The FCA’s recent thematic claims review was discussed in its early stages with a range of firms, trade bodies and consumer groups at a seminar, earlier this month. The review was set up with the purpose of assessing the extent to which Insurers are placing claimants and their needs at the heart of their business.
Findings from the study were “broadly positive” with no immediate plans for reactive regulatory change. Key stats include 64% and 65% customer satisfaction rates recorded for travel and household insurance claims respectively.
However the following areas were highlighted as needing improvement, particularly in terms of their impact on the experience of the claimant:
- How inbound claims calls are recorded and used
- The ownership of a claim and communication with clients while it is being progressed
- Management of supply chains in household insurance claims
- How medical conditions are dealt with in travel insurance
- Handling of claims with long chains of delegation
- Clarity of product documentation
Additional media coverage of the review identified inexperienced staff and extensive cost cutting as potential threats to customer satisfaction. Educating customers on the claims process was also suggested as a way to increase customer satisfaction. Certainly the findings point to a need for consistency and clarity in customer communication in order to establish trust between the claimant, insurer and along the wider supply chain. Referenced in its 2014/1015 business plan, trust - and market confidence - are both recurring keywords for the FCA:
“Building on findings from current retail claims work, we will consider whether commercial customers’ expectations are met in the claims process, where poor behaviour could have a wider impact on trust in the market, as well as leading to poor customer outcomes.”
View the FCA’s business plan here...
The FCA will be presenting the published review next month - check back here for an update in May. In the absence of prescribed action, Insurers are strongly encouraged to use this opportunity to proactively improve the areas listed above. Those who recognise the importance of customer satisfaction are most likely to retain their customers and better meet their customers’ needs in the long run.