?Biba goodwill crisis

So at last, “Biba acts in goodwill crisis” (News, 24 May). And about time too.

Many months ago I raised this issue with Biba simply to get some advice as to what it felt might happen in January 2008 and to ask for its advice.

I was told that it had negotiated the original extension with FSA and that it was up to brokers to do something themselves. As far as it was concerned the problem was a minor one and wasn’t on its memberships radar!

Thanks a lot I thought, and we moved on to find our own solution. Now, hey presto, Steve White appears on the horizon like the 7th Cavalry with his bold statement that Biba is “looking at the potential for a solution that may involve the broker setting up a holding company”.

Strangely, when I originally spoke to him along these lines he told me that this course of action was unlikely to be acceptable to

the FSA.

As members we should be able to expect better than this from Biba. I don’t know how many of the 600 brokers mentioned are Biba members, but I suspect a large number will be and would have appreciated Biba’s advice and guidance on what could be a terminal problem for some companies.

For each individual broker to invent his own wheel seems a nonsense. As far as I know Kieran Marsh, of Marsh Corporate Consulting, seems to have been the only person battling with the FSA on this subject.

Having sorted out our own solution my next big decision may be to think twice about paying our Biba renewal fees.

Martin Bellamy

Managing director

Walmsley Commercial

More understanding needed

“Meacher leads call for flood deal” ( News, 17 May) fundamentally misunderstands the role of insurance cover.

While Michael Meacher is right that “insurers have a big part to play” in flood management, ultimately it is the government’s responsibility  to invest adequately in flood defences.

The government has recognised this publicly on several ocassions. The government has also stated that it is committed to the partnership approach with the industry whereby it invests long term in flood management, and,in return, insurers continue to make flood insurance widely available.

Meacher’s reported comments imply that insurers could be bankrupted by large claims and should build up a fund to deal with emergencies.

He is of course wrong on both counts. Insurers are required to manage their exposures and the capital needed to meet likely events.

Greater understanding of climate change impacts and adequate control of develop-ments in high risk areas is needed by government so that insurers can continue to meet FSA rules and customer expectations.

In the coming months the ABI will be stepping up the case for greater government spending on flood defences, and reiterating to politicians why greater central investment will mean long lasting security for Britain's flood vulnerable homeowners. .

Jane Milne,

Head of property insurances