Commitment to high standards results in lower risks and lower costs for BCA members
The economic downturn has placed many membership organisations on the cusp of viability and their typical reaction has been to increase their fees, whilst expecting a decline in membership. The BCA, by contrast, have tried to retain our membership and help members by lowering membership fees. On the insurance front, achieving a reduction in premium is another incredible outcome, very much against the grain, when other insurance policies are increasing their costs, to cover the additional risks of the pandemic.
Our President Catherine Quinn has led us through the pandemic, very much focussed on what the BCA can do for its members. She said: “Our approach from the outset was to provide our members with an exceptional service, to retain their loyalty and maintain the core strength and coherence of the BCA. We aimed to stick together, through thick and thin, passing on every benefit we could to members and most importantly, providing them with the best advice on how to weather the storm. From our Coronavirus Hub, our FAQs and our constant connection with members, our support has been the key to retention, and has enabled us to persuade our insurers to help us out, just as we have demonstrated how we have reduced the risk to them. The decision to leave the ECU, which I will write more about this weekend, has also offered us an opportunity to reduce fees whilst developing our own organisation, an investment much needed in this competitive environment”.
Key to a reduction in the insurance premium was the evidence the BCA was able to assemble on the diligence and accuracy of the advice given to members. From the initial phases of the epidemic, our instinct was to provide a rigorous advice and support service, and this has translated into our insurers evaluating this high-quality advice against their expected risks in 2021. MD of Lloyd & Whyte ltd, our insurance brokers, Pete Lishman said: “We have tracked the BCA advice and support service every step of the way and it is clear that the pandemic precautionary approach taken by the BCA and its members, which seems more robust than that demanded by the regulator, and that mirrored by other comparable bodies, has helped to reduce risk. We were able to use this information to brief Royal & Sun Alliance, the insurer, and they have agreed, after some negotiation, to a 10% reduction in the premium, which goes against much of the market at this time”.
The overall reduction in fees places BCA members in an excellent position to restore equilibrium in 2021. Our CEO, Tom Mullarkey said: “From our ‘lean running’ programme, to provide fee relief to members in 2020, to this significant overall reduction in fees for 2021, our commitment to our membership, which has been reciprocated by their loyalty and compliance to high standards, has never been more evident. The insurance negotiation, greatly helped by our partners Lloyd & Whyte, was particularly tough but since it is hard-won, all the more satisfying. We have uniquely provided a link between high standards, lower risks and lower costs, and this is the direction in which I know our Board wants to take the BCA in the future”.
The BCA Board is delighted to have been able to achieve these dramatic changes, against the prevailing conditions, and hope that this will lead to further positive developments for the BCA in the coming year.