Bruce Millington does an excellent Pontius Pilate impression in attacking Andy Homer and whitewashing brokers, with the same degree of justification that Pilate had (Letters, 15 May, Insurance Times).
None of us in insurance can absolve ourselves of blame for the current state of the market and the management of insurers are far from innocent, but their quest for growth is only part of the equation.
It is simplistic and absolutely typical in my experience of brokers to say that insurers set the prices so it's their fault. Where was broker support for the FOC and the AOA in their attempts to ensure that a strong and stable market existed for the future good of all?
Look back over time if you want to assess whether these bodies were profiteering cartels. In fact, they collapsed under the weight of the pressure of brokers placing business elsewhere for higher commission and cheaper premiums, under allegations of market fixing etc. Nothing has changed since then
If Millington likes to demonstrate that he has supported insurers in their attempts to get premiums to economic levels and has placed or kept business with them in the long term interest of the market and preferred to lose it to other brokers rather than place the business at uneconomic terms then we will know we are in the presence of a unique individual in the broking fraternity.
The fact is that markets behave in the way they do as a result of a very complex set of interactions between us all. All that has happened is that supply and demand laws have again asserted themselves. Whose fault is that?
If Millington had advised his clients that the premiums they were enjoying were uneconomic, unsustainable and they should run their lives and businesses in a manner that anticipated these levels of premium, he could look them in the eye and be upbeat about the bonanza of the past at insurers' expense rather than gloomy about the present and scathing about the future.
Of course he didn't and of course he can't. But, if he doesn't realise the part that he and his colleagues have played, he will continue to fuel the roller coaster of general insurance, just as surely as will the growth-hungry chief executives of insurance companies.
Keep it up Andy
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