Industry body is working with FCA, Cabinet Office and industry disability champion Johnny Timpson
An Access to Insurance Committee has been formed by the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) to continue its focus on improving consumer access to insurance through initiatives such as the recent protection signposting agreement.
Chaired by Caroline Barr, formerly a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, the committee also includes BIBA executive director Graeme Trudgill, alongside Johnny Timpson, who leads the Access to Insurance Working Group, and representatives from insurers, brokers, charities and other industry stakeholders.
In recent years, BIBA has worked alongside the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to implement mandatory signposting to suitable travel insurance options and January saw the introduction of the 'Agreement on access to protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions and disabilities', backed by the Cabinet Office. As well as this, BIBA's 2020 manifesto was titled ‘Access'.
Graeme Trudgill said: "The group we formed as part of the signposting worksteam in the Access to Insurance Steering Group led by Johnny Timpson was highly productive and, as its work completed, we agreed we should harness the determination and ambition of the group to drive forward wider access to insurance. BIBA was delighted to be able to facilitate this."
BIBA said the main aim of the committee is to help consumers access different types of insurance where they face challenges due to age, medical conditions or disability or because of prevailing conditions.
Its functions will include operational oversight of the protection signposting agreement and its services as well as the forthcoming travel insurance directory from BIBA, while reviewing performance and taking opportunities to promote their awareness.
Caroline Barr added: "We have a fabulous opportunity to represent insurance as a force for good, by collaborating to help consumers. Signposting means that firms can point a customer to assistance even where they themselves cannot find cover for them. What we need is more awareness of signposting and more collaboration. This can be a game-changer for many facing difficulty and is why I was delighted to be asked to chair the committee."
Johnny Timpson said: "Personally, as the Cabinet Office Disability and Access Champion for the Insurance Industry and Profession plus a CII Insuring Women's Futures Programme expert panel member, I welcome the establishment of the new BIBA Access To Insurance Committee and its commitment to improving signposting to aid all consumers, especially those with visible and/or non-visible disabilities and/or health conditions, better access the insurance information, advice, cover and outcomes that they need."
Last month, COVER launched a ‘Sign up to Signposting' campaign. We took a look an in-depth look at the recent protection agreement and explore how signposting is being done here.