The CII’s president backs brokers’ call to action because it would ‘improve the image and professionalism of the sector hugely’
Insurance brokers have called for the regulator to make it mandatory to have qualifications around advising clients on coverage, according to a report published by the Chartered Insurance Institute’s (CII) New Generation Insurance Broking Group for 2021.
The new report, published today (4 July 2022), polled 84 people online who purchased insurance last year. Based on the feedback gathered, the New Generation Insurance Broking Group for 2021 - which includes 40 insurance professionals - concluded that mandatory qualification requirements or a minimum number of years’ experience should be introduced for brokers, similar to the requirements set for insurance professionals by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.
The group felt that this step would help plug an existing knowledge gap in the broking profession, which currently leads to some customers not receiving high quality, professional advice.
Peter Blanc, Aston Lark’s group chief executive and president of the CII, said: “Nothing beats experience, but qualifications should be the basis for building that experience.
”Certificate level qualifications as a minimum for all staff would be my recommendation. It would improve the image and professionalism of the sector hugely.
“We will end up with [a] better quality of staff if everyone has to attain a basic level of qualification in order to be able to help customers.”
The CII’s survey found that 45% of respondents believed that the knowledge of broking staff was the most important factor when choosing a broker - ahead of price.
Meanwhile, 70% of respondents thought a professional insurance qualification was the already the minimum requirement for an insurance broker to operate.
A further 41% believed that accredited qualifications relevant to insurance were the most important measurement of staff knowledge.
Emily Kenna, director of broker Sense Risk Solutions and a member of the CII’s New Generation Insurance Broking Group for 2021, said: “Customer-facing broking staff who join the sector generally enter at the deep end and are required to provide detailed advice to customers, with little to no academic grounding in insurance.
“This presents many issues from a professional indemnity aspect, as well as [reduces] the quality of service that customers receive.”
Feedback from the CII’s survey will be used by the professional body’s board to inform its five-year strategy.
A poll of social media followers engaged with the London Market Group’s London Insurance Life Instagram page, conducted on 14 July 2021, revealed that 58% of respondents considered insurance just as prestigious a profession as law or accountancy.
Meanwhile, 49% of these Instagram followers felt that mandatory qualification requirements would have made them more likely to want to join the insurance sector - but 54% added that perceived time commitments involved in completing mandatory qualifications were the biggest talent attraction hurdle.
Kenna added: “If we truly want to put the customer first, we must make our sector a profession by introducing mandatory qualification requirements and attract the best talent.”