Owen Thomas, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, tells us about the 3 ‘R’s that make trade bodies so valuable to the insurance industry.
The UK insurance sector is the world’s leading exporter of insurance and long-term savings, selling £13 billion more to the rest of the world than we buy from them. The sector is also one of the UK’s most productive, adding more than £40 billion a year to the economy and helping Britain thrive (1). Lloyd’s, the accepted birthplace of insurance, has become the world’s leading market for specialist insurance and is technically the only insurance marketplace. Central to its long and colourful history, its agreed motto Fidentia, Latin for "confidence" which is closely related to the Latin phrase uberrima fides, or "utmost good faith"- representing the relationship between underwriters and brokers (2).
It is the underlying sentiment of this tacit agreement that continues to govern our industry and encourages a real sense of community. By co-operating with each other - focusing on the success of the collective rather than any individual stakeholder – we safeguard our industry’s longevity as well as our customers’ best interests. This cooperation is at the core of the working practices of our trade bodies, which promote a non-competitive environment for discourse, debate and resolution of the challenges facing our industry.
Trade bodies play a vital role within the marketplace as they represent and act as the mouthpiece for each part of the industry. They enable their members to raise issues, lobby for change and ensure that the most pressing subjects are discussed. Topics may range from regulation and legislation, to best practice and pricing. Most recently for example, trade bodies have been invaluable in helping their members steer a path through the complex trading situations driven by the pandemic.
As a premium finance company, providing our service to partners across all parts of the insurance industry, we can achieve a greater reach and louder voice by working alongside trade bodies. They provide an excellent platform to understand the collective view of their members, not at an individual or company level but from an industry one.
Where specific product niches exist in the market, trade bodies often bring key stakeholders together to share information and add additional legitimacy and credibility to emerging product areas.
We have found, in particular in 2020, that our products and services have relevance to a wider group of stakeholders than just our existing base of industry partners – trade bodies have played an essential role in ensuring relevant messages and support have been delivered to the right area of the market.
“The success of the whole industry is in many ways more important than the success of any individual players within it.” Owen Thomas, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer
By working closely with trade bodies like the ABI and BIBA, we can call on them to sense check our propositions and products; request their members to test our products and confirm whether they’re fit for purpose or if any refinements are needed. In this way, we can deliver customised solutions that will work for customers, brokers, affinity partners, insurers and MGAs.
A further example of reciprocal value is possible as the ABI continue to explore motor and home pricing with the FCA. We believe we can add substantial value by sharing our own insights and experiences in dealing with millions of customers and a cross-section of industry partners.
The insurance market has had a tumultuous year with a lot of press coverage especially during the pandemic. The dual pricing paper, customer payment holidays and of course the business interruption test case. The knock-on effect of which has undoubtedly been an increasingly negative view of the industry from both businesses and consumers.
Yet, the insurance market continues to find a way to trade and survive. Working together is critical to address consumer confidence - a key part of achieving this is the influence of trade bodies as agents of positive change and an unbiased voice.
“Trade bodies have helped the industry to move with the evolving needs of customers throughout the history of insurance. I can only see their influence growing as we look to re-establish the trust and credibility of consumers post COVID 19.” Owen Thomas, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer
Premium Credit are proud to work with the following trade bodies:
- British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) – representing insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers
- Association of British Insurers (ABI) - representing insurers and providers of long-term savings
- Managing General Agents' Association (MGAA) - representing Managing General Agents (MGA)
- Airmic – representing corporate insurance buyers and those involved in Enterprise Risk Management
- Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) – representing insurance professionals