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Berkley Insurance Australia

NIBA project sets out 2025 goals for broking industry

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The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has shared with members the outcome of a strategic project that focuses on the future of the industry amid a raft of challenges including regulatory pressures.

CEO Dallas Booth says a webinar on Monday discussed the Broking in 2025 project, and participating broker members heard from the peak body on actions they can consider to ensure their businesses remain viable and strong.

Incoming CEO Philip Kewin, who will start later this month with Mr Booth to retire on October 31 after the transition, took part in the webinar as well.

Mr Booth says there are no plans as yet to release a report on the project, which started two years ago and sets out the four core objectives of what NIBA hopes it can help the industry to achieve.

The four objectives are to increase levels of professionalism across the industry, solidify brokers’ positions as trusted risk advisers to clients, as trusted partners to underwriters and capital providers, as well as advisers to government on general insurance and risks facing communities.

Brokers heard during the webinar that it is crucial they are regarded as competent, professional, ethical and professionals who act with high integrity.

“The key findings from the project are in relation to what it means for broking firms, and the clusters,” Mr Booth told insuranceNEWS.com.au today. “We can present these recommendations to our members, and to the industry now.

“We can't direct firms as to how to act and how to operate but this is the advice coming from the NIBA Board as to what needs to be done for the industry to be successful in 2025.

“It's now up to the member firms and in many cases, individual brokers to take account of the recommendations.”

The recommendations include ways to implement strategies to help brokers strengthen further their roles as “trusted advisers” of clients.

During the webinar, NIBA President Dianne Phelan questioned if intermediaries might refuse to call themselves insurance brokers by 2025 because their role already encompasses so much more than brokering insurance deals.

Mr Booth says it’s a “valid observation” from Ms Phelan.

“I think it reflects the thinking about the broader positioning of broking,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “I think what [she] is referring to is that insurance brokers do more than [taking a client’s business to the market].

“And the relationship between the broker and the client is not just the broking role. It’s actually advice and guidance on risk and risk management. [That] is more accurate. Now what word is used to attach to that, we’ll have to let that emerge.”

He says the Broking in 2025 project came about after NIBA Vice President Ward Dedman in 2019 flagged the need for the industry take control of its destiny in the face of external challenges such regulatory reforms and potential changes in the economy.

“He started to ask the question ‘shouldn’t we be taking control of our own destiny and shouldn’t we work out what our destiny should be, and work out what needs to be done to achieve that destiny, to be successful as a profession, to be successful as insurance brokers and to be successful in terms of looking at advising and guiding and assisting clients’,” Mr Booth said.