Industry must wise up or pay out

Having grown up in a household which lived by the adage “waste not, want not”, I like to think that I’m already doing something towards helping the environment. I always turn the light out after me. I don’t leave the tap running while cleaning my teeth. I’m careful to recycle.

I realise that these are very small steps, however. My resolution for 2008 is to get a better understanding of climate change and how our actions affect the environment. For many it’s tempting not to tackle climate change head on because it’s too difficult and someone else will do the job for you. That laissez-faire attitude serves only to increase the frustration of those who have decided to involve themselves and work towards a resolution.

We know the feeling. Earlier this week the regulator made the decision not to mandate commission disclosure in the commercial general insurance market, at this stage.

Thanks should go to BIBA members who played a major part in identifying those costs and provided information to the forensic review. BIBA’s members’ efforts were recognised by the FSA, which has cited the potential costs as a major influence in their decision not to mandate disclosure for the moment.

The issue of commission disclosure hasn’t gone away. Personally, I believe we all need to be confident about and able to justify our remuneration as this will define the future market where professionalism and profitability go hand-in-hand. This is the next stage of the ongoing discussion.

Reliable information is a vital component for informed discussion. One of my trusted sources of information on the environment will be the ClimateWise initiative that BIBA has signed up to recently. This is an insurance industry initiative in which signatories have pledged to rigorously scrutinise the risks caused by climate change and to support the cause of climate protection.

Climate changes presents growing commercial risks and opportunities for companies in the insurance sector, and may also affect future company performance. As a result of BIBA’s association with ClimateWise we hope to help members understand the threat that climate changes poses to them and how they can respond.

Who knows with time, I may be able to discuss intelligently methods of carbon offsetting and explain the intricacies of emissions trading – forensic reviews of commission disclosure in the commercial market will pale in comparison.