If we didn’t know any better, lyricist Hal David could have been writing his pop hits for the insurance industry

As the strains of the song I say a little prayer faded on the radio at the weekend, I reflected sadly on the death of Hal David, the lyricist behind some of the greatest pop hits of the 20th century.

My mind flicked through David’s extensive back catalogue of much-loved songs, noting how apt many of the titles were for the insurance industry even today. Unintentionally, I found myself compiling an unofficial soundtrack of his songs for some of the work Biba’s been involved with recently.

The playlist

There’s the classic Anyone who had a heart – prompted by the staggering increases in the levy our members have had to pay to fund the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in recent years, we’ve been calling for changes to get a fairer outcome. The recently published Consultation Paper 12/16 sets out reforms of the funding model and makes for dismal reading. The paper shows there is still much work to do. Similarly, our work with the nascent Financial Conduct Authority continues to seek more appropriate, risk-based regulation for our members.

Then there’s Wishin’ and hopin – something Biba won’t be doing as far as revisions to the Insurance Mediation Directive are concerned. Our regulatory working party has been heavily involved in proposing amendments to the European Commission’s proposed text and will continue to ensure our members’ voices are heard as it makes its way through the lengthy European legislative process.

Reach out for me represents work begun on Biba’s Manifesto for 2013, a key document setting out where we want to focus our activity in the coming months. Looking back shows we have extended our reach dramatically in terms of the high-level contacts we’ve been lobbying and we aim to build on those connections.

Walk on by – something our members could never be accused of. The Signposting initiative between Biba, the government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) was launched in April and is paying dividends by helping older customers find cover more easily.

Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head – helping the public weather catastrophic losses is one of the biggest issues that brokers, insurers and government face together. One such area, where we need to find a solution fast, is what happens to customers when the ABI’s Statement of Principles on the Provision of Flood Insurance comes to an end in 2013.

What the world needs now – is more insurance and not less. Underinsurance is getting worse as tough economic conditions bite. Encouraging customers to understand and maintain levels of vital protection for their businesses and in their personal lives is a must for our members.

The insurance industry fulfils Promises, promises, but brokers and insurers have got to work better together. Good relations are vital. Our recently created Broker Insurer Forum will see us working together more closely to deal with issues of concern, the first being terms of business agreements.

To all the girls I’ve loved before – yes, we’ve all been to a Biba conference and know where too much hospitality can lead. 

Undeniably we have some Magic moments behind us, but plenty more lie ahead.

Vannessa Young, London market region secretariat and compliance co-ordinator, Biba.