The National Insurance Brokers’ Association has responded to broking critics, who slammed the organisation for not doing enough to fix the sector’s image problem.
In a recent interview with Insurance Business TV, NIBA CEO Dallas Booth said much more needed to be done to raise community awareness about the role of brokers.
This prompted a flood of responses from frustrated brokers who took to the Insurance Business website to criticise the organisation.
One commentator, called Mark, said: “NIBA doesn’t do enough to promote brokers. In light of the natural disaster claims, NIBA should be out there […] promoting what brokers did for their clients during their time of need.”
Responding to criticism, Booth told Insurance Business that members must be prepared to contribute to an extensive community awareness programme.
“Many brokers have said NIBA should do what the (accounting body) CPA does as it has a well-known and highly regarded community awareness programme but that programme costs $16m per year. If members are prepared to fund a programme of that nature, I am happy to run it but I am not entirely sure members are prepared to.”
Booth said NIBA was carefully researching and planning a new community awareness project that will not encounter the pitfalls it did four years ago.
“We launched a programme but it was not supported financially by the members. Therefore, during the course of this year, NIBA is doing serious research on how we should plan a community awareness programme; the audience we should target; and how the programme should be delivered. The reason we are doing this is so that when we are presenting a proposition to members and seek support, we will have a programme that is highly likely to deliver sound results for the industry and our members.
One broking commentator said the attendance numbers at NIBA’s conventions was proof that NIBA was not proactive enough.
“I am aware of the number of brokers attending them,” Booth responded. “It is for that very reason we are making quite a number of changes to this year’s convention to make it more attractive to brokers in terms of cost, planning, time, networking and learning opportunities.
“The issues that brokers have raised are ones we are aware of and we are either doing things to make it better or carrying out planning and research to create an effective effort in raising community awareness. I have made contacts clear. I am happy to speak to brokers about their concerns."