Conference breaks more records as UK insurance sector comes together

The conference director of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) said this year’s annual conference event which opened in Manchester today is set to be the biggest ever, at a time when brokers were faced with a range of emerging risks.

Emma Chapman told Emerging Risks the increased attendance reflects the market’s need to come together to discuss the risks their clients’ face.

“Last year we had 9,000 people attend the event which was a record and we are on course to beat that figure this year. The exhibition is completely sold it which makes it the biggest insurance exhibition in Europe.”

This year’s theme is What’s Next, and Chapman said the theme was chosen as it was felt now was the time for the industry to look to the future.

“The theme also reflects on our manifesto given the challenges we have identified for our members this year and beyond, such as underinsurance, talent retention, and regulation.”

“This year, figures show that UK brokers deliver £105 billion in gross premiums  and the event allows the sector to showcase its work, meeting with all sides of the market and while networking is a big part of the event a lot of business is also done during the conference.

“Meetings are scheduled, but time and time again we hear it is the chance meeting that suddenly create innovation and opportunity.”

Chapman said the Biba manifesto had identified cyber as the number one risk for its members and their clients.

“We have sought to react to the  fact that cyber is a real concern with the creation of a cyber centre at the event this year,” she explained. “It will enable brokers to understand the risks to their business the risks to their clients and the steps that can be taken to protect them and their business.”

The event will also see the publication of an update to Biba’s survey of members in insurer service levels. Once against the association has collaborated with Gracechurch to deliver the update with the company questioning  brokers as to how they view the service levels they receive from their insurers.

“Brokers say it remains a challenge,” said Chapman. “We will be getting more specifics during the conference so we can feed back  to the insurers. I can say there is still more to be done but it is improving.”

“The energy in the exhibition hall is palpable again this year. There is a real buzz and you can see how the brokers look forward to the chance to meet with insurers and look to highlight the question they and their clients have about how they can manage their risks and work with underwriters to create new solutions to the new risks that we see in areas such as the use of technology in business.”