Melissa Collett explains how the CII is working with Lloyd’s to raise standards
CII corporate Chartered status was reviewed and refreshed in 2018, with priority themes identified including social impact and effective oversight of standards. The CII Code of Ethics was reviewed the year before, with amendments made to reflect changes introduced by the Equality Act, and three Companion Guides to the Code of Ethics on topical and complex subjects have been published. Recently, a new Chartered title – Chartered Insurance Underwriting Agent – for MGAs was launched in 2020.
While the CII has made great strides in promoting professionalism, it is essential to engage with partners in the sector to continue to make progress.
In March, Paul Brady, head of policyholder and third-party oversight at Lloyd’s, was interviewed in The Journal, and he noted: “The consistency and alignment between our standards at Lloyd’s and those set out by the CII, including the Code of Ethics, is very striking.” This alignment allowed the CII to have confidence in amending the criteria required to obtain the Chartered Insurance Underwriting Agent title for Lloyd’s coverholders, reducing the requirement to have been trading for at least three years as an authorised and regulated business to one year for coverholders, due to the rigour of the Lloyd’s approval process and the body’s monitoring of the market.
Enabling these Lloyd’s-approved firms to be eligible for Chartered status will enhance the number of Chartered firms for customers to choose from, leading to better outcomes for individuals and businesses. At least 90% of customer-facing staff members of Chartered firms must be CII members – therefore increasing the number of professional individuals signing up to a professional code of ethics as part of their membership. Chartered firms make a commitment to nurturing knowledge by supporting training and development within their organisation, thereby attracting new talent to the sector.
Being prepared to face a changing landscape is a key skill for professionals. The CII and Lloyd’s have therefore produced a series of six masterclasses focused on systemic risk – designed for all insurance and risk professionals who are keen to advance their knowledge and expertise.
Finally, professionalism should be a force for good and it is essential that the public is able to trust the sector’s products and services. However, the Covid-19 pandemic revealed uncertainty and confusion around pandemic insurance coverage, resulting in court disputes between insurers and their customers, and shone a light on the complexity of some insurance products.
As a result, Lloyd’s worked with a Global Advisory Committee and London Advisory Committee – which included Sian Fisher, CII CEO – to publish a report titled: Building simpler insurance products to better protect customers.
I am delighted to be working alongside CII colleagues and Lloyd’s to promote some of the recommendations from this report, which are in line with the CII’s Transparency and Insurance Companion Guide to the Code of Ethics, published in December 2020.
Furthermore, we will continue to look for areas of alignment with other organisations on matters of standards, culture, conduct and ethics. While the CII is the professional body, upholding professionalism ultimately rests on the shoulders of our members and we want to continue finding innovative ways of supporting them to be the standard-bearers for the profession, as it is only by doing so that we will truly increase professionalism together.
Melissa Collett is professional standards director of the CII