January 21 marked the launch not only of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA) latest manifesto but also of a new signposting agreement on access to protection insurance.
Signatories of the voluntary agreement consisted of regulated insurance providers as well as trade bodies and charities. BIBA said the providers will signpost customers they cannot help because of their medical condition or disability towards a firm that can, while the supporting bodies will encourage support of the agreement’s ethos and promote its benefits.
According to the eight-page agreement seen by Insurance Business, the regulated firm signatories are Aegon Life Insurance, Assured Futures, Bank Of Scotland, Cavendish Ware, Cura Financial Services Ltd, Drewberry Ltd, Essential Insurance Group, Highclere Financial Services, Holloway Friendly Society, Legal & General, Lifesearch, Lightblue UK Ltd, Lloyds Banking Group, Moneysworth Ltd, Royal London, SCOR SE, Scottish Widows, Sesame Bankhall Group, Swiss Re, Vitality Life Insurance, and Zurich Insurance.
The supporting bodies, meanwhile, are made up of BIBA, the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), Access to Protection Insurance Group, the Income Protection Task Force, the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries, Protect Association, Protection Distributors Group, Protection Review, the Society of Later Life Advisers, the Association of Financial Mutuals, the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, the Insurance Supper Club, and UK Active.
“BIBA is ideally positioned to help those with medical conditions find their way to a specialist provider to help them access the cover they need, and we committed in our manifesto to launch a signposting agreement,” stated BIBA executive director Graeme Trudgill (pictured).
“This is the culmination of a year of discussion and collaboration across different stakeholders; all with a strong desire to help those most in need. The fact that we have been able to launch this signposting system today (January 21) will make a difference to thousands of people that may previously have thought protection insurance was out of their reach.”
Read more: BIBA launches its 2020 manifesto
Meanwhile Trudgill also expressed gratitude to everyone around the workstream for their commitment, input, and determination.
Commenting on the agreement, CII chief executive Sian Fisher said: “I support this agreement’s aim of setting up an effective signposting system to specialist providers and improving access to insurance for consumers. Seeking to improve access to protection products, especially for people with disabilities and long-term illnesses, is not just a social good but ethical and professional behaviour.
“At the CII, equality, diversity, and inclusion is at the heart of our work to modernise perceptions of insurance and drive confidence in the power of professional standards. We believe this work by BIBA accurately reflects the shared belief of these goals across the profession.”
For Insurance Disability Champion and Scottish Widows financial protection specialist Johnny Timpson, the move is “absolutely the right thing to do”. Timpson believes it will not only make a positive impact on many lives but also raise levels of trust in the industry.
“Now the work has started to educate those in the sector and its customers on the existence of the agreement and to get as many firms as possible on-board,” he added.
Also pleased with the development is Alan Knowles, managing director of Cura Financial Services and chair of the Protection Distributors Group, who described the launch of the agreement as “great” for both the insurance industry and customers.