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Industry unites on access to insurance committee

Industry unites on access to insurance committee

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has formed an industry committee to help consumers access insurance.

The Access to Insurance Committee (AIC) aims to help consumers access different types of insurance where they face challenges due to age, medical conditions or disability, or because of prevailing conditions.

It will provide oversight of the signposting services provided under the existing agreement on age and insurance, which helps older customers access motor and travel insurance, and the protection agreement.

Under the protection agreement insurers and intermediaries will refer clients they cannot serve themselves to specialists who can, or to another a recognised signposting service.

The agreement, predominantly for people with pre-existing medical conditions and disabilities, was made in January among 26 signatories comprising regulated providers and supporting bodies.

Caroline Barr, BIBA board member and chairwoman of the committee, said: “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 AIC.”

The AIC will also oversee a forthcoming travel insurance directory provided by BIBA for those with pre-existing medical conditions looking for travel insurance.

According to BIBA, the committee will evaluate and review performance of the agreements and processes, as well as help promote signposting awareness and participation across the financial services and charity sectors.

Representatives from insurers, brokers and charities are among the committee members.

A survey published by charity Mental Health UK last week found the majority of respondents affected by mental illness did not know where to get independent advice on different types of insurance.

The survey came after life insurance broker LifeSearch’s CEO, Tom Baigrie, urged advisers to signpost protection customers they are unable to help to advisers who can.

chloe.cheung@ft.com