Determined to innovate evolve and thrive

Steve White, CEO of BIBA, reflects on the 2018 conference and explains why innovation needs to be a keystone of broker strategy.

As you might imagine, the BIBA conference is a major annual project for our organisation and for many of the firms that support the event. The standard of the exhibition grows year on year, and we really have to appreciate what our exhibitors put into the event. What is even more pleasing is the increasing amount of feedback relating to the sheer amount of business that now gets done during the exhibition.

The conference programme is something we aim to make better and better each year. Having industry figures such as head of the FCA Andrew Bailey address brokers is of great value, a seminar programme that covers a wide range of issues is of real interest. And, of course, having a closing keynote speaker such as astronaut Chris Hadfield not only speak elegantly and amusingly about his experiences in space but also link these directly to our conference theme, “Innovate, Evolve and Thrive” really puts us on the map.

On the subject of innovation, Martha Lane Fox certainly whetted our appetite for embracing innovation, which was further sharpened as she announced the winner of our first BIBA Hackathon, Team Spotlight, which came up with the idea of an app to help brokers find and understand the technology that might help their business.

Embracing innovation is a key part of BIBA’s campaigning. The insurance sector is developing at a pace and innovation is happening everywhere – and happening faster than ever before. Insurance brokers will need to look for ways to stay ahead and to evolve systems and processes in order to thrive.

In 2017 BIBA created a cross-industry working group on innovation with a remit to:

  • Promote greater awareness of insurtech development trends, opportunities and issues
  • Identify the areas that would benefit most from innovation and tech-led change as well as issues that actually inhibit innovation
  • Share this feedback widely

Given these commitments, we knew the Hackathon would be right for the 2018 conference. It and the Innovation Zone were quite a departure from our usual conference schedule. I’m delighted to say that the feedback was very positive. Without doubt the two areas really resonated with our attendees and wider audiences and brought to life how accessible insurtech and innovation can be.

Of course, the conference was only a small step on the innovation journey. The work of our innovation group will continue to push ahead with ways to help brokers take advantage of this revolution. We are working with the government to ensure that insurance firms can take advantage of its Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). We are engaging with the FCA to streamline the regulatory approval process for start-ups to enable them to get to market more quickly. And the next step for the innovation group will be a solution with the working title of “The innovation dating service”.

We are seeing circumstances where brokers are keen to embrace insurtech to push their business forward, but simply cannot find the right match. While the hack solution will help brokers identify what tech might be helpful, where do they go next? We want to deliver an easy tech-driven service to marry brokers with insurtech firms, and we are confident that our solution will be available to brokers soon.

These are exciting times for the insurance sector and I for one am looking forward to helping it evolve and thrive.

Click here to find out more about BIBA’s innovation work.


By Steve White, CEO, BIBA





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