Stress-busting advice for brokers

 

StephenBridge_213x345Stephen Bridge, Senior Underwriter, Manchester Branch.

I joined the CII Underwriting Faculty New Generation Group 2014 and have spent the last year stress-testing the insurance industry to see if stress is the elephant in the boardroom. My report looks at the definition of stress and challenges the insurance industry to take action.

Here’s how I got involved.

After seeing an advert for the CII New Generation Group, I was drawn to the thought of expanding my knowledge and skillset. Having the opportunity to get involved with things like media training, a trip to the Houses of Parliament to learn about lobbying and strategic thinking were instantly appealing.

Application Criteria:

  • DIP CII Qualification
  • 5 + years’ experience
  • Support from Management

Having ticked all the boxes in terms of qualifying criteria, I applied and was delighted to be accepted to the programme, beating over 150 applicants to fill one of the 40 places which were available. Between the 40 we were split into 4 groups of 10 covering, Underwriting, Broker, Claims and London Market faculties.

In exchange for the training, the CII set each team a mandate to produce a report that benefited the Insurance Industry. The team I was a part of wanted to make sure that we were doing something which benefited the industry, but also had an impact on the individual so we tackled the ticking time bomb of Workplace Stress.

British businesses lose an estimated £26bn each year due to stress, however with greater awareness and mental health support, Mind (The Mental Health Charity, mind.org.uk) indicates business could save a third of these costs – equating to £8bn a year.

Focussing on the employer and their responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, our report shares insight from research conducted across 14 insurance companies; including brokers; into how stress is currently managed and supported within the workplace.

We concluded that more needs to be done to prepare the Insurance industry from potentially sleepwalking into an emerging threat. Bupa also released figures, of the circa 52 million adults in the UK, two thirds of these people are prone to stress. Of this, 44% admit to being stressed, with that figure dropping to 6 million people for those feeling sustained periods of stress for longer than a year. Therefore suggesting almost one in ten people in the UK feels stressed for more than a year, with 18% stating that working life is the proximate cause.

The full report provides recommendations on the following:

  • An industry working party to be set up to look into the issue
  • Standard definition of stress
  • Uniform Reporting of stress claims across the industry
  • Making stress claims RIDDOR reportable
  • Education and risk management

Read the full report

It’s important for you to understand the requirements that you and your customers have to adhere to in the workplace, under the current Health and Safety guidelines.

Mental health illness is the highest cause of workplace absenteeism and the industry needs to implement better management and support to businesses and individuals to prevent the increasing problem.  As well as the report recommendations further information can be found here http://www.mind.org.uk/for-business/mental-health-at-work/ or here http://www.acas.org.uk/mentalhealth.

I would highly recommend the CII New Generations Programme, and it’s a tired cliché to say, but if the report can help one business or individual, then the report has been well worth it as well as safeguarding the future of the Insurance industry.

There could be great ideas within your offices too, locked in the mind of your teams.  Take a look at how a member of your team could potentially revolutionise the Insurance industry and support your business.



Categories: Commercial Lines, Personal Lines

Tags: ,

3 replies

  1. Surely that BUPA statistic is missing a decimal place……wouldn’t that be the entire adult population of the UK? Does that mean everyone in adulthood has a mental illness?!!

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  2. *decimal point, d’oh

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  3. Good spot Lee, the correct figures should state (pulled from the report):

    “Bupa also released figures, of the circa 52 million adults in the UK, two thirds of these people are prone to stress. Of this, 44% admit to being stressed, with that figure dropping to 6 million people for those feeling sustained periods of stress for longer than a year. Therefore suggesting almost one in ten people in the UK feels stressed for more than a year, with 18% stating that working life is the proximate cause.”

    Apologies for the confusion.

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