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Well, the holiday season is over and it’s back to work and time to push forward for the final quarter of the year.
 
In this month’s edition, we are revisiting  a few new products and product enhancements that we introduced over the summer months, in case you missed them.
 
Gap insurance is a new facility that we are able to provide access to through Building Block Insurance Services. The majority of Gap insurance used to sell via the motor dealership, but since the FCA’s ruling in September 2015 it has opened up the market and provided a great opportunity for brokers. This product not only offers you a potential new income stream, but it protects your customers; if they go elsewhere for gap insurance they may get approached about other insurance products that you arrange for them.
 
Moving onto high-risk liability, are you looking for a market for roofers and scaffolders? If so, take a closer look at Aptus Construction who have an expanding panel of markets they can approach.
 
In ‘Blink Insider’ we hear from Andy Martin, Broker & Distribution Director at Marmalade. Marmalade offers five young driver solutions, are you up to speed?
 
Jason Hulott from SpeedieConsulting shares some tips on building an email database in ‘Broker Promotion' and we highlight the specialist compliance provider, ICS’s latest ‘Hot Topics’ about conduct risk.
 
Finally, many congratulations to Andrew Wright from Appleton Green for topping the August 2017 Manager of the
Month leaderboard with 31 points. This season, Manager of the Month winners will receive a mini football and a bottle of champagne from our key sponsor PolicyPlan. Well done Andy.
 
As ever, please do speak to your Blink IS business development contact and find out about the products and facilities we can provide access to.

Date Added: 25/09/2017 10:12:13



What can I say? It’s August! Lots of people are on holiday, but at least the Premiership football season has kicked off which means the Blink IS Premiership Predict has commenced once again. I am delighted that PolicyPlan remains our key sponsor for another season, thank you for your continued support. We have just under 1,000 people playing - a combination of brokers and product providers and I look forward to asserting my biased commentary over the coming weeks and months – come on EVERTON!
 
We have put together a light issue for August; we feature Optimum Roadside Assistance, who have recently launched a new online fleet breakdown product which is quick, slick and very efficient, we give you advance notice that PolicyPlan are widening their underwriting footprint on Motorhome insurance. 
 
Kevin Slowther from A19 Insurance told me about the increase in sales he has experienced from one of his online brands following a review and subsequent work on the speed, of his website. So we asked our resident digital expert, Jason Hulott from SpeedieConsulting, to put together some top tips so you too can benefit; check it out in ‘Broker Promotion’.
 
In Blink Insider we are pleased to introduce a new face at Blink Intermediary Solutions, Antony Nash, who joins us as our new Business Development Manager for the South Central and South West region.
Finally, in Risk and Compliance, we highlight the new Lloyd’s branding guidelines for any of you who are Lloyd’s Coverholders.
 
The market is ever changing, only this month we have seen a few providers pull out of travel,  a class of business for which we have some great facilities available. Whatever your needs, please do contact your Blink IS business development contact if you have a gap in your product offering; we have access to a fantastic panel of personal and commercial insurance facilities and associated services. 

Date Added: 29/08/2017 11:43:34



Schools out and the holiday season is upon us! My inbox is pinging back “out of office” messages from Brokers and Insurers alike. This is always a quiet period of time where the insurance broking world seems to go on holiday en masse.

If you are not on holiday over the next six weeks, why not pick up the phone to your Blink IS business development contact and arrange a review meeting. We are continually developing new product and facilities with product providers so make sure you are not missing out on some of our recent developments.

We have a packed issue this month; a new product launch with Building Block Insurance Services (BBIS) for GAP Insurance, Home and Motor excess via an online portal; we catch up with Michael Brigden from Insurance Revolution a rapidly expanding, technology-focused broker based in Manchester and Mike Fenton Director from Tansar Holdings, shares his top five dinner guests past and present, I just can’t believe I did not get a spot at the table! 

In Take a Closer Look we feature Cyber Insurance, have you seen Lorega’s offering?

More and more Brokers are telling us that lead generation is tricky, why not try building your own lead generation sources, Jason Hulott from Speedie Consulting offers some top tips. 

From a compliance perspective, last month’s article on GDPR is so relevant at the moment, we have decided to leave it up for another month, so if you did not got chance to read it last month, please do check it out.

Date Added: 25/07/2017 10:54:42



The sun is shining, we are over half way through 2017 and the Premiership Predict has concluded for the season.

Congratulations to Keith Davidson of ABACUS who won May 2017 Manager of the Month and to the overall Manager of the Season winner Robin Gentle also from ABACUS. The runners up were Neil Forrest of JM Glendinning who took the 2nd spot and in 3rd place Tony Buckingham from Buckingham Insurance.

We will be open for registration soon for the 2017/2018 season, so do encourage your colleagues who did not play last season to take part.

Inside this issue, we introduce a new face at Kindertons, Angela Nicholson, who is Head of Brokers; in Broker Viewpoint we catch up with Colin Merenda, Managing Director of Merenda insurance, a local broker with a risk history based in Essex.

Jason Hulott from Speedy Consulting offers some useful advice and a great offer on insurance web content; we can provide you with access to great products and facilities, but you need to market them.

Our product of the month is a seasonal one, PolicyPlan’s motorhome insurance facility (I used to own one you know). A great niche to consider marketing with lots of cross sell opportunities. If you’re struggling for a good market for roofers and scaffolders, look no further than Aptus High Risks Construction, who have recently extended their panel with a new, highly competitive market.

Finally, our Head of Risk and Compliance, Barry Holmes introduces GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) legislation which is fast-approaching and is going to affect us all.

As ever, please do keep engaging with your Blink IS Business Development contact, we are currently working on a number of exciting products and facilities, so make sure you don’t miss out.

Date Added: 26/06/2017 16:52:46



Another month goes by, I have been out and about a lot what with broker visits in the North East, BIBA 2017 and a great day on the Transpennine Real Ale Trial which provided the perfect setting to network 30 brokers with a number of our product providers.

Those of you who went to BIBA 2017, I hope that you found it useful and came away brimming with schemes and ideas to continue thriving. At Blink we had a good few days, the stand was very busy and it was great to catch up with so many of you.

As ever the key is to follow up on speculative conversations, so if you have any products and facilities you wish to set up, please do engage with your Blink IS Business Development Contact.

Inside this issue, we caught up with Richard Sharman, Director at NCI Vehicle Rescue, the providers of Optimum Roadside Assistance. Richard’s dream dinner guests past and present consist of a TV presenter/mathematician, a comedian, entrepreneur, actor and a dearly departed pro footballer, imagine the conversations at the dinner table.

Claire Philbin, Director at J Willey & Co, a regional broker with two outlets one based in Pontefract and one in Barnsley shares her views and challenges in 2017.

We highlight ABACUS’s RPO magazine in case you have missed the latest edition which focuses on unoccupied properties.

Jason Hulott shares his views and expertise on getting the most out of WordPress in promoting your brokerage and our very own Barry Holmes, Head of Risk and Compliance for Iris Insurance Brokers shares his thoughts on CPD learning and ensuring you take personal responsibility for it.

As ever, please do keep engaging with your Blink IS Business Development Contact, we are currently working on a number of exciting products and facilities, so make sure you don’t miss out.

Date Added: 25/05/2017 14:14:29



Get the most out of BIBA 2017


‘Connections’ is the theme for BIBA’s (the British Insurance Brokers’ Association) 2017 Conference & Exhibition to be held at Manchester Central on 10 & 11 May with Steve White, BIBA’s Chief Executive, commenting in a press release: “We’ve chosen the theme ‘Connections’ to encompass both the challenges we face and the strengths we can demonstrate to succeed as an industry in the foreseeable future”.


It will be, as always, a fantastic event with the opportunity to learn, discuss, network and connect. Speakers at the event include legendary Olympian and Heptathlete, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill who, in conversation with the event’s host, BBC presenter Fiona Bruce, will give an insight into her athletics career which saw her win Olympic gold and silver medals and numerous world championships.
Here we share our top eight tips on how to make the most out of the event.


Twitter
Follow (and post about) BIBA on Twitter #biba2017

Diarise seminars and workshops
View the BIBA conference timetable here and diarise the times of any of the free workshops and seminars you don’t want to miss. You can then build in meetings around them.

Connect
A few days before, post on LinkedIn and other work-related social media platforms you may use to tell people you are attending the event and ask if anyone wants to meet up – this can be a great way to re-connect with old colleagues, contacts and prospects.

Maximise your time
Plan your route around BIBA – if there are certain exhibitors you want to meet up with, make sure you know where the stands are and work your way around the event in order.

Maximise your time
Arrange to meet people over lunch or coffee. And not just in the event, there are plenty of coffee shops and, dare we say it, pubs in the area.

Charged up!
Do make sure your phone is fully charged. You never know the kind of thing you will see at BIBA or who you could get your photo taken with. Plus, you can always share stuff on social media or deal with emails if you really have to.

Badge up
Wear your name badge – and don’t be embarrassed to look at other people’s badges too. The insurance world is a huge place and there will be times when you simply cannot remember a name, even if you remember the face!

Goodie bags
Finally, don’t be shy about picking up goodie bags – that is what they are there for.

Hope to see you there!

We are on stand B43, so please stop by and say “hello”. Also, many of our product providers will be attending BIBA 2017 - some are also exhibiting - so please do contact your Blink IS BDM, who will be happy to arrange meetings with them on your behalf.
Blink IS product providers who have stands and where to find them.

  • ABACUS - B49
  • Bexhill - B57
  • Blink IS - B43
  • Building Block - B42
  • Covea Insurance - E50
  • Marmalade - C80
  • PolicyPlan - B47
  • R&Q - F14
  • Wiser Academy - G55

Contact your Blink IS Business Development contact prior to BIBA 2017 to set up some appointments with providers, alternatively click here

Full terms and conditions apply to individual products, please ensure all of the contractual documentation is read and understood prior to use. You must ensure you have independently reviewed any capacity providers’ financial ratings as these may change and the content within this material cannot be relied upon for a current or accurate rating status.

Date Added: 25/04/2017 00:21:55



What does the Ogden Rate mean for brokers?

What does the cut to the Ogden Rate mean for brokers?

At the end of February it was announced that the Ogden Rate was to be cut from 2.5% to - 0.75% with effect from 20 March - despite opposition from insurers.

The Ogden Rate – also known as the Discount Rate – is used to calculate compensation payments based on future losses in personal injury and fatal accident cases. The reduction reflects the fall in inflation-linked Government bond yields since 2001, when it was last revised. The lower the rate, the higher amount of compensation is paid.

Impact of the change

The reduction in the rate means that those suffering from serious injuries will receive significantly higher compensation payments than before – with insurers footing the bill.

The knock-on effect is that clients with all lines of business that see claims for bodily injury – including Private and Commercial Motor, Motor Trade, Casualty (Employers Liability, Other Liability and Contractors Liability) and SME – will face paying higher insurance premiums.                 

  • The ABI expects that up to 36 million individual and business motor insurance policies could be affected.
  • PWC predicted that the price of an average comprehensive motor insurance policy will rise by up to £75.
  • They also forecast that there will be higher increases for younger drivers (18-22 year olds) of potentially up to £1,000 and a rise of up to £300 for older drivers aged over 65.

What does the change mean for brokers?

While it is early days, the full ramification of how brokers will be affected is not yet known. What we know so far, however, is that:

  • Some insurers have already withdrawn from the market. While the “big” insurers are unlikely to close their shutters, this could mean there are fewer motor insurance options for brokers to offer their clients.
  • One insurer has already advised brokers of an increase in the cost of their private motor insurance premiums by 3%. 
  • With motor insurance commission margins in particular already being tight for brokers, there may be little leeway to undercut the quoted premium in order to secure a client.
  • Those brokers with bigger capital reserves may have more chance of keeping prices competitive compared to smaller brokerages with lower financial resources - with the latter potentially being forced out of business.
  • The time spent explaining to clients why their insurance renewal has increased, why their motor insurance quote is higher than last year and trying to get a more cost-effective deal for the client without eating into profits and so on, will all push up operating costs.

Summary

With the recent increases in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) over the last 18 months*, this cut to the Discount Rate may potentially make it even more challenging for brokers to offer competitively-priced insurance whilst still making a healthy profit.

*A rise in the standard rate of IPT from 6% to 9.5% came into effect on 1 November 2015, increased again by 0.5% from the 1 October 2016 and a further rise to 12% IPT from June 2017.

This article is intended to provide general information about current industry topics, it does not provide individual legal advice and the creators (both Blink and the Author) assume no liability for the accuracy of any information contained herein. You must seek independent legal advice if you are unsure of your obligations and must not rely anything within this article.

Date Added: 05/04/2017 16:32:54



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At Blink Intermediary Solutions we offer a refreshing, independent and agile approach to helping independent UK insurance brokers grow. We provide access to a broad range of personal and commercial insurance facilities, some of which are exclusive and there are no fees to access the standard range.