Manchester is known for its rain, but when the insuring broking community descends on the city every year for the BIBA Conference, the sun always seems to shine. And this year was no different. It was blue skies over Manchester Central.
The pleasant spring weather seemed a fitting backdrop to complement this year’s positive conference theme ‘Leading the way’.
BIBA’s Steve White said the theme was about BIBA promoting brokers as leading the way for customers to obtain professional advice, as well as the sector taking the lead on the application of ‘insurTech’ and that UK insurance companies must continue to lead the way in world financial markets.
Leading the way means different things to people, but it felt like a really fitting theme for the broking industry right now, whether you were at the conference or not. On the whole, brokers I speak to are upbeat about business, and I certainly felt that in Manchester.
I’ve lost count of the amount of BIBA’s I’ve attended personally now. The networking is great and I’m sure many new relationships were established last week in Manchester. It’s often said, we are a people industry. These days tangible business is conducted at BIBA, deals discussed and closed. Decisions are made. Perhaps that’s the reason why BIBA remains one of the largest insurance events in Europe.
I was asked what the conference theme ‘leading the way’ means to me. From a high net worth insurance perspective, I relate it to what Steve White says about brokers providing professional advice. Brokers lead the way when it comes to finding the right policy for their customers. The distribution landscape changes, but one thing stays the same: customers will always seek specialist advice when they have a complex need and brokers will always be able to add value with their expertise.
We make sure that we develop efficient online trading so that brokers have more time to focus on aspects of high net worth insurance that can’t be automated. Such as understanding the complexities behind a risk, ensuring customers’ treasured homes and items are properly protected and of course, personal service.
Brokers help us to develop what we offer – you could say they lead the way for giving us feedback. Broker feedback led to our title of ‘Best Claims Team of the Year’ in the Broker Choice Awards last year. And to learn that brokers had given Home & Legacy Online a 4 star rating in the E-trading survey announcement at BIBA was great. Especially as it came in the same week as we’d implemented changes to our household question set, specifically in response to broker suggestions.
Working with brokers is, and always has been, front of mind for us. The BIBA conference is an essential part of the annual calendar and I can’t see that changing. It’s one of the many ways we stay close to the issues affecting the broking world and even better placed to meet high net worth customer needs.