Associations are great. There we said it and here are three good reasons why your insurance related biz should get involved:
The first is networking of course. As wonderful as Google is, you cannot get all the info you need to make your business run effectively online. Fact is, you get more titbits of useful data, clues about what the trends are, new regulations etc face-to-face. Plus, people like to do business with people they know. Gut instinct still underpins much our human decision-making, so until HAL9000 takes over the world with his AI robot army, we say keep meeting people via trade bodies and associations.
Two, education. Obviously you – or your staff – may fancy getting CII qualifications, pass an apprenticeship course, study with the ABI Academy perhaps, or pass the BIBA Broker Assess course, which brings you up to full speed on things like FCA Know Your Customer rules, money laundering, fraud, ID checking regs and so much more. Insurance is a highly regulated market, so it makes sense to get the best knowledge from industry bodies.
Last, but not least, consider the value of events and conferences. BIBA organises a series of workshops, seminars and themed learning sessions, covering employee wellness, latest compliance issues, cyber cover developments and much more. The BIBA annual event in Manchester is perhaps one of the great networking opportunities within the UK insurance sector, and there are numerous social events that take place for a three evenings around this conference.
Let’s say you’re in a niche company, developing a new insurtech product. Then maybe membership of InsTech London is perfect; Google speaker events, meet-ups with like minded entrepreneurs and pitch events too. How can you not want to be a part of that? In short choosing the right association memberships is vital to developing your business – and it’s tax deductible too. Come on, get your Booking.com head on and start networking.
But don’t take IE’s word for it, here’s some industry feedback;
Bryan Banbury, MD at Russell Scanlon commented;
As well as being Nottingham’s largest independent insurance broker, Russell Scanlan has held the prestigious Chartered Insurance Broker status since 2016. Managing Director, Bryan Banbury, comments on the value of being a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
Russell Scanlan is one of only a handful of brokers in Nottingham to be awarded chartered status with the CII. This really is a coveted badge, a ‘gold standard’ of excellence and integrity for the insurance sector, demonstrating our commitment to delivering the highest professional level of knowledge, advice and ethical practice.
Only a small proportion of brokers nationwide have obtained chartered status, indicating how rigorous and all-encompassing the application is. In order to be granted chartered status, all staff must be members of the CII, which also gives them access to industry-leading intelligence, education and training, to maintain their technical knowledge and expertise as part of their Continued Professional Development. It helps to set us apart from competitors and recognises the hard work and dedication or the whole team to both their personal development and the development of the business.
Being awarded this status means our unique and professional service offering has been officially recognised and our customers can be confident that they have chosen a firm with a strong set of core values and ethical work practices which offers the highest quality advice.
Howard Pepper, MD of broker network Momentum Broker Solutions said;
“It’s essential to have a strong trade body to represent the interest of brokers and their clients. IPT remains a challenge though that BIBA has not been able to overcome. It has risen 6 times from the original rate of 2.3% and now stands at 12%. This is of course an important issue for brokers and their clients and one that I know BIBA are trying to tackle. For the first time in 2020 BIBA has made this a manifesto issue, with a call on government to freeze the IPT rate for the duration of the current parliament.
It’s disappointing when you see their efforts being ineffective. The market standard TOBA which was developed to save time and effort for brokers who currently have to deal with different TOBAs for each agency they hold has seen very little take up from insurers. We remain in a world with far too much time spent on administrative activity which provides no value to clients.
BIBA should be commended for its efforts to build a more gender balanced financial services industry. They campaign on the issue and are leading by example with a good gender balance in their leadership team. Broader diversity within the BIBA executive is however a little disappointing.
Smaller brokers really benefit from being part of something like BIBA to help them stay up to speed and give them a voice in the industry, but there is still more that we can do. Networks like Momentum play an important role in representing the interests of small brokers and encouraging the longer-term growth of the sector as a whole.”