In July 2021, with lockdown lifted in the UK and life gradually returning to normal, consumers and SMEs were less concerned about an insurer’s claims performance.
For example, the CII’s Public Trust Index recorded that only 64% of SMEs rated the statement ‘I have a choice in how the claim is settled’ as important in summer 2021. Indeed, for SMEs, speed of claims, respect shown while making a claim, and control over the way a claim was paid were ranked the lowest of the nine elements of consumer trust for importance.
Fast forward to summer 2023 and speed of claims now ranks second out of the nine elements, with all three climbing above price.
In these uncertain economic times, it appears that SMEs have less of an attitude of ‘I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it’ about claims. They want the claims process to be fast and flexible, giving them a choice over how it is paid.
So, it is reassuring that our latest research shows that claims professionals are rising to this challenge. Our latest data shows that 74% of SMEs were likely to rate performance against the statement ‘I have a choice in how the claim is settled’ as positive in summer 2023.
That’s good news given that the FCA’s Consumer Duty, which came into force in July this year, introduced ‘consumer support’ requirements for the first time. That means firms have a regulatory requirement to ensure, in the FCA’s words, that ‘the means of making a claim should be easy to find and the firm should not… create barriers to them making a claim’.
Our public trust index will continue to provide a unique window into how insurers are meeting increased consumer expectations in this key area of reputation and compliance with the Consumer Duty by making it easier and faster to make a claim. This is something we’ll continue to monitor and report on over time.