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BIBA 2016 breaks records

At a glance

  • This year’s BIBA conference drew record numbers of brokers and other insurance professionals
  • Zurich’s stand was busier than ever, as we shared ideas with brokers on how we can work together to win more business
  • We look back at some of the highlights and hot topics of BIBA 2016

Record numbers of brokers flocked to Manchester for two days of networking, with BIBA’s Chairman, Lord Hunt, encouraging the industry to find strength in unity.

Insurer stands teemed with enthusiastic risk professionals, keen on expanding their knowledge, growing their network of contacts, and picking up a few freebies along the way.

The two-day event also played host to a number of interesting talks and fringe sessions, including Zurich’s own panel discussion entitled ‘Should corporate responsibility matter to brokers?’

Another record-breaking year

Conference attendance reached new heights, with more than 7,000 people registering to attend, including 4,425 brokers.

This is a hugely encouraging sign, and a testament to the enthusiasm within the sector.

BIBA

The Zurich stand was the busiest it has ever been, with brokers lining up to discuss ways in which we can strengthen our relationships and work together to win more business.

Tackling key industry topics

Lord Hunt praised the role of brokers in his opening address, and looked back at key industry successes during his tenure, including: the Insurance Act, Insurance Distribution Directive, and the recently published Code of Good Practice to support vulnerable customers.

Steve White, CEO of BIBA, highlighted key calls for action over the coming year and was keen to address the recent Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) increases in the Government’s last two budgets. “Insurance is not a luxury – this is a tax on customers,” he told a packed exhibition hall.

This year’s message for brokers

Our key theme this year was “making our expertise more accessible”, and we shared some of our latest developments with brokers.

Personal Lines sees an investment to support our trading relationships with dedicated development underwriters for motor, home, travel, HNW and yacht. Our newly introduced Portfolio Development Underwriters are also now in place, and will cultivate and manage new deal opportunities, ensuring speedier decision-making.

In Commercial Lines, we have been busy implementing a major transformation, which focuses on greater branch empowerment across our 8 regional branches, with quicker decision-making in branch, ultimately making Zurich easier to trade with.

The Insurance Act a hot topic

BIBA’s key objectives for the coming year:

  • Helping vulnerable customers access insurance
  • Making advice widely available to customers to enable them to make informed decisions
  • Helping SMEs insure against flood risk
  • Addressing issues of underinsurance among SMEs, following the FCA’s thematic review of insurance claims
  • Improving awareness of the value of cyber insurance protection, and encouraging its uptake
  • Achieving proportionate and cost-effective regulation, including reform of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
  • Ensuring the smooth implementation of the Insurance Act and the Insurance Distribution Directive

The Insurance Act was a popular discussion topic this year, with brokers pleased to hear about our market-leading approach. Where a non‐deliberate or non‐reckless non‐disclosure would have resulted in us charging an additional premium if the risk had been fairly presented, we will settle the claim(s) in full and charge your customers that additional premium. This will give your customers total confidence that we will pay their claim(s).

Charging additional premium is not a right that is provided for by the Act. We believe that our additional premium approach should, in most situations, be more favourable to your customers when compared to the proportionate reduction of claim approach under the Act.

Find out more information on the Insurance Act and its implications in our latest article on the subject or speak to your local Zurich contact.

On the fringe

In addition to a packed schedule of talks and seminars, this year’s BIBA conference also featured a range of fringe sessions, tackling topics aimed at helping brokers improve their businesses.

Alongside sessions such as ‘How brokers can benefit from Flood RE’, we ran our own fringe session that considered whether Corporate Responsibility (CR) should matter to brokers.

Richard Coleman, Managing Director of Zurich Commercial Broker, chaired the discussion, explaining how CR initiatives can have wide-ranging benefits, from differentiating the marketplace to aiding recruitment efforts. He highlighted the fact that many ‘millenials’ – the next generation of employees – want to work for an employer that has a good CR track record.

Kay Allen OBE, Founding Director of Trading for Good, joined Richard’s discussion. Kay, who advises the Government on CR, reflected on CR’s ability to establish a different kind of narrative with customers, and strengthen a brand’s reputation, leading to more business as a result.

It was great to feel the energy around the Zurich stand and catch up with so many key brokers all in one place.”
Richard Coleman, Managing Director of Zurich Commercial Broker

Brokers who attended the session were invited to contribute, with many confirming that their customers are beginning to question them about their CR activity.

As an industry leader in CR, we are enthusiastic about sharing our knowledge and experience to help you. For more information on working together to develop your CR strategy, contact Sophie Timms, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Zurich.

Until next year

“It was a really productive few days in Manchester at this year’s BIBA conference, meeting with hundreds of brokers and insurance sector colleagues,” said Richard.

“It was great to feel the energy around the Zurich stand and catch up with so many key brokers all in one place.

“Our message this year was clear – we are focused on making our expertise more accessible. We have clear appetite across a wide variety of commercial broker products and propositions, and with high levels of branch empowerment, we’ve ultimately made Zurich easier to trade with. That empowerment is real and we are open for business.”

Whether you had a chance to visit the stand during BIBA 2016, or were unable to attend and would like to hear more about how we can work together to win business, please speak to your local Zurich contact.

We look forward to seeing you next year.

Image © Getty

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