Don't panic - the conference is covered, says Biba's head of technical services

Peter Staddon, Biba head of technical services:

Where has the last year gone? Maybe the idea about time speeding up as you get older is true. I have only a few sessions to chair this year, other than the great Biba membership debate, and that is environmental liability and insurers’ security. Two subjects close to my heart.

As a broker for some 26 years before joining Biba (yes I had a proper job once) I have been organising our insurance requirements for conference. I’ve been looking at cover not only for cancellation and curtailment, but also the liability as required by the Manchester Central venue and the gala dinner.

Even after all this time, I am occasionally amazed at the variations in pricing and quality between quotes. I have arranged, well Biba’s insurance broker has arranged, cover for the equipment at our gala dinner. The original quote provided by the main insurer to include the dinner was close to £2,000. Biba’s broker arranged the cover for under £400 and covering all risks too. Of course, price wasn’t the only factor, the level of cover was very important too - something that we are continually telling the national media and consumers.

It shows that that there is the potential for people to have the wool pulled over their eyes when searching for insurance. My experience goes to prove the value of a professional broker and how their efforts can deliver value to the customer – which is the theme of Biba’s conference this year.

The rest of my week has been taken up with finalising the arrangements for the BERR/Treasury visit to Biba to discuss with brokers about the trade credit insurance “top-up” scheme. Something that all of our clients will be interested in especially as banks are currently calling in loans and cancelling overdrafts.

Our failing is that we don’t shout or tell the client enough about what we do for them. Communication with our client on a regular basis is vital so that they know how we can help them manage their risks, what we are doing on their behalf and why. As brokers we regularly add value by the bucket load. It's time for us to start making more noise - I look forward to seeing you at conference and raising a hullabaloo.

For more Biba countdown, see the RELATED ARTICLES on the right.