Developments in technology, sharper professional standards and the changing relationships between brokers, insurers and customers emerged as the key concerns at this year’s Insurance Times Broker Forum.
Insurance Times’s much anticipated annual Broker Forum provided a riveting insight into the forces that have shaped the marketplace today and the many challenges that lie ahead. The event last Wednesday also saw the formal launch of ‘Fair Fees: Brokers won’t pay for banks’, an Insurance Times campaign roundly backed by the forum’s participants.
Chaired by assistant editor David Blackman, the event was held in the Macdonald Burlington hotel in Birmingham. Highlights included rival players interviewing key industry chiefs and lively debates on the most pressing issues affecting the sector.
Acturis chief executive Theo Duchen painted a somewhat gloomy picture when he explained the current situation regarding rates and premiums in the broker economy. He said average premiums have fallen from 2007 levels, and were no higher in any class apart from liability. Moreover, he added that after a false dawn early last year, premiums have slumped in many areas. This reduction, he said, has been mainly driven by new business and in packages and commercial classes.
Duchen concluded that while there have been some signs of stabilisation – or even small increases – in average premiums, it was too early to tell whether this would have any real or sustained impact.