Following BIBA 2022 there is much to reflect on and celebrate.
After a 3-year absence it was great to be back in the room with so many partners and friends from the insurance industry. This year’s Conference theme ‘Our Insurance Community’ was evident wherever you looked.
We had the opportunity to listen, learn, debate and deal together - it was hugely enjoyable experience. As a purpose-led business, and BIBA’s only accredited provider of insurance premium finance, we are proud to support our community of partners.
An opportunity to share
It’s always good to share updates with the industry, support one another and build for the future. In the lead up to Conference we announced some news of our own. Cinven, our current private equity owners, reached an agreement with TowerBrook Capital Partners to acquire Premium Credit- subject to regulatory approval. From a day-to-day perspective, it will be business as usual as we continue to deliver growth for our partners and great service for our customers.
During Conference we published our 3rd Annual Insurance Index. Having surveyed consumer, SME and corporate insurance buyers, the report shows that attitudes to lending are changing, with all groups more willing to consider finance than prior years, to meet their insurance needs. We expect this trend to continue especially in the current economic environment giving brokers opportunity to grow business through our multi-award winning premium finance options.
For those visiting the Premium Credit stand we were able to outline future plans and initiatives which will benefit our partners and their customers. Having listened to broker feedback we are investing in enhancements to customer and partner journeys and following a series of pilots we aim to release the first phase of improvements before the end of 2022. The benefits of these enhancements will support partners deliver on their growth ambitions.
Regulation was another hot topic at Conference. In recent years the volume of regulatory output around premium finance has increased massively. There have been papers on the presentation of premium finance; Thematic Reviews; Assessment of Creditworthiness including affordability; Dear CEO letters; forbearance and coronavirus guidance and changes through fair value. A lot has changed and we were able to summarise the latest regulatory developments with those we spoke with.
Sustainability has been an increasingly important aspect of working life since the last in person BIBA Conference. We were able to outline how Premium Credit has evolved its CSR plan into a structured Sustainability Programme, amalgamating all ESG activities from around the business into one coherent story and how Ecovadis, the globally respected ratings platform, has awarded us an improved Silver Award in outlining our ongoing commitment to sustainability.
As our partners grow, so do we. It’s been good to celebrate successes with our community of brokers at Conference. Starting with a clear purpose and strong execution of our strategy, which we call ‘100% Offer’ has been fundamental to the success we’ve helped brokers create. Simply, we are focussed on helping new and existing partners by offering relevant premium finance propositions to every customer. This includes enhancing our technology to ensure we have frictionless digital journeys, market leading partner data and analytics, and an improved relationship model including senior engagement. Combined, this is driving growth and increasing penetration, with Advances in the last 12 months exceeding £4bn- a Premium Credit record!
A strong year ahead
The future may appear uncertain economically and socially but a very positive atmosphere was evident at BIBA 2022. Uncertainty reminds everyone, of the valuable cover that insurance provides and the protection it affords.
From an economic perspective the cost of insurance may be going up in many sectors, in part due to the pandemic, the effects of Brexit and the market hardening, but it’s not all negative news. Premium finance will continue to provide an effective payment option to spread the single cost of insurance into monthly repayments allowing access to cover. With benefits to both personal and commercial lines customers as well as the partner, who unanimously stated that ‘growth’ was their top priority for the year ahead in a recent poll, , we believe it will be a strong year for writing more business.
Socially, the pandemic has had many repercussions. Since we were last together in person for BIBA 2019 it’s hard to imagine now that our venue, Manchester Central, was one of the UK’s Nightingale Hospitals during the height of the Covid-19 crisis. Where we met at our stands during Conference this year, was until recently, a series of temporary medical wards. A sobering thought but a happy reminder that the worst of the pandemic is now behind us and that normality is returning.
Let’s continue the conversation
We can reflect on insights presented by eminent leaders from the insurance industry and further afield. They covered hot topics like the hardening market to ESG, the importance of community, to future insurance provision. Whether you made it to the Conference or not, we are excited to be back in front of partners, strengthening existing relationships and develop new associations that we will continue to build on over the coming weeks, months and years.