“Back for Good”
Chief Executive of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, Steve White steps on stage at the BIBA Conference 2022 and tells delegates that the Insurance Community is ‘Back for Good’
Speaking from Manchester Central on 11 May after a three-year moratorium due to COVID, White was delighted to welcome the Insurance Community back to the BIBA Conference.
During the enforced absence, many aspects of life, business and global affairs have changed. White reflected that though we had to adapt at speed to global lock-down and, as that threat receded were forced to react to a war almost on our doorstep while tackling increasing inflation and supply issues, the insurance community and the risks it manages have changed for good.
He congratulated delegates on: “stepping in to fill gaps [in protection] on cladded buildings, on COVID, on flood risk, on terrorism and on cyber insurance”. Highlighting the clear and present danger of cyber-crime, White added: “The work you [brokers] are all doing to provide standalone cyber cover for businesses in your communities is hugely important. We are and can continue to play a positive role in helping others to sensibly manage their cyber risks.”
However, alongside the praise for the work that the broking sector does to help people and businesses, the BIBA CEO went on to lambast the lack of fairness in the funding model of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. He called for united action stating: “We never mind being leaders, but we must not be left paying over the odds for the failures of others. When the FCA produces its consultation paper on possible new approaches to funding compensation, I encourage you all to make your voices heard and respond.
“We will commit time and resources to make a strong submission on your behalf. You are driven by a sense of what is right and wrong and the need for fairness. It is only right that we must push back when we feel those values are not being applied to us as an industry.
“We must never be shy to have our voice heard”.
In a slight change of tack, White turned his attention to the amount of revenues raised by Insurance Premium Tax, despite the pandemic and recent economic shocks. He highlighted that: “IPT generated £6.3 billion in the last 12 months and we believe there is a strong case to be made to reduce the headline rate of 12% to 10%”.
In relation to telematics-based policies, insurance for cladded buildings, and cyber cover he asked: “Why would we want to have additional costs slapped on something we should be encouraging? Given what that sector has been through in recent years it [removing or reducing IPT] would be a fillip to help it bounce back”.
He ended his much awaited conference speech in fine form reminding brokers what they have done to help those struggling to find insurance and concluded: “It may not be an easy year given the environment you are operating in but I have no doubt your fundamentals will allow you to become even stronger and ensure our customers continue to get the support they, at times, desperately need.
“You manage risk, but you do it in a way that seeks solutions not barriers. That is a very good thing – never change.”