Insurance has faced its fair share of negative headlines over the last year or two, with many of them revolving around access to insurance – or rather, the lack thereof. Now, in an effort to drive forward progress in the area, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has put together the Access to Insurance Committee.
The committee is chaired by Caroline Barr, former member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel. She is joined by BIBA’s own executive director Graeme Trudgill, industry disability champion Johnny Timpson and representatives from various brokers, charities and other stakeholders.
“The group we formed as part of the signposting worksteam in the Access to Insurance Steering Group led by Johnny Timpson was highly productive and, as its work completed, we agreed we should harness the determination and ambition of the group to drive forward wider access to insurance,” said Insurance Business columnist Trudgill. “BIBA was delighted to be able to facilitate this.”
The hope is that the committee will help consumers access different types of insurance even if they have medical conditions, are older, or suffer from disabilities or other prevailing conditions.
“We have a fabulous opportunity to re-present insurance as a force for good, by collaborating to help consumers,” said Barr. “Signposting means that firms can point a customer to assistance even where they themselves cannot find cover for them. What we need is more awareness of signposting and more collaboration. This can be a game-changer for many facing difficulty and is why I was delighted to be asked to chair AIC.”
Now it is set to evaluate and review both processes and agreements while also promoting signposting awareness across financial services.
“Personally, as the Cabinet Office Disability and Access Champion for the insurance industry and profession plus a CII Insuring Women’s Futures Programme expert panel member, I welcome the establishment of the new BIBA Access To Insurance Committee and its commitment to improving signposting to aid all consumers, especially those with visible and/or non-visible disabilities and/or health conditions, better access the insurance information, advice, cover and outcomes that they need,” said Timpson.
Indeed the reaction from committee members has been extremely encouraging.
“I’m honoured to have been asked by BIBA to join the AIC. At Cura we have hundreds of introducers signposting their clients to us and we, in turn, signpost our clients to others when their needs are outside our specialism,” said Kathryn Knowles, a committee member from protection insurance specialist broker Cura.
“As someone that was once declined insurance due to my health and now as a specialist protection broker, I bring a unique perspective of both consumer and adviser. Fair access to insurance is incredibly close to my heart so I will do my utmost to make this initiative a success.”