was to ensure we had a dedicated Keychoice team who understood the significant potential that Keychoice offers for both brokers and insurers alike. Martin Randall and Brad Hudson, previously training specialists within SSP, joined the Keychoice and commercial e-trading team to offer our nationwide network of members the support they need in terms of getting the most from their Keychoice membership. Working as business development specialists, Martin and Brad are available to support and visit brokers up and down the country, educating them on the full range of Keychoice and commercial products and services available.

We’ll continue to grow the products and services available through Keychoice during 2020 and will be using the recent feedback from our products and services survey to help us focus on our brokers needs.

As well as supporting brokers, we also manage relationships with our wide panel of Keychoice insurers and service providers. Myself and Richard Myers, SSP’s Relationships Manager, are responsible for all Keychoice partnerships. By building successful partnerships it offers unique opportunities for inspiring innovation creates new services and provides niche products for our brokers.

Another new initiative that myself and the team helped to instigate, was the launch of a programme of webinar events. This is a new channel of engagement with our brokers whereby we can promote and launch new products and services for both Keychoice and SSP. These webinar events have been a big hit with both our broking customers, who get to learn more about the products and how they can be traded, but also with our insurer partners who need to promote their products to the Keychoice and SSP broker community. So far we have covered several products for Keychoice including RAC breakdown, Excess Protect from All Broker Services, QBE’s commercial products, integrated payments with Global Payments and travel insurance from SunWorld. We are continuing with our programme of webinar events in 2020, and these will become more regular as we develop and grow our Keychoice offering.

During 2019 we remained focused on growing the Keychoice insurer panel and introducing new products, with both new and existing partners. We boosted our offering with the addition of the excess protection product from All Broker Services and also enhanced the guaranteed replacement vehicle policy from AIMS. We’ve added an additional commercial vehicle product via new Keychoice partner NIG, as well as a range of protection policies from Best Insurance. We are also now offering Keychoice members access to a highly competitive travel insurance product from new partners, SunWorld.

As well as growing our insurer panel, we’ve also continued to focus on adding value to members via our enhanced services for members. In May, we partnered with Howden Insurance Brokers to be the preferred provider of Professional Indemnity Insurance for Keychoice members. In July we renewed our partnership with Close Brothers Premium Finance to continue offering Keychoice members access to an integrated premium finance solution through their SSP back-office system.

We’ll continue to grow the products and services available through Keychoice during 2020 and will be using the recent feedback from our products and services survey to help us focus on our brokers needs. Feedback from our members is very important to help us shape our offering, so we’ll be asking for more comments and responses to our surveys throughout 2020. We are also looking to reinvigorate our Keychoice broker forum, using more digital channels to gain feedback on specific products and services. If you are a Keychoice member and would be interested in being part in a forum, that can help steer our direction, then please get in contact.

In terms of the products we are already working on, I can tell you new and innovative products are going to be at the top of our list. A cyber offering is something many brokers have been asking us about and we are already working with a provider to deliver something in the first half of the year. We also have some other exciting innovative solutions coming, such as our new quote trading platform, and you’ll hear more about that over the coming months, so watch this space.

RAC extends relationship with Keychoice to launch specialist products

The RAC are pleased to announce the extension of its long-term relationship with Keychoice, the insurance distribution business owned by SSP, for a further five years. This will see the RAC continue as its exclusive breakdown partner until early 2024.

RAC extends relationship with Keychoice

The journey so far

Since launching in 2016 policy volumes for car, bike and van breakdown have grown significantly with over 30,000 policies sold and 200 keychoice members signed up to sell the products.

Feedback from the Keychoice community has been extremely positive. Not only does the RAC brand reputation give their customers and staff the confidence in add-on products, our dedicated patrol network has provided exceptional service for 120 years. The exclusive deal with Keychoice offers access to discounted net-rated products via a fully integrated Keychoice scheme through SSP’s broker systems.

New Products Launch

Following the success of RAC Car, Van and Bike, we are broadening our product portfolio through the introduction of five specialist breakdown products, as well as RAC motor legal expenses insurance and RAC top-up loss insurance.

The new deal underlines the RAC’s commitment to nurturing longstanding partnerships with market-leading brands, and the development of additional products through these partners to drive further benefit and value to its members.

Shortly brokers who are Keychoice members will be able to offer cover for taxi, motorhome, minibus, courier vehicle and taxi minibus breakdowns.

With RAC top-up loss insurance, in the event a customer’s vehicle is written off, our product will pay the customer an extra 25% of their insurer’s settlement figure on top of the insurer pay out amount. Helping to ‘top-up’ any shortfall in price paid for the vehicle versus market value. This is particularly pertinent for self-employed individuals, for whom their vehicle is their business.

Ron Atkinson, Distribution Director at SSP said: 
“I’m delighted to have extended our partnership with the RAC, which is testament to the strong relationship we’ve already built up.

“Keychoice members are set to have access to a total of ten products from a leading brand with an excellent reputation and customer service, and we have a number of other ancillary products in the pipeline. As a result, brokers will have the flexibility and functionality to keep their customers on the road, both for pleasure and business.”

Richard Fuller, Head of Partnerships at the RAC said:
“SSP is a trusted strategic partner, it’s great to be able to announce a new long-term arrangement with its Keychoice distribution business. Keychoice enables us to connect with hundreds of high street brokers at once, all of whom can offer their customers more tailored motor cover. My team and I look forward to working with Keychoice, to develop in partnership, innovative new products that continue to deliver value to Keychoice brokers and their customers.”

Sign Up

If you haven’t already taken advantage of the Keychoice breakdown products, you can gain access by visiting