Insurance – The Benefits of Chartered Status
Insurers and insurance brokers are battling a long-term problem in the market; that of the lack of customer trust. Recent polls suggest that a mere 53% of people trust insurers. [i] This is a worrying statistic for insurance brokers, who are doing everything they can to boost their reputations and improve their name for integrity and high standards.
Now is a good time for insurance brokerages to start asking whether acquiring Chartered status for their company could be beneficial; bolstering their reputation within a sector that appears to be generally mistrusted.
However, with the significant time and resources required to be eligible for Chartered status, it is reasonable for companies to ask whether there will be a substantial positive impact on the business. There are a number of ways in which Chartered status can have an impact:
A Chartered status ensures that the business and its employees are always held to the highest standards in terms of ethical practice, professional development and knowledge. This elevates the company reputation for professionalism, potentially drawing interest from clients that may otherwise have looked elsewhere.
Fostering client trust
[ii] Having a Chartered status can make customers see the company as more reliable, which is a huge advantage in a climate in which consumers are wary of trusting insurers.
Employing the best
As a specialist recruitment agency, Aston Charles finds that for an insurance brokerage, holding Chartered status can be a benefit when it comes to recruitment, as it shows prospective job applicants that the business is a reputable brand that has gone through the rigorous approval process of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). Individuals will know that their professional development and pursuit of industry qualifications will be supported. They can also look forward to the freedom to study towards their own interests within the insurance field, all in support of their career path. These features can give your company the pick of the best when recruiting new members for your team. The benefits of Chartered status may also help your company to retain employees as they are motivated to continue their career within such a well reputed firm.
How to gain Chartered status?
To gain corporate Chartered status, companies are required to have a certain number of staff with CII membership (including the entire board) and a percentage of staff with particular CII qualifications. The company also needs to meet the highest of standards in terms of ethics and professional development. Details of full eligibility requirements can be found on the CII website.
The specific benefits offered to members of the Chartered Insurance Institute include: [iii]
· Providing evidence of your ethical standards
The CII holds all of its members to the highest codes of ethics. As an insurance brokerage you are likely to already be committed to these standards, but being a member means that you can evidence this to your clients, to other professionals and to prospective job candidates.
· Nationally recognised qualifications
The CII offers its members a number of highly regarded qualifications. (There is an obligation for a certain percentage of staff members to gain particular qualifications in order for a company to be eligible for Chartered status). The CII provide a number of ways to support this learning.
· Support of Continuing Professional Development.
The CII requires a certain level of CPD for members, expecting members holding CII qualifications to do at least 35 hours of CPD per year. Professional development is vital to staying competitive within the insurance market, with employers needing their employees to keep up-to-date with industry standards and best practice, as well as continually improving their work. The CII gives companies and individuals support with their CPD, helping your business to stay at the forefront of professionalism and knowledge.
· Allowing employees to develop specialisms
Members can join special interest groups for no additional cost, meaning that insurance brokers can enjoy the benefits of a workforce with a wide range of special skills, according the individual’s own interests.
· Access to the most Up-To-Date industry information
The Chartered Insurance Institute provides a journal, as well as access to data, articles, reports and statistics, allowing members to be fully informed on the most recent issues facing the industry.
It is easy to see the ways in which Chartered status can have a positive impact on a business and its employees – and consequently on its customers. Clients can enjoy the peace of mind that using a company with Chartered status can bring. They will also have access to the “best of the best” insurance brokers who are well qualified and up-to-date with industry changes. For firms wanting to be at the top of their sector, it may be time to consider whether acquiring Chartered status could be beneficial to your business and your clients.
[i] ABI, 2015. The Changing Landscape for Insurance and Long Term Savings. Theme: Industry Reputation. ABI. Page 36.
[ii] Ida Axling. 2018. Chartered Status: Is it Worth it? [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.insuranceage.co.uk/broker/3572821/news-analysis-chartered-status-is-it-worth-it. [Accessed 10 September 2018].
[iii] To see further details of the benefits of CII membership, please go to https://www.cii.co.uk/membership/benefits-of-membership/