BIBA highlights opportunities for businesses
15th January 2019
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has emphasised that though businesses, individuals and sectors are facing risks, these risks can be transferred via insurance enabling people and corporations to seize opportunities in these uncertain times. This is the theme of the 2019 BIBA Manifesto – Risks & Opportunities. It was launched in the Houses of Parliament to an audience of Ministers, MPs, Lords, senior Government officials, insurance professionals and the media on 15 January 2019.
John Glen MP, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury said: “The UK’s Insurance industry is among the best in the world, and I’m committed to ensuring it maintains this reputation. Insurance brokers are a crucial part of this industry, helping consumers and businesses find the most appropriate policies for them, whilst making a significant contribution to our economy. BIBA’s Manifesto will ensure that this important area of insurance remains world-class.”
The changing landscape seen by BIBA members and their customers means that BIBA’s agenda – its Manifesto – must be reinvented every year. Along with some enduring themes, new issues impacting the insurance broking sector also need addressing. This year more than others, BIBA has identified a need to relevel the broker landscape.
Graeme Trudgill, BIBA Executive Director explained: “Members have made clear to us that we need to address the impact of external factors such as sweeping changes to market practices, changing regulation and legislation as well as Brexit that hinder innovation, provision of customer service and opportunities in the insurance broking sector. Having said this, there are positive signs of progress to help those people with challenging insurance needs through developments in creating smarter signposting to appropriate insurance providers including brokers. We will be building on that during 2019.”
On the subject of regulation, BIBA’s Chief Executive, Steve White commented: “These are the sorts of challenging times when the importance of insurance is at its highest. Insurance brokers can help clients take up opportunities by the provision of suitable insurance, but they sometimes find their time divided between helping clients and managing their regulatory obligations. Since its inception in 2013 the FCA has issued 145 consultation and discussion papers, calls for evidence and thematic reviews which take insurance brokers’ focus away from helping individual and business customers and we ask for a period of stability allowing time to embed current requirements before introducing new ones.”
With a focus on the potential opportunities for the insurance broking sector and the businesses they serve the 2019 Manifesto, Risks & Opportunities has a whole section on innovation and the opportunities that will come from InsurTech. BIBA is committing to help its members digitally upskill and will also in 2019 be creating a ‘dating-service’ to put members in contact with the technology providers that can help them maximise the opportunities arising from the digital revolution as well as the changing risks faced by their clients.
Graeme Trudgill added: “The Manifesto is built on feedback from members and they have been united in their view that risks are changing and the commitments we have made for 2019 reflect this. We will be providing new guidance on terrorism insurance in conjunction with Pool Re. We will also provide information that members can use to help clients understand their cyber-risk.”
Of course, in creating the 2019 Manifesto one topic could not be ignored; Brexit. The matter of the UK leaving the EU continues to create immense uncertainty for insurance brokers and their customers and seven Calls to Action, ranging from trading solutions to motor insurance have been made.
Steve White continued: “While our sector, along with all of the UK, is facing a time of unprecedented change we are upbeat about the future. With risk comes opportunity it is a matter of mitigating the risk and grasping the opportunities. I’m very proud that we have some very positive messages in our 2019 Manifesto; examples of brokers helping both businesses and individuals; the progress that is being made in our sector in respect of Diversity & Inclusion and mental health; and the engagement of younger brokers. For the first time our BIBA Young Ambassadors feature in the Manifesto committing to help us position insurance broking as the exciting, challenging and rewarding career that it is.”
BIBA’s Chair, Lord Hunt of Wirral, concluded: “BIBA has made 30 Manifesto calls to action and 26 commitments on the issues that are impacting general insurance brokers and their customers. Acting on these calls and commitments will benefit insurance brokers, members and their customers. Insurers, trade bodies, Ministers, public bodies, BIBA young ambassadors and brokers are all quoted in this year’s Manifesto and are offering support to help the UK realise the tremendous opportunities in front of us.”
Read the 2019 BIBA Manifesto here