Former Insurance Times editor Chris Wheal remembers a giant of the industry

When, in March 2000, we began an article – “The obituary writers on Insurance Times have begun penning their epitaphs to the General Insurance Standards Council” – it was because of one man, Andrew Paddick, who died last week.

Love him or loathe him – few felt anything in between – he demanded respect. He saw that insurers refusing to sell through brokers they did not endorse – the General Insurance Standards Council’s (GISC) proposed voluntary regime in its simplest form – was anti-competitive. The Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB), which was Andrew Paddick in effect, proved it so in court, overturning the Office of Fair Trading and killing the infant GISC.

He was not afraid of regulation, allowing only brokers registered with the Insurance Brokers’ Registration Council to be members. It was the poor regulation that allowed insurers to sell through “consultants” and “intermediaries” who did not have to register and met much lower standards, that bothered him. And this was when ABI director general Mark Boleat was insisting general insurance needed no regulation, coming up with the insurer-dominated, light-touch GISC as a sop to fend off the government. Paddick wanted a fair regime for all.

Paddick had a number of business interests, such as Broker Direct, which his critics considered a conflict of interest with his IIB role. And, while many in the industry enjoyed a drink or two, his occasional over-indulgence was always singled out.

But he was like a terrier, snapping at the insurers’ heels. They knew his bite was equal to his bark. Many brokers liked what he achieved, even if they could not bring themselves to join the IIB.

He was a small man who, in many ways, was a giant. His death may signal the beginning of the end of the IIB.

Tributes from colleagues

Graham Gomm, IIB chairman: “Andrew had tremendous enthusiasm and devotion to the cause of helping insurance brokers, even those who didn’t agree with his views had to admire his determination to succeed.”
Noel Pettersen, chief executive of the National Insurance Brokers Association of Australia: "He was always dogged, determined and fair in his efforts to bring about the best solutions for brokers."
Mike Williams, managing director of UKGI: "I have known Andrew since I joined Biba in 1995. It was perceived that we had a pretty frosty relationship in the early days when we crossed swords quite often and quite publicly, but privately we got on very well."
Derek Thornton, Biba chairman: “He represented the interests of the insurance industry with great conviction for many years.”