Insurance Times takes a look at what promises to be the highlights of the 2014 Biba conference, including a preview of the fringe sessions, a map of the main exhibitors and a guide on what to do outside the conference

For Insurance Times’ London-based team, Biba Manchester is always an enjoyable experience. It is a chance to get far away from the office and do what everyone loves - going out and meeting people in the market.

But with so much to do, it is hard to know what seminars to attend and how best to split your time between the exhbitors.

So that is why Insurance Times has put together this handy guide to BIBA 2014.

BIBA 2014 floorplan

Outside the conference


What not to miss in BIBA 2014’s fringe sessions

1. How good are you really at customer service?

Wednesday 14 May 9.45

Who? AXA chief executive commercial lines and personal intermediary Amanda Blanc, Yutree Insurance managing director Kevin Hancock, Arthur J Gallagher chief executive David Ross. Session chaired by Money Box on Radio 4 financial journalist and presenter Paul Lewis

Why go? The banking crash has tarnished the image of the financial services industry, but insurers and brokers are working harder than ever to win back the trust of the customer. This has become particularly apparent over the past 12 months thanks to the increasing scrutiny by the FCA that is putting the customer at the heart of its regulatory reform. Watch Lewis grill top insurer and broker bosses on how they’re putting the customer first.

What you should ask: Which of the FCA’s thematic reviews could have the biggest impact on the industry?

2. New technology in motor insurance

Wednesday 14 May 12.00

Who? Ageas UK chief executive Andy Watson, Swinton marketing director Gerald McLarnon, Open GI distribution director David Kelly, and GoCompare head of insight Tom Ellis.

Why go? Motor is one of the most challenging sectors for the insurance industry, with the hyper-competitive market under increasing scrutiny from both the regulators and financiers. Couple this with a boom of new motor technology and the market is changing at a rapid pace. Motor brokers who want to know how to make the best use of the latest technology should attend this session, where the speakers will outline some of the major changes expected in the market over the coming year, from smartphone telematics, through to the No Claims Bonus database.

What you should ask: How will connected cars change the face of motor insurance?

3. The FCA’s ‘end of year’ review

Thursday 15 May 10.30

Who? Biba compliance and training manager David Sparkes, FCA head of general insurance and protection Simon Green, and Deloitte partner Mark McIlquham. Session chaired by Insurance Times editor Saxon East

Why go? After a full year at the helm of the insurance industry, the FCA will face its first public ‘end of year’ review. Brokers will hear the views on how to cope with the new client money rules, what impact the FCA consumer credit regime will have on customers purchasing their insurance via instalments and brokers’ capability of offering them, and which of the 10+ FCA thematic reviews will be of most impact to the industry.

What you should ask: What area of general insurance will the FCA choose to probe next?

4. Legal protection insurance: what you need to know

Wednesday 14 May 13.15

Who? AmTrust Law’s Simon Warr and Marc Wilson

Why go? The introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (Laspo) in April last year has resulted in higher legal costs for both individuals and businesses. This has some arguing that before-the-event (BTE) insurance is more relevant than ever. Warr and Wilson will step brokers through the future opportunities in the market that have emerged as a result of the regulatory changes.

What you should ask: How should I talk to my clients about their risk transfer options?

 5. Should you hire an apprentice?

Thursday 15 May 13:45

Who? National Apprenticeships Service Head of Sector Development Glenn Robinson and BeWiser Insurance Associate Director - HR & Training Crescens George

Why go? Apprenticeships can help businesses across all sectors by offering a route to harness fresh new talent. But many brokers think they’re too small a firm, or the process will be too complicated to reap the rewards. Come to this session to hear firsthand from BeWiser Insurance on how they set up their apprenticeship programme, the challenges they faced and the benefits it has brought to their business.

What you should ask: What business requirements can apprenticeships support?