Yesterday, at the NIBA Convention opening plenary, NIBA President Graham Stevens laid out plainly the importance of NIBA as the voice of brokers.
“During the year, broking faced many challenges following proposals put forward by Governments and Regulators, NIBA has fought and has been successful in negotiating outcomes for the benefit of Brokers in all these challenges which if not won would have had huge operational and financial consequences for us as brokers,” he said.
For example, FOFA legislation to abolish commissions – NIBA was able to show concerns giving rise to these reforms did not arise in general insurance broking, and a carve out was achieved for our profession.
Another example, was the proposal for industry funding of ASIC. This would have cost industry $90 million each year. Brokers’ AFS licences could have risen from around $800 to as high as $11,000. But NIBA stopped that.
And proposals that required brokers to have a university degree to deal with clients – at a cost of $28,000 plus time away from the office – NIBA too achieved a carve out for general insurance broking, Stevens said.
“If someone questions you about what they get out of NIBA, simply quote them on the tens of thousands of dollars that they have just saved … resulting from just [that] one single issue,” he pointed out.
“The problem we face as an industry is that governments, and the people that run them, do not understand or value what you do,” Stevens noted. “NIBA is your voice and I can assure you NIBA is fighting every day to make sure you are heard.”
Perhaps Steven Ball summed it up best, according to Stevens, who when asked what NIBA meant to him, said “Calm waters … no surprises”.