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AIB Joins BIBA – The Interview Everyone Wanted

Insurance Business recently interviewed our Risk and Compliance Director, Karen Manley, read the full interview below:


Can you tell me a little bit about your company?

AIB has an interesting story since its inception in 1993.  Originally it was created by the BHPA (British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association) to provide travel, third party damage and equipment cover for its members whilst flying abroad whether it be a hang glider, sky diver or paragliding pilot.  At the time the BHPA were struggling to find an insurance provider that understood its members unusual insurance requirements, and with an active pilot involved in the insurance industry Airsports Insurance Bureau was created as a limited company.

The BHPA sold the business in 2004, largely due to the increased compliance and regulatory requirements to insurance specialists and it has evolved into a niche personal lines and high net worth specialist with links to various enthusiast clubs, garages and financial institutions.  We also have a number of commercial insurance brokers who refer their personal lines business to us but still have strong links to the BHPA providing specialist airsports for members today.


Can you outline how the decision to join BIBA came about and how long have you been thinking about joining BIBA?


The company I worked for previously was a member of BIBA and I was a committee member of SE region compliance forum.  I found it useful to maintain and share best practises and I found the regulatory benefits and networking particularly useful.

Joining BIBA is part of AIB’s ongoing commitment to supporting good practice and an important step in our passion to promote the interests our clients in the provision of good sales advice.

As BIBA maintains a dialogue with the government, the FCA, and the ABI, specifically in their role acting as the voice of the insurance industry in the UK. Our business will gain a head start on learning about new legislative proposals, policy developments, market changes and developing trends.

Thus, ensuring that AIB can react with marketing strategies and business plans in a timely manner assuring our clients gain the benefit of the highest quality of advice and receive genuinely positive outcomes for their insurance needs.


What do you consider the key opportunities associated with your BIBA membership?


BIBA works closely with the FCA to help ensure a fair, equitable and workable regulatory regime for the broking industry, thereby keeping their members updated on matters affecting the industry, including regulation, legal issues, through their website, email alerts, conferences, workshops, seminars and subject specific working groups and panels.

BIBA is an excellent benchmark to understand the current thinking within the insurance market.

The regulatory benefits, and the technical support through the templates played a part.  As did backing the voice of the industry.  Networking with likeminded individuals and companies to achieve best practise and common goals, especially with the uncertainty and ramifications of Brexit.


Are there any particular BIBA events that you are looking forward to?

Lots!  Although a small company we intend to be active members of BIBA and I am looking to attend the compliance forums to understand current topics, but I have historically found the Webinars particularly useful.



Do you feel that such memberships are necessary for brokers in the current climate?


It’s not necessary but it’s important that we as broker support the insurance market.  Ultimately Biba are the voice of the industry and when debating points with the FCA on various consultation papers surely it makes sense to stand shoulder to shoulder with our industry colleagues, especially in these challenging times?


What are your plans for development in 2020 and beyond?


We are very lucky.  We are well supported by some of the UK’s leading insurers who believe in what we do.  We also enjoy a management team that want to grow aggressively for the long term, looking after our insurer partners and clients along the way.  We expect another year of significant growth especially in the non-standard motor market and high net worth arena, where buying on-line is more challenging but training and developing the team, with as many resources, including Biba, at our disposal is key to our success.