"The volume of insurance complaints being referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is rising – now, complaints at the FOS are higher than the levels experienced immediately prior to the Covid-19 pandemic taking hold, according to the latest analysis from benchmarking platform Insurance DataLab.
A total of 8,584 complaints about insurance companies were referred to the FOS in the third quarter of 2022, which is 16% more than the same period a year earlier."
Matt Scott Insurance Times 24th January 2023
Complaints are a measure of the gap between the expectations customers have and the actual experience at all touchpoints from Quote and Bind, through MTAs and Renewals to claims. Clear communication is clearly important as are the outcomes delivered. Insurers must be able to demonstrate effective reporting and evidence of customer outcomes.
"I'm immensely fortunate to be working on a CD assignment at the moment, focusing on how to measure and evidence Good Customer Outcomes.
It's a substantial undertaking and investment across the sector but offers opportunities for process efficiency and operational and service improvement. "
John Gaynor Commercial Director
helpfully drew attention to a summary of the latest on six topics impacting the insurance the latest coincidentally being: -
"New Consumer Duty regulatory obligations are already in place, and compliance and reporting requirements come into effect for most insurers from 31st July 2023.
The tighter deadline means that insurers will need to, by 30th April 2023, have completed reviews of all products, mapped customer journeys end to end, and have established in principle the outcomes they expect customers to achieve.
One of the most important questions we are seeing and helping insurers grapple with is how to capture, report and evidence good customer outcomes and avoidance of foreseeable harm.
This is both operationally and within their supply chains
Obligations are pressing, so we expect to see a lot of activity and conversations between insurers on how they are measuring their consumer duty (following recent requirements to measure customer journeys).
The big question is 'Will a consistent measurement of ‘good’ customer outcome emerge, and what will it look like?' "
Not only can technology help to close the expectation gap, but it can also create a slicker user journey, improving the overall customer experience. Automation and artificial intelligence are also becoming increasingly ingrained in claims processing. Parametric insurance is seen as another way for the industry to improve the claims experience. The speedy claims payments that are core to these products aims to create a much more user friendly experience – although this must be balanced with the fact that insureds are then responsible for processing their own repairs with the predetermined funds received. So, while the new Consumer Duty and fair value regulations have undoubtedly increased the regulatory burden facing the insurance industry, they also present a great opportunity for the insurers, brokers and MGAs that are getting it right for end customers.