The decision of all Steadfast companies to join the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) and subscribe to our industry Code of Practice gives a significant boost to membership

On 1 December 2019, all of the broking firms under the Steadfast umbrella became members of NIBA and subscribers to the Insurance Brokers Code of Practice (the Code). The Steadfast Group was established in 1996 and is the largest general insurance broker network and the largest underwriting agency group in Australasia.

While some Steadfast brokers were already Code subscribers, the 1 December influx brought 181 firms into NIBA, swelling the ranks of subscribers by a whopping 64 per cent to 463 members.

Subscribing to our industry Code of Practice is not an exercise in form-filling; it’s a genuine, visible way to add value to your firm and the industry, to show clients that professionalism matters and that you are actively engaged in lifting standards. Sharing examples of both good, and problematic, practice is an essential part of this learning process. With this influx of newcomers, we encourage our long-standing subscribers to make a special effort to identify cases of good and bad behaviour that we can de-identify and share as case studies.

Meeting the requirements of the Code and ensuring the appropriate frameworks are in place may seem challenging for newcomers at the outset, particularly given that many broking firms are small business operations – and already managing altered staffing arrangements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this in mind, the Steadfast inductees were welcomed with a comprehensive information pack compiled by the independent Committee that monitors compliance with the Code (the Committee). A webinar expanding on this will take place on 9 June.

The pack provided an overview of the Code and served as an introduction to those who monitor compliance with the obligations that flow from the Code’s 12 key service standards. It contained practical, nuts-and-bolts information and advice such as how and when to approach the Annual Compliance Statement and what the Committee’s expectations are in relation to breach and complaint reporting.

It also offered insights into how the Committee is working with firms, industry leaders and consumer advocates to continuously improve the standards of practice and service in the sector.

Among the information we offered the new subscribers were some dates to add to the diary and build into compliance frameworks:

Important Dates for 2020-21

Aug/Sep 2020 Consultation with NIBA and other industry representatives to develop the 2020 Annual Compliance Statement (ACS)

December 2020 Information, including the individual link and password to the online portal for completion of the 2020 ACS is provided to all Code subscribers

February 2021 Webinar available to assist Code subscribers with the completion of the 2020 ACS

31 March 2021 Deadline for completion of the 2020 ACS

May/Jun 2021 A selection of Code subscribers is contacted via telephone conferences to verify and understand their 2020 ACS data

Jun/Jul 2021 All Code subscribers are provided with their individual benchmark report

Nov/Dec 2021 Publication of the Committee’s Annual Compliance Review 2020-21