With the coming of a new year it’s often common for respected companies and industry bodies to release their plans and predictions for the next twelve months. However, in the brokerage community there is one organisation whose manifesto we all take a keen interest in: BIBA.
The British Insurance Brokers Association has spent years working hard to improve the industry, not only for brokers but also customers and underwriters. Naturally, some of their items in their yearly manifestos have been more popular than others, and this year is no different.
Even before the manifesto was officially released there were rumours that the association would address certain subjects including “Professionalism”, “Regulation” and “Claims”. Regulation seems to be the big talking point on this year’s manifesto, as BIBA is continuing to push for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to work closer with brokers and provide cost-effective regulation and a reform of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Speaking to Insurance Age, Steve White, CEO of BIBA, said: “The manifesto that you see there really is the encapsulation of the issues our members think are important to them, which then underpins our activity for the year ahead. We’re on a journey with the regulator [FCA], that plan is being worked through, it hasn’t been ditched for a new manifesto.”
“We called for a revision of the FSCS funding model and that revision is taking shape. It’s been put back a little due to what they’re doing on financial advice, but there is a commitment from the regulator to look again at that model.” To make matters even more complicated, the FCA announced a new CEO on the 26th January in the form of Andrew Bailey.
Steve White admitted that brokers in general had not heard of the new CEO before, however he was “pleased that the position is filled and we look forward to meeting with Andrew and continuing the talks we had with his predecessors, Martin Wheatley and Tracey McDermott, around more proportionality and appropriateness for insurance brokers’ regulation.”
Along with tackling regulation with the FCA, BIBA’s 2016 manifesto addressed numerous issues, including:
• Helping vulnerable customers access insurance;
• Avoiding the advice gap – making sure that advice on general insurance is widely available to customers, so they can make informed decisions;
• Helping the UK’s SMEs insure against the risk of flooding;
• Managing under–insurance for SMEs following the FCA’s thematic review of insurance claims;
• Improving recognition of the value, awareness and take up of cyber insurance protection;
• Ensuring smooth implementation of the Insurance Act and the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD)
Here at Victor Millwell we have previously discussed the importance of brokers, particularly motorhome insurance brokers, caring for their customers including those that may be more vulnerable than others. It is therefore fitting that BIBA has named this year’s manifesto “#FairnessForAll”.
Discussing their plans, Graeme Trudgill, BIBA’s Executive Director, said: “In an insurance broker’s capacity as agent of the customer, their duty is to act in their customers’ best interests and that is why so many of our Manifesto issues relate to fairness for insurance customers.
“Our members can help to bridge the gap in understanding what insurance cover is provided by identifying a customer’s particular needs and providing access to suitable products. BIBA will continue to signpost older customers to specialist providers under our continuing agreement with Government and members help vulnerable customers make choices about the insurance they need; a new agreement with the ABI has resulted in a code of good practice in this respect.
“Alongside this personal approach, insurance brokers help their customers manage the challenges arising from major incidents such as the recent floods. They continually adapt to changing risks such as the increasing risk of cyber-attacks, the sharing economy and improving technology that has led to telematics and autonomous vehicles, offering advice and developing products for the future.
These issues are all covered by our calls to action and commitments in our 2016 Manifesto, #FairnessForAll.”
You can read BIBA’s 2016 Manifesto in full here.