IM Chairman’s Message – July 2024

The Insurance Museum in Guernsey, July 2024

The Insurance Museum had the great pleasure of being invited to the AIRMIC & GIIA conference on 25th June. GIIA has been a supporter and sponsor of the IM for a number of years now, and we have often joined with their London events. This was a chance to thank the GIIA and be part of the conference in Guernsey.

The day was packed full of seminars, on a wide range of subjects. Our presentation on the History of London Insurance was kindly sponsored by Artex. It started at 8.30am, but wasn’t too early considering many delegates were up at 7.30am for the Yoga on the Beach and Sea Swimming. We spent the day in seminars, meeting people, and learning a huge amount.

Joining us in the “history area” was Mr and Mrs Ward who are experts on Guernsey insurance history and displayed some of their incredible collection of insurance documents and objects. We were invited by London & Capital to join their table at the end of event dinner. Again, it was an opportunity to meet the delegates and hear about their work.

The Insurance Museum also presented at the Insurance Institute of Guernsey’s evening event, which included a presentation by Richard Headington, Channel Islands Adjusters, on the impact of Storm Ciarin. There are so many issues when dealing with emergencies on an island you take for granted on a mainland. The lack of scaffolding and cost of timber is a good example.

It is fundamental for the Insurance Museum to attend such conferences and keep up to date with developments that are happening now and in the near future. Our plan is to engage children and young people in the story of insurance, which includes insurance today and tomorrow. What better way to do that than link with current developments and thinking that will inspire young people to look at their future worlds. It was a pleasure meeting so many people enthusiastic about their roles in insurance, and the work of the Insurance Museum. We look forward to continuing our links with Guernsey.

Good things come to those who wait

One of the things I learned over a decade ago when I was asked to help from what is now the Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA) is to be patient. Nothing happens very fast in the insurance sector. The MGAA is, I’m delighted to say, now a very important trade association with a growing membership of delegated underwriting business. It took me much longer than I expected but, as I constantly told my steering committee, I would only do things properly and in the right way rather than cut corners.

Insurance Museum is my latest, and probably my last venture and I’m having to be patient again. When we started out in 2018/19, we canvassed a number of insurance businesses, insurers, brokers and trade associations and received almost unanimous support for the idea of an insurance museum to house the heritage items belonging to the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) for which there was no room in their new offices in Lombard Street. We received enough funding from those early supporters to enable us to publish a Feasibility Study in 2019 detailing the extent of that support.

Then along came Covid, putting us back by at least two years. Fortunately, the early funders, particularly the Education and Training Trust gave us enough money to embark on the creation of a virtual fire insurance gallery in our virtual museum, Fire! Risk and Revelations, Patience saw us through Covid.

In the intervening years our ambition of a physical insurance museum in EC3 remains as strong as ever. However, our vision has expanded to a ‘World Class Insurance Visitor and Research Centre’ housing not only heritage items but having access to the CII’s 55,000 item library, a unique collection presently in a storage facility in Woolwich.

We also want classrooms so that we can bring youngsters in with teachers and parents to learn about insurance and the fabulous careers that await them if they make the right choices.

There is an enormous amount of development in our catchment area, the ‘insurance district’, that is EC3 and we have been talking to property developers and EC BID about a space in a new development. One in particular, we have been in discussion with since our early beginnings, has planning permission and would like us to be their heritage partner, but the economy has put back their plans and forecast completion is not now until 2030. Hence, we need to be patient.

Reg Brown – Chairman, Insurance Museum

IM Chairman’s Message – July 2024

July 11th 2024

Registered Charity address:
C/o Chartered Insurance Institute
3rd Floor, 20 Fenchurch Street,
London EC3M 3BY
Charity No. 1188138

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