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Broker Covid-19 Insight - BIBA

British Insurance Brokers Association

 

Society of Insurance Broking - Covid-19 Insights 

Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger businesses have seen sharp increases in the cost of insurance recently. Rates were rising quickly in many areas before the pandemic struck in March 2020, but the crisis has accelerated the trend, in addition prompting some insurers to restrict cover and, in some extreme cases, forcing government to intervene to ensure an affordable supply.


EMPLOYERS’ AND PUBLIC LIABILITY 

At the end of May 2020 at HM Treasury’s request, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) surveyed members to gauge the state of the UK liability market and whether changes could hamper the government’s plans to reopen or strengthen key sectors of the economy. 

The results revealed that Covid-19 exclusions were appearing on new business and renewal across many classes of business with more than half of respondents being notified by insurers to withdraw or restrict cover. The survey highlighted care homes, retail, hospitality, leisure, travel, cleaners and event organisers as being the sectors hardest hit by a perfect storm of capacity leaving the market, significant premium increases and Covid-19 exclusions. 

The focus then changed to the care sector – an area of great concern as we continued to learn of care homes having to close because they could not secure insurance. 

In mid-July 2020, another survey of BIBA revealed that few insurance brokers reported being able to secure full cover for a large proportion of their care home clients. 70% of respondents expected application of Covid-19 exclusions in the next six months, 22% expect particular difficulty renewing employers’ and public liability and only 9% anticipate no difficulty with care home renewals. Government intervention on designated settings was most welcome but the market remains extremely challenging. 


PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY 

Before the pandemic struck, BIBA had already been leading an industry discussion with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to solve a crisis within the professional indemnity market for fire safety engineers and other professionals involved in the remediation of buildings with unsafe cladding. 

We called for an increase in the cladding remediation fund. Government has now tripled the fund to £5bn and announced a commitment to work towards a targeted, state-backed, indemnity scheme for qualified professionals unable to obtain professional indemnity insurance for the completion of EWS1 forms. However, there is now a growing problem of the availability and affordability of property insurance for high-rise, cladded buildings and are working hard to muster more capacity. 

Competition for business is key to a vibrant market and as a broker, you want to demonstrate to clients you have covered the market in a broking exercise both in terms of carriers and programme design.


STRONG RESPONSE 

The new normal is that the majority of risks have now been presented to the market electronically with additional dialogue by mobile or video call meetings. I believe that overall, technology has responded well. It has brought some logistical advantages, particularly where meetings are needed with the client and insurer at short notice. However, I really hope that Covid-19 does not end the face-to-face meetings which have so long been a vital and enjoyable side of the insurance market. It is especially important as we move into winter, that we take time to think about the wellbeing of ourselves and our teams. It will be a tough end to the year from a market 

As the market becomes more selective, clients must work with their brokers to agree a clear strategy to engage with the market to articulate how their risk is better managed than their peers. The quality of risk presentation by the broker has never been more important in this process to ensure the best terms are secured from the market. A disciplined timetable for market engagement is crucial. Renewal timeframes are generally becoming longer which means you must start the whole renewal or rebroking process far earlier with more preparation of data. 

 



Originally posted by The Society of Insurance Broking

This guide is for information purposes and based on sources we believe are reliable, the general risk management and insurance information is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any individual circumstance and cannot be relied upon as such.