BiKBBI launches scheme to protect installers against bad debts

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKKBI) has announced its MemberSafe initiative in a bid to protect installers against financial losses when businesses get into financial trouble.

MemberSafe has two main features: a credit insurance system and an early warning system that links to a company’s financial profile.

BiKBBI chief executive Damian Walters said: “These are the first two measures that will protect our members from future financial loss but, as announced in January at The Houses of Parliament, our full-circle solution BiKBBI Protected will provide unrivalled protection for all parties, including consumers, retailers and installers.”

When Bathstore went into administration at the end of July, the BiKKBI said installers were owed an “excess of £1 million” for unpaid work. The new scheme will hopefully prevent that from happening again as the installers would be better informed and have specific insurance.

The early warning system will alert members to signs that may indicate risk within those businesses they engage with. The live data is said to help installers make an informed choice on future financial transactions.

The pay-as-you-go insurance policies provide cover with a range of prices – for example, £13 for an invoice of £2,500, or £80 to cover £100,000.

The policy covers instantly online and members can pick and choose if they would require insurance for each specific transaction rather than other policies that require information about annual turnover. The credit insurance scheme is in association with specialist global insurer Allianz.

The BiKBBI confirmed that its Protected initiative was progressing well, with the likelihood of two major national retailers being among the first to adopt the scheme when it is launched later this year. It also confirmed that more than 350 independent retailers had already registered interest, representing over 450 showrooms nationally.

Walters added: “It’s important that we move with the times, embrace technology and new ways of thinking if we’re to safeguard the future of installations here in the UK. Protected covers all bases, is free to use for installers and those participating retailers and will change the way we provide professional installation services in the future.”

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