The launch of an initiative aimed at insuring older people and a series of regulatory changes promise an eventful few months for the brokers’ association

Insurance is all about risk, but we have a unique rating factor here at Biba - the ‘Galbraith Holiday Factor’. Whenever our chief executive goes on holiday, major insurance-related incidents and disasters hurl themselves at the remaining team. Riots, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, storms – pretty much every significant disaster or claim that has occurred in the past few years has happened precisely when our leader is on the other side of the planet putting another prawn on the barby.

Some may say he is the foreteller of doom, others that he has too much holiday (there goes my pay rise). Or maybe it is just a sign of what Lloyd’s described last year as “an unprecedented level of catastrophes”.

So, we really don’t want him to go on holiday anywhere near the launch of our new signposting initiative. We are increasingly hopeful that April will bring with it a new agreement for the industry – one that will involve Biba, the ABI and the government rolling out an approach under which sellers of insurance that are unable to offer solutions to older people directing those customers to insurance providers offering appropriate cover. This should provide a solution for customers and growth for the industry. So, now is the time to tell Biba if you have facilities that can help these older people. We will be putting out our full guidance on how this will work shortly.

The broking sector is also facing an enormous number of issues at the moment, with some commentators saying these are the busiest times they have ever seen. The Insurance Mediation Directive revision at a critical stage, the Financial Conduct Authority is being created, motor insurance is hitting the headlines most weeks, the review of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is underway, the Law Commission is reviewing insurance law and so on. All these issues are fundamental to our sector.

Galbraith factor permitting, we are also going to be getting out more this year, with plans to visit more members in the regions and discuss some of these issues. Of late, we have been to Bristol, Liverpool, Hull, Colchester, Bury St Edmonds, Coventry, Stoke on Trent, Maidstone and Scotland. So, if you are a broker that is new to Biba, perhaps part of the Institute for Independent Business or as someone who wants to come along and discuss local issues, please contact us or your local committee and we will be keen to engage. The Biba website has details of forthcoming events. Hope to see you there.

PS: Oh dear, I’ve just found out that he’s going on holiday in April.

Graeme Trudgill is head of corporate affairs at Biba