The trade body’s Society of Insurance Broking says that ‘improving the reputation of the insurance sector is a key priority’ if professionals want to boost customer trust in the sector

The Chartered Insurance Institute’s (CII) Society of Insurance Broking (SIB) has urged brokers to make changes to their businesses “to ensure that the insurance broking profession flourishes in the long-term” and improves “consumer trust”.

The SIB’s latest report flagged four key areas of reputational risk that it believes brokers need to tackle in order to help bolster customer trust in the industry and improve public perceptions.

The first risk surrounds diversity and inclusion – the SIB believes the sector’s “lack of diversity and inclusion has impacted the perception of its ability to address the needs of society”, so “improving the diversity of the profession will directly benefit the reputation of insurance brokers and drive better outcomes for customers and clients”.

Secondly, the society feels the “lack of mandatory qualification requirements in the insurance broking sector is identified as a reputational risk”. To counteract this, the SIB proposed a consensus on qualification requirements and professional standards.

The SIB also found recommending unrated insurers to be a reputational risk for broking professionals – the report said that ratings boost consumer trust because “they provide an assessment of the stability of an insurer and their ability to pay claims to policyholders”.

In response to this, the SIB recommended that it should be made a legal requirement to use rated insurers or an increased levy should be introduced for brokers that use unrated insurers.

Lastly, the SIB identified commission-based renumeration as “a source of distrust for consumers who view commission-based work as a possible conflict of interests”. The SIB’s report pointed to increased transparency as a solution here.

Changes need to be made

Speaking on these findings, Liz Foster, non-executive director of the Society of Insurance Broking, said: “Every day, I see examples of brokers going above and beyond for their customers and clients, but we must always strive to do more.

“Improving the reputation of the insurance sector is a key priority for insurers, brokers and all those working within the profession.

“I believe that there are changes which need to be implemented to ensure that the insurance broking profession flourishes in the long-term, and the predominant factor here is consumer trust.”

The SIB is a professional body that aims to engender consumer confidence and trust in the broking profession.