Our Managing Director and Society of Insurance Broking Chair, Kevin Hancock, shares his thoughts on the importance of a united insurance broking sector in order to maintain the highest professional standards during this challenging time.
Professional brokers are trusted advisors to their customers and clients during uncertain times, say the leaders of the Society of Insurance Broking (SIB).
The results of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) recent Business Interruption (BI) test case has placed the spotlight firmly on the insurance profession, but there are opportunities amongst the challenges, said Liz Foster, Non-Executive Director of the SIB, who has also been active in calling for the insurance sector to unite behind sustainable risk management strategies.
“The coronavirus pandemic has created a hugely challenging environment for businesses and individuals in the UK and internationally, and our members have really stepped up to the plate in offering pragmatic advice and support to them during this time. However, there is always more we can do – the next global risk event could be just around the corner, be that another pandemic, environmental disaster, or major cyber or terrorism incident. Insurance brokers should consider what knowledge and skills they need to navigate these potential challenges, and in turn think about how they can assess and improve their advice processes – these actions will ensure they can secure the best outcomes for their customers and clients.”
Ms Foster also detailed how communication skills were particularly important, highlighting the learning the SIB has produced in this area.
“Many brokers, especially those in the early stages of their career, are facing a perfect storm of challenges. The coronavirus pandemic, a hardening market, and the nature of remote working, all pose hard questions to our sector. The ability to communicate clearly, alongside sound technical knowledge, is invaluable. We recently published guidance and learning on effective engagement with customers and clients remotely, and our recent webinar masterclass on managing difficult renewal conversations was one of our most popular ever.”
Kevin Hancock, Chair of the SIB, spoke of the importance of a united sector in maintaining the highest professional standards.
“Business owners and individual clients will have appreciated the degree of clarity and certainty the recent FCA test case has provided. I’ve seen countless examples within our sector of brokers supporting their clients during this time, in particular with understanding the implications and outcomes of a court case that was often complex and technical. This just re-emphasises to me the fundamental value of professional advice – the modern broker is a trusted guide to the buyers of insurance.”
“The broker community can unite behind this key message – the pandemic has emphasised what many in the sector already knew: a professional insurance broker is an essential partner to business in managing and mitigating their risks. Our members strive to maintain the highest levels of skills and knowledge, which in turn allows us to secure the best outcomes for our customers and clients.”
Mr Hancock also looked ahead to next year, and emphasised the importance to the broker community of achieving Chartered status.
“As my colleague Liz notes, brokers are facing a challenging business environment, and many of these issues will continue into 2021. Just as brokers should be trusted advisors to buyers of insurance, the SIB will be a trusted guide to brokers during this time. I look forward to engaging with both our members and our key stakeholders as we move forward.”
“Achieving Chartered status with the CII is a symbol of technical competence and reassures colleagues, peers, and the public of the holder’s commitment to achieving the highest professional standards. In a difficult market, this recognised and respected mark of trust is key to the reputation of our sector.”