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NIBA chief says critical survey is ‘rubbish’

The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has slammed a public survey ranking brokers alongside car salespeople, advertising workers and real estate agents in lacking ethics and honesty.

The annual Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey shows only 10% of 648 respondents believe insurance brokers to be trustworthy.

In a LinkedIn post, NIBA CEO Dallas Booth says the study is “rubbish” and has “no value”.

He told insuranceNEWS.com.au there is no indication the respondents have experience or knowledge of insurance brokers, or have even spoken to one.

“It’s a survey that is totally meaningless,” he said. “It’s clear that it’s done at night. The only qualification for a participant is that they are aged 14 and above.

“We are disappointed that a survey of this nature receives the sort of coverage it does.”

But Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine has defended the survey, telling insuranceNEWS.com.au it is an opportunity for businesses to do some “soul-searching”.

“This is all about image,” she said. “It’s about how Australians view these professions.”

She says insurance brokers peaked in 2014, when 16% of respondents rated them as ethical and honest.

“It’s trended down since then and it’s something for them to look at. Is it bad press? Is it the claims-handling?”

Mr Booth says the Vero SME Index demonstrates “overwhelmingly” that clients appreciate their brokers.

But Gold Seal MD Sheila Baker, whose company provides training and support services to broking organisations, told insuranceNEWS.com.au that not all brokers work hard and with integrity.

“My question is: is there room for improvement? Yes, there is. Do all brokers operate squeaky clean businesses? Regrettably, no.”

She says it is important to tackle this small group to restore the industry’s reputation.

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