It is the first time Biba’s Young Ambassadors featured in the Manifesto

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) launched its 2019 manifesto today in the Houses of Parliament, coinciding with the UK government’s “meaningful vote” on Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement.

The UK’s impending departure from the European Union (EU) has created “immense uncertainty for insurance brokers and their customers,” according to Biba.

And given the constantly evolving landscape Biba says it means that the manifesto must be reinvented every year. The organisation has therefore proposed a series of calls to action, while also identifying the need to “re-level the broker landscape.”

External factors

This year the manifesto’s theme is how risk can be transferred to insurance despite the uncertainty that businesses, individuals and sectors are up against.

Biba presented this to an audience of ministers, MP’s, Lords, senior government officials and insurance professionals.

It is built on feedback from members who agree that these risks are changing, and it outlines new guidance on terrorism insurance in collaboration with Pool Re as well as information to help clients understand cyber risk.

Graeme Trudgill, BIBA’s executive director explained: “Members have made clear to us that we need to address the impact of external factors such as sweeping changes to market practices, changing regulation and legislation, as well as Brexit that hinder innovation, provision of customer service and opportunities in the insurance broking sector.”

Overall Trudgill was hopeful, stating that there were “positive signs of progress” to help those with challenging insurance needs by creating smarter signposting to appropriate insurance providers and brokers.

Regulatory obligation

BIBA’s chief executive, Steve White agreed that these “challenging times” is when the importance of insurance is at its highest.

He argued: “Insurance brokers can help clients take up opportunities by the provision of suitable insurance, but they sometimes find their time divided between helping clients and managing their regulatory obligations.”

White requested a “period of stability” to allow the time to put requirements in place first, while explaining further that since the FCA began in 2013, it has issued 145 consultation and discussion papers, calls for evidence and a thematic review which “take insurance brokers’ focus away from helping individual and business customers.”

But John Glen MP, the economic secretary to the Treasury added that he is committed to ensuring the UK’s insurance industry maintains its reputation.

He proclaimed: “Insurance brokers are a crucial part of this industry, helping consumers and businesses find the most appropriate policies for them, whilst making a significant contribution to our economy.”

Engaging young brokers

White added that he was proud of the progress being made in the insurance sector with diversity and inclusion.

This included engaging younger brokers, with it being the first time that the Biba Young Ambassadors featured in the Manifesto.

“While our sector, along with all of the UK, is facing a time of unprecedented change we are upbeat about the future. With risk comes opportunity it is a matter of mitigating the risk and grasping the opportunities,” White said.

The firm said that it will help its members “digitally upskill” and navigate the landscape by creating an insurtech “dating-service” to connect them with technology.

Lord Hunt of Wirral, Biba’s chair, added that the intermediary organisation made 30 manifesto calls to action and 26 commitments on the issues affecting general insurance brokers and their customers.

He said: “Acting on these calls and commitments will benefit insurance brokers, members and their customers.”

He said those quoted in the manifesto, which include insurers, ministers, Biba Young Ambassadors and brokers are offering support to help the UK embrace the “tremendous opportunities” ahead.