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Kathy Corbacio on Broker relationships

March 16, 2022 / Sarah Manley

Kathy CorbacioI recently had the pleasure of chatting with Kathy Corbacio, AVP Business Development at CAA Insurance, to gain her insights on Broker relationships, while reflecting on the past year and what lies ahead.

Q: What is your primary focus when it comes to developing Broker relationships?

KC: Creating a strong relationship that promotes the sharing of ideas to achieve mutual success, which ultimately benefits the Broker’s customers. I feel it’s important to be comfortable enough in the partnership to not only celebrate successes together, but to bring forward the challenges and opportunities for improvement. And lastly, staying connected. Our partnerships thrive when we share open dialogue on a regular basis, which allows us to be aware of and address Broker’s needs.

Q: With signs of the pandemic waning, what changes do you see coming for your team in terms of how they interact with Brokers (if any)?

KC: I see us adopting a hybrid model, including virtual and in-person meetings with our Brokers. It will depend on the broker’s needs, location, agenda, and timing.

We have learned through the pandemic that some touch points can be executed very effectively and preferably through a virtual platform. However, I am a big believer that there is still a need for face-to-face connections with our partners. There is nothing better than connecting with a brokerage team in-person and sponsoring a lunch.

Q: Over the past year, what are the highlights that demonstrated our strong support for our Brokers?

KC: It was a great year and many highlights come to mind, including:

  • Our continued focus on the health and well-being of our Broker partners, providing resources and facilitating various wellness initiatives
  • Simplifying the Broker payment process by launching a new platform so they can execute payments on their customers’ behalf
  • Expansion of the Senior Broker Binding Authority, providing Brokers with the ability to bind certain risks without calling the CAA Insurance Underwriting Team

Q: Over the past year, CAA Insurance has partnered with a number of new Brokers. How has our strategy changed and what do you see for this year in terms of new appointments?

KC: We continue to stay on course and are maintaining the spirit of our original Broker strategy. We have created exceptional partnerships to-date and will continue to do so. I think the reason for our success stems from the many similarities we share between CAA Insurance and our Broker partners. We are collectively committed to delivering exceptional customer service, while managing strong relationships, which is paramount to the success of our partnership. Going forward, we will continue to grow our Broker partnerships with the main goal of providing customers with choice and staying true to our commitment of fostering solid broker partnership relationships.

Q: How does your team work with Brokers to set them up for success?

KC: Full on collaboration, which means staying connected and really understanding the needs of our Brokers. It also means knowing when to engage other teams at CAA Insurance to execute a Broker’s request, based on skillset and responsibility. The top priority of our Business Development Managers is to nourish strong partnership relationships which they strive to achieve by providing timely and comprehensive responses, to enable their Brokers to execute the same for their customers.

Q: How does CAA Insurance continue to differentiate itself to Brokers?

KC: As an organization, our top priority is the safety, protection and the overall well-being of our CAA Members and Associates. The relationship we cultivate with our Broker partners is no different.

In 2020, we extended components of our wellness program to our Brokers, including access to educational sessions, resources and live stretch and meditation breaks. In 2021 we sent a Gratitude Journal calendar to all Brokers, and this year we distributed a ‘Grow Your Own Herb Garden’ calendar. I feel these extra steps demonstrate our commitment to our Brokers’ wellness journeys.

Since the onset of every Broker partnership, we have worked closely to understand their needs and how we can support them. In 2019 we learned that there were few marketing resources or training opportunities available in the industry. As a result, we created the Broker Marketing Academy, which kicked off with a Marketing Camp event where 15 brokers came together with our marketing experts, and had the opportunity to learn, collaborate and share with industry professionals, in an unconventional camp-like environment. When the pandemic hit, we pivoted to create live online marketing webinars, to keep the momentum of the Broker Marketing Academy going. In April we will be announcing the launch of new Marketing Adventures, which are online, self-paced courses. Open exclusively to CAA Insurance Brokers, these courses introduce the foundations of marketing, which can help Brokers build their knowledge and skillsets to meet the challenges of planning and building marketing strategies.

Q: Reflecting on 2021, what are you most proud of?

KC: The strength of our relationships with our Broker partners. We have seen amazing and profitable growth year over year. I am a big believer that this happens when you have a competitive product in the market. But moreover, it involves continuous and effective collaboration, trust, listening to each other’s challenges and putting plans in place for change. It’s about effective and timely communication, and ultimately celebrating successes together. We strive for this type of relationship with our Brokers every day, and that is what I am most proud of.