There was palpable excitement in the air at the recent launch of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA)’s 2020 Manifesto at the Houses of Parliament. Speakers at the event emphasised the current strength of the broker market and MP Craig Tracey said that, when attending last year’s BIBA conference, he was inspired by the great state that the industry is in, and how it is not only alive and well, but positively booming.
“I think it’s a real credit to the industry, to the people that work in it and to organisations like BIBA who help drive that change and make sure that the profession stays relevant,” he said.
Read more: BIBA launches its 2020 manifesto
BIBA’s 2020 Manifesto which is simply and suitably entitled ‘Access’ was described by BIBA’s chief executive, Steve White, as the organisation’s largest and most important to date, containing nine chapters, 29 calls for action, 37 BIBA commitments and four case studies.
As outlined by executive director of BIBA, Graeme Trudgill, in his recent column for Insurance Business, the core theme of this year’s manifesto examines the complex area of access within the sector.
Detailing the central challenges faced by the broking industry, relating both to issues of access and to other threats within the sector, was also a key focus of the document, which highlighted BIBA’s commitments to providing guidance to brokers throughout 2020.
The manifesto detailed how the marketplace has been impacted by macroeconomic influences such as Brexit, the global economy, changes in customers’ buying habits and digital advancements. The commitment of the organisation is to help members stay up to date with the latest issues and to provide guidance on a broad range of subjects including product recall, sustainability and cyber insurance for SMEs.
When it comes to emerging risks BIBA noted that: “there will always be new emerging risks brokers need to respond to for their clients’ protection.”
BIBA commits to working across the sector to raise awareness of new insurance solutions such as those for intellectual property and reputational harm. The manifesto also recommends that the development of non-damage business interruption covers be encouraged.
“[BIBA] consider emerging risks and commits to playing our part in raising awareness in both cyber covers and emerging intangible risks,” White said. “We call on governments to consider an IPT break for SMEs on cyber policies.”
BIBA’s manifesto outlined how the insurance hard market and the resulting reduced availability of some insurance products has seen a reduction in capacity for some lines of business.
To help solve the issue which some brokers have had in finding carriers to meet the specific needs of their clients, BIBA has partnered with Insurercore to create a platform for insurance products. BIBA will work with the insurtech firm to encourage more insurers and MGAs to utilise this platform to showcase their products and services.
Meanwhile, when addressing the challenges impacting the broking sector, BIBA’s manifesto highlighted the work being done at Lloyd’s to drive modernisation and growth for the next decade.
Speaking at the launch, White said: “We closely follow the development of Lloyd’s new strategy and we commit… to working with them to help simplify their UK distribution model so our members can more readily access the specialised product expertise and innovative thinking that exists at Lloyd’s.”
Looking at the broking sector, White said: “Insurance brokers have a unique role, both as agents of the insurer but more often as agents of the customer – acting in their interest. The insurance broking sector is the place to go for choice, expert advice and assistance in arranging suitable and valuable insurance protection.”
The organisation’s Insurance Brokers’ Standards Committee has the responsibility of providing guidance on what constitutes as good and reasonable practice for the benefit of its members and others. With this in mind, BIBA has committed to publishing new guidance on market practice and the role of brokers in claims in 2020.
John Glen, MP and economic secretary to the Treasury stated he is very aware of the challenges and uncertainties which exist in the market at this time and said the government is working very hard to make sure that the concerns of the financial services industry, and insurance brokers in particular, are heard.
“But,” he continued, addressing the audience at BIBA’s parliamentary conference, “it is also an exciting moment for the insurance industry. I’m very proud to say that you are world leaders and you have the expertise to thrive across a range of new sectors, from cyber insurance to green finance. So please – now is not the time to hold back or to slow down. It’s time to accelerate your efforts as a decade of renewal begins for our country.”