Collaboration â€“ still the only way forward Carpenters Group Supplement 1
right people. right skills. right technology.
END-TO-END COMPLETE CLAIMS & LEGAL SOLUTION
Carpenters Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of insurance and legal services, has teamed up with Modern Insurance Magazine to create this thought-provoking supplement about Collaboration still being the only way forward for the industry. The insurance sector has, in recent years, focused in on the idea of collaboration and the benefits this brings. From page four you can read Carpenters’ Executive Board’s views on the keys to collaborative success: Karen Campbell, Chief Information Officer, discusses creating a ‘friction-free’ experience; Alan Hayes, Chief Legal Officer, sees Carpenters Groups’ completely transparent approach as key; Donna Richards, CEO, wants to keep customers at the heart of the process; and Donna Scully, Director, believes the industry can find a rare unity in fighting fraud. We dive deep with Steve White, Chief Executive of BIBA, exploring their new theme of ‘A Year to Pioneer’. As well as the topics of Brexit, mental health, the importance of a joint voice, and touching on BIBA’s 2020 manifesto.
We interview Chris Skyner, In-House Advocate & Legal Advisor at Carpenters Group and Regional Co-ordinator for MASS, about his current roles and the advantages of a membership organisation like MASS. Collaboration is also a definite asset for James Dalton, Director of General Insurance for ABI, who believes in strength through association and views collaboration and competition as two sides of the same coin.
An important aspect of collaboration is communication, which - when done correctly - ensures all parties are striving for the best possible outcome. Ben Fletcher, Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau, sees communication as the best way to protect the industry from those trying to abuse it. We also get up close and personal with Carol Hopwood, Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury for Carpenters Group and a Senior Litigator with APIL, to give a slightly different angle on collaboration. We highlight the importance of a collaborative relationship with clients, and how this relates to ‘doing the right thing’. I hope you enjoy reading this supplement as much as we enjoyed creating it. If you have any feedback or comments, please get in touch via the details below.
Megan Tait-Davies, Editor, Modern Insurance Magazine 01765 600909 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Contents Interviews 4
Moving into 2020, the insurance industry has narrowed in on the idea of collaboration. Modern Insurance spoke with members of the Executive Board of Carpenters Group about their key strategy for collaborative success; how this aids customer interaction, tech and the push to combat fraud.
Lady Justice Ingrid Simler
Dame Ingrid Ann Simler, DBE, The Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Simler is a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. She is currently President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal and is a High Court Liaison Judge for Diversity.
12 Steve White, BIBA Ahead of BIBA’s manifesto launch,
Modern Insurance spoke with their Chief Executive, Steve White, about this year’s theme: ‘A Year to Pioneer’, the challenges ahead in 2020, and the fundamental importance of collaboration.
Editor Megan Tait-Davies
16 Sian Fisher, Chartered Insurance Institute
30 Carol Hopwood, APIL
26 Chris Skyner, MASS Chris Skyner, Regional Co-ordinator for
Speaking to Modern Insurance, Sian Fisher, CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute, outlines her idea to encourage further collaboration, networks and support throughout the profession.
MASS, delves into the challenges of 2020 and MASS’ plan of action.
28 Karen Graves, iWIN, USAA Ltd. and USAA SA
Karen has been working in the Lloyd’s and London market for over 30 years, starting her career in the compliance arena, moving on to a COO and then a CEO role within the Lloyd’s market for an established Lloyd’s Managing Agency. She is also the Senior Independent Director for the USAA Limited and USAA SA, Vice Chair of a Multi-Academy Trust, and Chair of iWIN.
Project Manager & Event Sales Rachael Pearson
Carpenters Group’s Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury, Carol Hopwood, discusses the challenges and experiences within the injury sector, and her collaboration with APIL.
20 Fans Supporting Foodbanks. 22 Industry Collaboration with James Dalton, ABI.
24 Gary Humphreys speaks about dual
pricing and collaboration to prevent fraud.
32 Why modern insurance fraud requires a new approach with Ben Fletcher, IFB.
Modern Insurance Magazine is published by Charlton Grant Ltd ©2020
All material is copyrighted both written and illustrated. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. All images and information is collated from extensive research and along with advertisements is published in good faith. Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this publication was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
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with Carpenters Group
Moving into 2020, the insurance industry has narrowed in on the idea of collaboration. Modern Insurance spoke with members of the Executive Board of Carpenters Group about their key strategy for collaborative success; how this aids customer interaction, tech and the push to combat fraud.
For over a decade, Carpenters Group has striven to break down traditional barriers in the claims sector. We fundamentally believe that effective collaboration is essential to customer care and by working together we can achieve shared goals. Easy enough to say but we all know that collaboration in practice can be difficult. It requires a long-term commitment by senior management to be ethical and put customers first, a mutual respect for differing opinions, a long-term investment to create quality relationships, deep reserves of patience and a regular dash of humour! Productive collaboration can only be achieved once trust has been earned and trust can only grow from an open and honest dialogue that’s professional and reasonable over time. Difficult though it may be, Carpenters has demonstrated that working collaboratively with others can achieve practical solutions to some of the problems we face, working with the whole industry to combat fraud and improve sector standards. As former Chair of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS), Donna Scully, played a leading role in setting up the MASS Fraud Forum and helping to establish AskCUEPI which took four years from conception to implementation. Carpenters’ commitment to collaboratively fighting fraud saw them invest in and support the Insurance Times Fraud Charter since its launch in 2012, effectively bringing together leading players across the sector to discuss fighting fraud together. Strongly advocating the necessity of working together across the claimant-defendant divide, we’ve constantly sought to break down barriers, attending numerous insurance conferences, seminars and meetings that were once ‘echo chambers’ without industry-wide participation. Carpenters is now proud to be an associate member of both the ABI and the Insurance Fraud Bureau. The coming changes to the claims process have been divisive and there will undoubtedly be problems ahead, but the reality is that there’s still much agreement within the sector. The end of all conflicts begins with talking. Solutions to problems have been found before, and they will be again when we focus on what we can achieve jointly whilst respectfully disagreeing when we have alternative views. As we have done, Carpenters will continue to work hard with all sector colleagues to develop a fair and workable system that functions well for all sides.
I still believe that better collaboration across the sector is not a nice-to-have, but a must Donna Scully
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By working collaboratively, the opportunity to treat tech as an enabler brings opportunity to deliver creative and meaningful ways of interacting with customers that have never existed before, and with a speed and agility that would be impossible to do alone Karen Campbell
As insurer-insurtech partnerships continue to succeed, what does this mean for wider collaborations across the industry, and what are the benefits that collaboration brings? Karen Campbell: In order to succeed, and as the rate of change accelerates, the opportunity to deliver what people want becomes ever more challenging. Listening to the customer and understanding their needs is fundamental. More importantly, the way we deliver systems, solutions and services to the customer becomes more challenging, but is becoming more and more critical. By working collaboratively, the opportunity to treat tech as an enabler brings opportunity to deliver creative and meaningful ways of interacting with customers that have never existed before, and with a speed and agility that would be impossible to do alone. It will also allow us to build better business relationships with partners, clients, consumers and suppliers to create a “friction-free” experience.
What strategies would you suggest be adopted to ensure collaborative success? In addition, what examples can you offer from Carpenters Group? Alan Hayes: Our key strategy in ensuring collaborative success is to adopt a completely transparent approach, both with our insurer clients and with insurers when dealing as the third party. We understand the pressures faced by insurers and unlike many law firms representing claimants, we know that insurers want to identify to genuine claims - where their policyholder is at fault and pay a reasonable settlement as quickly as possible. To that extent, the insurers share the same aims that we do, which is to achieve the best result for the customer as quickly as possible. At Carpenters Group, we work in collaboration with a number of insurers to deliver processes that help to achieve these goals. We have operated our “Resolver” process for more than two years. It is proven to resolve Stage 3 cases more quickly and at a significantly lower cost than the court process. We also operate an Early Settlement Protocol, which enables straightforward low value claims to be settled at a very early stage, while both producing full evidence to the insurer and reducing the insurers touch points and operating expenses.
Where can the industry’s stakeholders better collaborate to create more joined up outcomes?
AH: The main area for improvement in cross industry collaboration is to help combat fraud. Much good work has been done over the last couple of years by the Insurance Fraud Bureau, and other industry bodies, but there is still lots to do. The whiplash reforms will undoubtedly lead to new areas of claims exploitation. There is widespread concern about the wider access to the new LIP Portal, particularly with significantly increased value in bent metal claims. We have long argued for greater industry cooperation in the sharing of data, aimed at benefitting the entire industry. We understand that this can be difficult, where insurers operate sophisticated anti-fraud strategies in an effort to achieve commercial advantage, but we need to redouble our efforts in relation to improved collaboration, to meet the evolving threat of the motor insurance fraudster.
You have mentioned before that better collaboration across the sector is not an option, but essential – how can collaboration be used to combat the evolving threat of fraud in the future claims environment? Donna Scully: I’ve always felt that fighting fraud is something where industry can find rare unity. There is nothing good about it. It costs money, impacts on the reputation of the industry and has an obvious adverse impact on good customers. Fraud will become increasingly digitalised in the future and the only way to tackle it will be by enabling better technological systems and by sharing data. Carpenters’ affiliate membership of the ABI and the Insurance Fraud Bureau will enable us to collaborate ever closer, share data and intelligence and more actively contribute to the industry fight to stay ahead of the fraudsters. I still believe that better collaboration across the sector is not a nice-to-have, but a must. The sector is going to look very different in the future, with many more CMCs and fewer lawyers. With the gathering pace of crossownership and joint ventures, the future market will function very differently and those organisations that, let’s say, tacitly, if not actively, encourage fraud, will be
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More and more businesses will recognise that they cannot be agile and adaptive without the benefit of a diverse and inclusive employee base, especially if the business is focused on customers Karen Campbell
less easy to spot. Post-reforms, there will need to be some forum that can pull together all concerned parties in a co-ordinated manner to develop strategies and plans to tackle fraud.
There is a lot of uncertainty as we move into a new decade, how will Carpenters Group be responding to the looming changes surrounding the industry? Donna Richards: Carpenters Group embraces change, one of our core values is being ‘agile and adaptive’. The Business has evolved over the past 25 years, building on the sound foundations of great people, quality personal service and constant investment in technology. It has always been important to work smartly, remove process friction and maintain customer journey but this is where we endeavour to excel. We develop our technology and systems in-house, engaging with our teams, our insurance and broker clients and our mutual customers. This enables us to plan for change, past and present, and adapt to the requirements of a changing market place. The changes ‘looming’, both the Whiplash Reforms and the increased use of technology in the sector are therefore taken in our stride. Keeping the customer at the heart of the process, producing both bespoke white labelled technology offerings for insurers as well as our own branded technology ensures we can deliver on this key objective. The past 20 years or so have seen numerous changes in the sector. We at Carpenters Group see this as evolution, not revolution, and embrace this process.
What would you say has been biggest moment and/ or change within the industry in the last 10 years?
DS: The coming reforms will fundamentally and irrevocably change the market, but looking back over the last 10 years, I would say the period when the LASPO reforms encouraged the use and exploitation of the supposedly liberalising measures of the earlier Legal Services Act. The combined impact was a massive moment and set much of the industry off in a direction
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which will arrive, depending upon your point of view, at its zenith or nadir with the future landscape once the current reforms are implemented. LASPO removed the recoverability of costs and fees, so reducing damages for accident victims and the costs to the industry, and supposedly banned referral fees, whilst those wishing to circumvent or by-pass the ban were able to exploit the creation of Alternative Business Structures created by the Legal Services Act. The two events combined meant the claims market changed massively, with the creation of new entrants, some desirable and many others less so. Sadly, these will be set to further benefit when they are actively encouraged to pursue claims and take advantage of many loopholes in the new claims market.
Diversity, inclusion and equality remains a top priority for the industry to address; as we head into a new year, what can the industry do to promote equal opportunities across all levels of the business? KC: With a female majority on both our Executive and Operations boards, we can proudly demonstrate that diversity is an everyday part of our working life at Carpenters Group. The wider industry is going to be a tougher nut to crack, but progress is being made all the time. More and more businesses will recognise that they cannot be agile and adaptive without the benefit of a diverse and inclusive employee base, especially if the business is focused on customers. There are many gifted and able women in leadership roles in the sector and over time, they will break down prejudices and progress the advancement of women.
What are Carpenters Group’s plans for 2020?
DR: 2020 will be another exciting year at Carpenters Group! Our team continues to grow, particularly in the insurance services area and therefore, we are increasing our capacity with another 17,000 sq. ft. being taken at our Liverpool office. In relation to our offices, we are undertaking a refurbishment plan, which will see the introductions to more flexible workspace and practices.
Our Legal Academy is launching, which will run alongside our already established Insurance Services Academy and completes our career path project for our teams. Currently the reforms in the motor market are due to be introduced in April 2020 and we are working hard finalising our plans with our insurance partners to ensure their customers who have the benefit of LEI cover as well as those who do not are looked after post reform in a manner that policy holders would expect from major reputable insurers. 2020 will also see us move into the other non-motor areas of insurance services, which is a very exciting time for the team and sees our services continue to evolve into those of a TPA, all part of the agile and adaptive approach of our business. All of this and continued participation in, and development of our corporate and social responsibility projects, will ensure there is never a dull day at the office!
Donna Scully, Director.
Karen Campbell, Chief Information Officer.
Carpenters Group embraces change, one of our core values is being â€˜agile and adaptiveâ€™. The Business has evolved over the past 25 years, building on the sound foundations of great people, quality personal service and constant investment in technology Donna Richards
Donna Richards, CEO.
Alan Hayes, Chief Legal Officer.
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Ingrid Simler Dame Ingrid Ann Simler, DBE, The Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Simler is a Judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. She is the lead Judge for Diversity. At the Bar Dame Ingrid was recognised for her expertise across a range of areas including employment law, tax litigation, public and administrative law, and human rights. Here she talks to Modern Insurance about her career and passion for equality, diversity and inclusion.
Tell us a little bit about your own experiences joining the profession and how it’s changed since then?
I was a barrister for many years before becoming a judge. However, I started my career at a common law set where I did a little bit of everything to begin with. Progressively I got onto the Government Treasury panels, which enabled me to specialise and experience new areas of work. I became a specialist in employment, public law, and tax litigation. I was appointed the standing counsel for HMRC in 2002, which was fantastically interesting, though sometimes scary! Then in 2006 I took silk, which meant doing a lot more appellate work in the Court of Appeal and often in the Supreme Court. There came a point for me where, having been a member of the Bar Council and chaired the Bar Council’s Equality and Diversity Committee challenging the lack of diversity in the judiciary, I felt I had to put my hat in the ring. So I applied to be a judge in 2013. I didn’t expect to get it, but I did and I became a judge in the Queen’s Bench Division which deals with work across the whole spectrum of the law, from the most serious criminal trials, murder trials, and serious sexual offences, to contractual disputes, to judicial review challenges to public authorities and government, and sitting occasionally in the Court of Appeal. In 2018, I was promoted to the Court of Appeal, however I didn’t take up my role until June 2019. By statute, the number of places in the Court of Appeal is limited, as is the High Court, so you can only have 38 judges in the Court of Appeal. I had to wait for Sir Brian Leveson to retire and I stepped into his shoes.
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Sitting in the Court of Appeal brought further variety of work and, in addition to all the other areas of work, I’m now dealing with appeals from cases in family matters and cases in what would traditionally be called the Chancery Division, now the Business and Property court. It’s hugely varied, interesting, challenging, and actually a huge privilege. The most amazing thing for me is that having had a wonderful career at the Bar, I had the opportunity when turning 50 to start a whole new career, which has been equally amazing so far and I have no doubt will continue to be. Rather than this being an icing on the cake career situation, it feels as if it were a whole new career. Although I‘m still dealing with the law, and I’m still in court, sitting on the other side of the bench is a very different experience to fighting the case for your client. There are different pressures, different responsibilities, and it’s surprising how different the experience is. I also thought, prior to becoming a judge, that it must be very lonely but I was very wrong about that. It’s been collegiate and my fellow judges are supportive, friendly, and obviously very intelligent.
Can you share with us any particular challenges during your career?
From a gender perspective, there have been huge challenges during that time - despite the huge strides being made, I don’t think they have all been resolved. When I was called to the Bar in 1987, the numbers of men and women were pretty close to equal at entry level. That applies to the solicitor side of the profession too. The difficulty is the attrition rate; when you look at the number of women at partner and QC level for the Bar, the female representation is significantly reduced. I think 16% of women are QCs, whereas for
Collaboration between the different parts of the legal sector is imperative if weâ€™re going to achieve a better and more diverse representation of different people in the judiciary
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solicitors it’s 33% of partners in smaller firms and 29% in larger firms. I would suggest that’s largely a consequence of women having to balance their wish to have families and careers, and they either choose to leave altogether or choose to go into an area, or a job, that they see as more family friendly. That I see as the main challenge. The Bar is a self-employed profession. When I started, there was no obligation on chambers to make arrangements permitting women to return after maternity leave, to provide them with any sort of support during that period, or to do anything to accommodate their different needs. That has changed immensely both at the Bar and on the solicitor side but I think the challenge is to ensure that the working environment and the culture, which was never designed to accommodate the needs of women, changes to meet their different needs. Another thing I benefited from, and we need to ensure this happens more often, is the huge degree of sponsorship I received both from men in my chambers, and women, although there weren’t as many of them. In general I think men get a higher level of sponsorship than women and we need to redress that imbalance so that talented women receive encouragement and support, and are considered when opportunities arise.
That can be a little unsettling and intimidating. Nothing that anybody did was conscious or deliberate but there was a sense of not being part of this gentlemen’s club. So, I put on my mask and pretended – and I was quite good at that. After a little while I forgot about it, the case started, I got into my stride and it all went very well - or badly - but it had nothing to do with gender. There were a few occasions when I felt that I was poorly treated because I was a woman. Once, when I was appealing from the upper tier tribunal tax to the Chancery Division, the judge gave me very short shrift. He wasn’t interested in anything I had to say and eventually the hearing came to an end. I was quite cross and my male QC opponent said that if I wanted to complain he would support me. I didn’t complain but I did appeal to the Court of Appeal and won. At the time I thought it had been an issue because I was a woman, but afterwards male colleagues said they’d had similar experiences with the same judge and it had nothing to do with gender. I really can’t point to anything in my career where I felt that I was held back by being a woman, or treated differently by being a woman, apart from that occasional sense of being the only one in the courtroom! And the answer to that is you just get on with it!
You are one of the few women to head a barristers’ set at the UK Bar and you were the first woman to be appointed President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal since its creation; what has it been like to be a female professional paving the way in the sector? Mostly it’s been irrelevant that I’m a woman. The two areas of law that I’ve worked in were very different. Employment is quite female dominated. There are many women solicitors and a lot of women barristers, and I had no sense that I was a minority. Tax litigation was different. There were very few women solicitors on the litigation side then, though that has probably changed now as it’s such an attractive area of law. But then, I was constantly against male QCs and other male barristers, and in front of male judges. There were many occasions when it felt like I was the only woman in the courtroom!
…absolutely everybody, who has the intellectual ability and desire, should see the legal profession as open to all, whatever their protected characteristics might be
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You are a huge advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion; although much has been done to create a more inclusive sector, what more can be done – and is further collaboration the answer? Collaboration between the different parts of the legal sector is imperative if we’re going to achieve a better and more diverse representation in the judiciary. That’s partly because the judiciary is a feeder career, it’s a second career, and the pool that we fish in for our appointments is the legal sector: solicitors, the Bar, CILEx, and legal academics. Now, if those areas don’t produce a diverse pool at the top, that’s inevitably going to dictate who feeds through into the judiciary. There are a large number of outreach programmes run by the Judicial Office in conjunction with the Judicial Appointments Commission, or with The Law Society, the Bar, or CILEx, depending on who we’re trying to reach out to. Doing this together is a much more effective means of reaching out to more diverse groups. We have many support programmes for people wanting to come into the judiciary from non-traditional backgrounds. We have various other programmes, including schools engagement programmes, where we reach out to schools
I was constantly against male QCs and other male barristers, and in front of male judges. There were many occasions when it felt like I was the only woman in the courtroom
to inspire girls and children from different minority ethnic backgrounds with visits from Diversity and Community Relations Judges. We have a Pre-application Judicial Education (PAJE) Programme which is targeted at lawyers from under-represented groups to give them the support and confidence to apply for judicial roles. So, yes, collaboration is essential and we need to do more to ensure that we are focusing on the best programmes to achieve the best results.
Following the success of diversity initiatives over the last decade, what targets would you prioritise for the next ten years?
I had always thought that once you reach 25% representation that’s the tipping point and that things will continue to go in the right direction. I’m still hoping that’s the case. In almost every area of the senior judiciary, and the circuit, we are well into the 20-30s percentages – and 40% in tribunals – for gender balance and we must continue to run the programmes to ensure that level of diversity is retained and increases. We must also focus on black and minority ethnic representation, social mobility and people with other different protected characteristics. A couple of weeks ago, the Master of the Rolls spoke at an LGBTQ event. The strong message from the panel was that everybody who has the intellectual ability and desire, should see the legal profession as open to all - whatever their protected characteristics might be. My priority now is to see the same or a similar shift in representation for black and minority ethnic, social mobility and LGBTQ+ groups as has occurred for women.
What advice would you give to women who are walking the path of empowerment to become the lawyers and barristers of tomorrow?
It might sound obvious, but there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a career that requires very hard work. However, it’s an incredibly fulfilling career and one that, if you are prepared to work hard, produces huge rewards in terms of intellectual satisfaction and fulfilment. It can be achieved while balancing family life. I have four, now grown up, children and I don’t think they suffered from me being a working mum. So I would say to young women that they have to take responsibility for owning and driving their careers. Nobody else is going to do that for you. You must make the most of every opportunity that comes along. Make the piece of work that you’re asked to do, or the project that you’re invited to work on, the best work you can do because that’s how you create a network of supportive colleagues. Part of a successful career is having a wide network of those who know and respect you, and who will encourage, support and recommend you and so become a source of work. It’s what my pupil master used to call ‘creating a virtuous circle’ – and I like that term.
The Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Simler
is a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.
My priority now is to see the same, or a similar, shift in representation for black and minority ethnic, social mobility and LGBTQ+ groups as has occurred for women
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We are approaching many changes; a new relationship with Europe and the World, new technologies, new markets, customers’ ever increasing demands, and regulators’ ever increasing demands. It is going to make markets and businesses think differently, so finding solutions is what brokers do best
Ahead of BIBA’s manifesto launch, Modern Insurance spoke with their Chief Executive, Steve White, about this year’s theme: ‘A Year to Pioneer’, the challenges ahead in 2020, and the fundamental importance of collaboration.
Thinking back to early 2019; did any of your views change throughout the course of the year? Were there any unexpected turns?
Brexit has kept us on our toes throughout 2019; we moved from having an exit date at the end of March, to an exit date at the end of October, to now an exit date of January. During that time we have been working very closely with the Treasury and the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), and they have prepared us for a No-Deal which we have informed our members of. In response, we ran a series of events, we have a micro-site on our website, and we have contacted all of our members. Brexit has certainly been one of the issues that has swerved in all directions throughout the course of the year. Another thing to mention here is our push surrounding mental health awareness. We ran a keynote session at our conference last May, focused on opening up about mental health, with a panel including; Professor Tanya Byron as host, Andrew Flintoff, Katie Piper, and Professor Green. We gather feedback from every session each year, but we have never received the volume of high quality praise for anything we’ve done before. It was truly remarkable feedback, and it set us off on a course to explore this subject more. It was on our agenda already, but we got such a response that we had to accelerate it up our agenda as a significant issue – to the extent that in the first quarter of this year we are heavily subsidising a series of regional mental health first aid training sessions for our members. These are proving popular already, so we are thinking about what more we can do in that space, in addition to what help we can give our members on the
broader subject. It is clearly going to be a bigger focus for us this year than we perhaps thought 12 months ago. Another change we faced last year, was the introduction of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. We’d been talking about it for such a long time that we acted like it had already been done, although this was a massive change for our members.
Could you elaborate on this year’s BIBA theme, ‘A Year to Pioneer’, and how this reflects BIBA’s areas of focus for the year ahead?
This theme was set because we are facing what could be seen as a new era. We are approaching many changes; a new relationship with Europe and the World, new technologies, new markets, customers’ ever increasing demands, and regulators’ ever increasing demands. It is going to make markets and businesses think differently, so finding solutions is what brokers do best. A Pioneer is someone who operates differently, and that is exactly what BIBA intends to do to help brokers be what they need to be in 2020. It is the year for us all to think slightly differently. In our manifesto, we talk about how the market has evolved, and how it is now evolving at a much higher speed than ever before. We want to help our members be at the forefront and to lead the way – to be pioneers. We want to focus on how we can help them meet the needs of today and tomorrow’s customers.
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Youngsters would much rather have it presented and written by youngsters, than older brokers who may not relate to their situation. Broking is an exciting, enjoyable, rewarding career, and the people who come into it don’t tend to leave - but we need to get that message out there
How can brokers improve relationships with insurers through their digital strategy? And for those brokers still hesitant or more delayed in their approach to embrace a digital transformation, what advice would you give?
Brokers and insurers need to have a good relationship, however they transact business. We are currently working with a firm called Insurecore, who are building an online platform to link brokers to insurers and insurtechs. There are two prongs to this platform: it is allowing insurers to identify their market appetites, and it’s a place where the insurtechs can go and say, ‘we have a solution to this!’. It’s a little bit like a dating agency for businesses, which is what we’ve been calling it. Are you a broker looking for a solution to a problem? This platform will be a place you can go to get some help. The world is changing; a few years ago we focused on innovation and rolled out digital skills workshops. It is widely accepted now that digital skills are going to be equally as important for tomorrow’s workforce as numeracy and literacy skills are today. These courses are proving to be very popular and we will be continuing them in 2020.
A start of a new decade and the start of a new era for brokers, what should be at the very top of the agenda for brokers?
It’s the same as always: customers. Without customers we don’t have businesses, it’s that simple. Making sure we identify their needs is vital. Obviously the external environment will mean that there will be other priorities a little further down the list – Brexit, the hard market, changes in technology, changes in customer expectations and regulatory expectations. There will be other everyday business issues, but the number one focus is absolutely still the customer.
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Can traditional business models meet customer expectations in 2020, or will the gap between expectation and reality widen?
First and foremost, we need to ensure that trust remains high. Bodies like BIBA are trying to educate consumers and businesses on matters that effect their insurance. We are planning some customer facing guides: a cyber facing guide, a guide on secure markets, etc. We issued a SME guide on underinsurance a little while ago, which was the most popular guide that we’d ever launched. We also have customer guides on our website on matters such as: travel insurance, motor insurance, household insurance, what to do in the event of a flood claim, etc. These are all free and readily available so that consumers and small businesses can take them away and help them with their insurance issues. We’ve also just released a guide to modified vehicles, titled ‘What is a Vehicle Modification’? You may think that vehicle modification within insurance is simple, but it’s not. There is a variation in responses by insurers on how to deal with any modification; what classes as a modification; and what you need to tell your insurer about. These kind of guides help clear up confusion and give helpful information to customers and businesses.
How important is collaboration, can it be achieved and how, and if so, can you predict the timeframe to fruition?
Our manifesto is not just what we say is important: it’s what our members tell us is important. We will have over thirty endorsements from broader stakeholders around the industry: CII, ABI, Lloyd’s, FSA, FOS, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and several insurers. So in terms of collaboration, this shows us that it can work very well from a lobbying perspective. Now, you can’t really put timeframes on this kind of thing: some
It’s the same as always: customers. Without customers we don’t have businesses, it’s that simple issues can be brought to a head very quickly, others take a bit longer. The insurance industry – despite all of the digitalisation, automation, and everything else that is happening – is still very much about people. People, when they’re working with other people, can generally get a lot more done than when there are joint voices, rather than one standing out on its own. That is fundamentally important when you talk about lobbying; the politicians want to hear one voice, not a cacophony. Hence the collaboration behind the scenes to make sure all have agreed the message and deliver it with one voice. There are many issues which affect everyone in the same way, so why not speak together instead of standing alone?
What do you believe is key to attracting new and diverse talent? And what can brokers do to ensure they not only retain that talent but also allow it to thrive?
We believe it is about education. We have engaged a good number of young brokers from around the country to help position messaging to attract bright young people of the industry. Youngsters would much rather have it presented and written by youngsters, than older brokers who may not relate to their situation. Broking is an exciting, enjoyable, rewarding career, and the people who come into it don’t tend to leave - but we need to get that message out there.
It’s a very good question to ask about not only the retention of talent, but how it thrives. The digital upskilling courses will help to ensure that staff have the skills they need for tomorrow. We have a dedicated day at our conference for young brokers, which is a highlighted programme of learning for them. This highlights that their needs may well be different from those further up the career ladder. So yes, it’s not just about attracting, but retaining them once they are in and allowing them to thrive. We also need more awareness around creating a diverse culture. Not just in relation to ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender, but is it a nice place to work? Can you go there and not be intimidated? Can you talk openly about what your issues are? 1 in 4 adults suffer from a mental health issue each year, so this is going on around us as we speak. It’s incumbent upon employers now to not only spot but to help their employees. We are putting a lot of effort into raising diversity and inclusion up the flagpole for our members. We are hoping to create toolkits for our members to help them navigate the aspect of work culture. We often hear from our smaller members (who make up the bulk of our member base) questions such as: ‘how do we go about creating a more open culture?’ So there will be something on the conference programme which will allow us to address that. Details regarding the BIBA conference will soon be announced.
is the Chief Executive of BIBA.
Carpenters Group Supplement 15
Speaking to Modern Insurance, Sian Fisher, CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute, outlines her idea to encourage further collaboration, networks and support throughout the profession.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what your current role as CEO at the CII involves?
The Chartered Insurance Institute is the professional body for both the insurance and financial planning profession. We are committed to driving confidence in the power of professional standards, which involves competence, integrity and care for the customer. As CEO, my main job is to create a clear sense of purpose and direction that those working for the professional body can be proud of and get behind. A large part of my role involves networking with sister bodies, senior stakeholders in the market and regulators. It is a real privilege to be able to work and interact with such a large range of people within insurance and financial services.
What is your idea of collaboration?
The power of collaboration will always surpass what any one individual is able to do by themselves. The minute you start working with other people you begin to share information, knowledge and experience, which will only add to what you are doing, far more quickly and widely than you would ever be able to do on your own.
What is the purpose of collaboration? Why is collaboration key to face the challenges within the sector?
The sector covers a whole range of expertise, from global reinsurance through to direct to consumer personal lines, across to protection, pensions and financial advice. Consumers don’t always differentiate between the different ways they engage with our profession’s services. They have a need and the insurance and financial advice profession has expertise, knowledge and advice to offer consumers. If any individual fails to interact well with the consumer, they are going to judge everything in our profession in a negative way because they don’t differentiate between different roles. Collaboration is important to make sure everyone working in the insurance and financial advice profession are treating consumers fairly.
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As we strive to create a united front for the insurance sector, how can we better collaborate to meet the changing demands of customers? Are start-ups part of the answer?
We have got a vibrant start-up sector in our market and I think that is hugely important.
We need start-ups and new businesses with new ideas people wouldn’t create these businesses if they didn’t see an opportunity for better, quicker and smarter working. Start-ups need collaboration if they want to expand, and I believe our profession is a great place for them to start because of the opportunities we can offer as large brands and established companies.
There are many amazing networks designed to empower women to reach their full potential. Why is it important for the industry to have this support available? What examples can you offer from your own experience?
I have found it really encouraging, particularly in the last few years, that there has been a huge increase in people coming forward, wanting more support and sharing their expertise to improve the experience of other women. For example, the Insuring Women’s Futures programme brought together the profession to work to improve women’s lifelong financial resilience and tackle some of the root causes of women’s pension deficit Insuring Women’s Futures, which was a programme established and led by the Chartered Insurance Institute, identified 12 Perils and Pitfalls that could be detrimental to women’s financial health and pinpointed six Moments that Matter when women could take action to improve their financial resilience. The CII wants to lead more work like this - to bring together the insurance and personal finance profession to share expertise, knowledge and services that can improve outcomes for consumers.
The power of collaboration will always surpass what any one individual is able to do by themselves
Leading the professional body for insurance and financial planning since February 2016 follows a distinguished career in the sector, which has included senior roles at a Lloyd’s Syndicate, a UK and European insurance company, a market leading MGA, a major international broker and US corporate. Sian has also run her own start-up intermediary and was part of the creation of the Managing General Agents’ Association. A graduate of Oxford University with an Exec MBA from Harvard, Sian is a strong advocate for equality. She is a founding member and Executive Chair of the Insuring Women’s Futures initiative and a Committee Member of the Insurance Supper Club. Sian is also a Non-Executive Director at Asta Underwriting Management, a Vice President of the Insurance Institute of London, and Board Member of Insurance United Against Dementia (IUAD).
Carpenters Group Supplement 17
I have found it really encouraging, particularly in the last few years, that there has been a huge increase in people coming forward, wanting more support and sharing their expertise to improve the experience of other women In terms of empowering women within the profession - nearly every organisation has a diversity network now and that is a huge step in the right direction. Diversity networks have enabled people to have the confidence to come together and discuss important change, issues and make progress. It is important that we have bodies like ourselves, IWiN, and the Insurance Supper Club galvanising the profession and constantly pushing for discussion and progress.
How do you think the insurance industry can better forge alliances with membership organisations such as the CII? And what is the CII doing to help with this?
The CII has set up societies for insurance broking, claims professionals, personal finance professionals, underwriting professionals and mortgage professionals. We recognise that people like to have access to a network within their own function. The societies share good practice guidance, are an environment where people feel safe and confident to discuss any concerns and amplify any messages from the regulator. We also have 56 local institutes who provide CPD, network opportunities and social activities for members; this all creates a good energy around people collaborating and coming together. In terms of corporation, we are very fortunate at the CII that we can issue corporate Chartered status as well as our Chartered title for qualified individuals. We have around 900 Chartered firms in our sector, which puts them into a parity of an esteemed position with other Chartered professionals. The public does have some awareness and/or conception that a ‘Chartered’ title is an objective assessment of someone’s willingness to act professionally. We try and encourage firms in the sector to meet a standard that resonates with the public, and we find that there are three elements to it. Firstly, get qualified; secondly, customer centricity; and thirdly, giving back to society. Those are the three elements of being a Chartered professional – we call it our Chartered ethos. That ethos gives a wonderful, collaborative concept for lots of firms and individuals across the sector to commit publicly to act in a certain way.
How are the CII delivering your commitment through relevant learning, leadership and an engaged membership?
We have a very well-respected qualification framework. A lot of our core learning doesn’t change over time, but the front-end does, for example, crime has always existed, but cybercrime is new; things mutate and change. Now, when we create our content, we must make sure it has adapted. That is why we use the term ‘relevant learning’, because we must keep updating our content.
What challenges and opportunities do you expect to see within the industry in 2020?
The FCA have recently been driving an interesting piece of work across the entirety of financial services, not just in insurance, which is: how do we reinvigorate the purpose of financial services in the eyes of the public? They asked several bodies to chair a series of roundtables within their own sector and then create a summary on how the sector feels about this in their own words. Those summaries have since been fed back to the FCA and will be published in February. It will discuss the meaning of ‘purpose’, how we define purpose, how do we get purpose back if we lost it with the public, and how do we make purpose and motivation real for our employees. I think there will be a lot of dialogue about purpose in 2020.
What is on the horizon for the CII?
We cover a very wide field in terms of content, but one area that is underweight is personal lines. In a few weeks’ time, we will be launching our refreshed framework for personal lines, which will consist of both learning and qualifications. We are also very conscious that we sit right on the doorstep of the London market and one thing that has happened is the emergence of the MGA space, which has been quite a vibrant area for the market. We have since been to the privy council and secured a Chartered Insurance Underwriting Agent title, which we are launching our new framework for in March.
is CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
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service excellence awards
“What a privilege it is to be Chair of the Judges again at the UK Customer Service Excellence Awards. I love these diverse collaborative awards across the whole industry. They show the industry’s commitment to providing an excellent service for the customer. Kate & the team always put on the most fabulous event!” Donna Scully, Director, Carpenters Group
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As generous as our staff have been, weâ€™re not even scratching the surface of the food crisis facing people in our region
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Firms supporting foodbanks Here at Carpenters Group, as part of our corporate social responsibility activity, we have food collection points in all seven of our offices across the UK. Once the donations have come in, we then distribute foodbank items to Fans Supporting Foodbanks, a joint initiative between Everton (Est. 1878) and Liverpool (Spirit of Shankly) fan clubs and the Charles Thompson Mission in Birkenhead. These are just two of the wonderful volunteer organisations in the region who are working hard to supply basic provisions to those in need. Over 2 years ago we began our Sunday morning Initiative at the Charles Thompson Mission. The Sunday morning initiative is a safe space for those who need food, drink, a conversation and more. We have raised thousands of pounds for our corporate charity, Homelessness, which has contributed to supporting the Sunday Morning Initiative. Since we started the initiative in September 2017, I’ve been delighted and overwhelmed with the response from our staff, who have been donating much needed supplies to those less fortunate than ourselves. As I’m sure you’re all aware, foodbanks now play a vital part in supporting individuals and families – everyday people who just can’t put enough food on their table or feed their children. Through the volunteer organisations we work with, we’ve heard heart-breaking stories of parents going without food for days in order to feed their children first, and children eating wallpaper to fill themselves up. At Carpenters, we believe it is not acceptable that people
are going hungry in 2020 and we want to encourage other businesses to get involved in supporting these essential community initiatives. As generous as our staff have been, we’re not even scratching the surface of the food crisis facing people in our region. Therefore we’re asking the Insurance and Legal industry to get involved and to raise awareness, encouraging other businesses to come together to show their support and help local people in crisis. Items required urgently: • • • •
Sugar Milk (UHT or Dried) Coffee/Tea Tinned Food (Fish/Meat, Soup, Tomatoes, Puddings, Fruit) • Jam • Cereal • Small Chocolate or Snack Bars
• Pasta • Pasta Sauces/Packet Sauces • Rice • Fruit Juice • Biscuits • Toiletries (new)
If you or your company would like to get involved, please contact me at email@example.com
is the Director of Carpenters Group.
We want to encourage other businesses to get involved in supporting these essential community initiatives
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The ABI, like any good trade body, is all about collaboration strength through association as we say. As the voice of the UK’s insurance and long-term savings industry, politicians, regulators and policymakers look to us for the industry’s perspective on key public policy issues
James Dalton James Dalton, Director of General Insurance, discusses industry collaboration and the ABI’s priorities for 2020.
At first glance, the scope for collaboration in the highly competitive insurance markets may seem very limited. Yet this is far from the case. Collaboration and competition are not mutually exclusive but are two sides of the same coin that help ensure an adaptable, innovative worldleading UK insurance industry that benefits customers, the UK economy, and wider society. Despite the diverse nature of our industry, when we come together the customer benefits. In the London Market for example, firms that are in competition with each other one minute will come together the next to share in the insuring of a large, unusual risk. The ABI, like any good trade body, is all about collaboration - strength through association as we say. As the voice of the UK’s insurance and long-term savings industry, politicians, regulators and policymakers look to us for the industry’s perspective on key public policy issues. During 2019, the ABI has been involved in nearly one hundred meetings with MPs, peers and other politicians, and held over twenty meetings with government Ministers. There are many examples of how ABI-coordinated industry collaboration leads to the industry working more effectively for the end customer, and wider society. These include:
The result of intensive negotiations between the industry and the Government, Flood Re is a world first, an innovative solution to ensure that flood insurance
remains accessible and affordable to thousands of homeowners who would otherwise struggle to access the market. Over 250,000 homeowners at flood risk are benefitting from the scheme since it was launched in 2016. The vast majority, 94%, of the UK home insurance market is using the scheme. This has created a competitive flood insurance market, which means that four out of five homeowners with previous flood claims are now able to find quotes that are more than 50% cheaper than before Flood Re began.
Long before the tragedy of the Grenfell fire the ABI had been calling for an overhaul of building and fire safety regulations. We joined forces with the Fire Protection Association (FPA), who carried out a series of carefully controlled experiments recreating more realistic building conditions than those in which standard tests are done, in an effort to measure what difference these factors could make in the event of a fire. The results dramatically and worryingly exposed the utter inadequacy of the laboratory tests currently used to check the fire safety of building materials. So we are pleased to now see that a review of BD8414 is underway given that we need a testing framework that is closely aligned to the realities of construction in the built environment, not one that is divorced from that reality. At the same time we need fundamental reform of the building control process to ensure proper protection of property against the risk of fire.
Despite the diverse nature of our industry, when we come together the customer benefits
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• Reviewing their pricing approach for customers who have been with them for longer than five years and assessing whether this approach delivers a fair outcome.
Nowhere is the collaborative approach better illustrated than in the fight against insurance fraud. The industry has long recognised that the only way to tackle insurance fraud is to work together to detect and deter ever more organised and complex insurance scams. The industry’s conduct regulator, government and our customers expect the industry to co-operate to ensure fraud does not simply move from one insurance market to another, but the fraudsters are brought to justice. The ABI and Lloyd’s jointly fund the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) a bespoke police unit hosted by the City of London Police. Working with the Insurance Fraud Bureau, since its formation in 2012, IFED has secured over 482 convictions, the equivalent of an 83% conviction rate, leading to over 285 years in custodial sentences, 128 years in suspended sentences and over 17,300 hours community service.
Personal injury compensation reform
Seeking alliances outside of the industry always helps. Our campaigning for reforms to the personal injury compensation system has, at times, led to conflict with some in the claimant legal community. However, it is worth remembering that although we may disagree on the need for government policy interventions, there is a general desire and commitment from across the personal injury industry to ensure the reforms in the Civil Liability Act work in practice and are informed by the needs of our customers.
Improved outcomes for existing customers
Working alongside the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), insurance was the first industry to actively tackle the issue of excessive pricing differentials between new and existing customers. Our Guiding Principles and Action Points (GPAPs) initiative is addressing some of the issues in the market that can lead to excessive differences that unfairly penalise some longstanding customers. This is not just a well-intentioned set of words. The ethos and approach to better outcomes for longstanding customers is being given Board or senior management level priority, and is being formally incorporated into firms’ procedures for determining the premium at renewal. Working together, ABI and BIBA members are: • Making it clear in written, online, or verbal customer communications that the new customer premium only applies for that year and subsequent renewal premiums may be higher.
The ABI will publish a report in Spring 2020 to demonstrate how our members have sought to tackle excessive differences between new customer premiums and those of existing customers.
Industry wide guidance and voluntary codes
Working collaboratively with our members and, where needed, other stakeholders, various voluntary codes. and guidance are helping customers. A recent example of this is the treatment of criminal convictions. We have worked with the ex-offenders charity Unlock on guidelines to help insurers treat people with criminal convictions fairly and in compliance with the law. The guidelines aim to ensure that insurers: • Only seek information relevant to the risk; asking clear, concise and explicit questions about unspent convictions; • Make clear to customers the consequences of not disclosing, or misrepresenting unspent convictions; • Ensure that staff are fully trained on relevant laws and regulations surrounding rehabilitation of offenders; • Assist customers in finding insurance through signposting and referral arrangements where they are unable to provide cover themselves. We have begun similar work to consider underwriting principals when it comes to mental ill health in health and travel insurance.
Collaboration will continue to play a key part of the ABI’s general insurance strategic priorities for 2020, including:
• Exploring with the claimant legal community possible solutions to how best handle minor injury claims in the context of the Civil Liability Act.
• Working with the Government and our members to ensure an effective regulatory and legal framework around the roll out of autonomous vehicles.
• Further strengthening relationships with Lloyd’s and the wider London Market as it seeks to reduce costs and maintain London as the global specialist insurance and reinsurance marketplace.
While there are many challenges ahead in the political and regulatory landscapes, insurers will continue to work together across the industry, as well as reaching out in a spirit of collaboration with other sectors, to help overcome those issues in the years ahead.
is the Director of general insurance for the ABI.
Carpenters Group Supplement 23
A growing group
Gary Humphreys is an experienced insurance professional, enjoying almost four decades in the industry. He is co-founder of the Markerstudy Group of Companies which commenced trading in 2001. In 2018 MGA Markerstudy Insurance Services Limited was created, and is now the largest MGA in the UK. Gary spoke to Modern Insurance about dual pricing and collaboration to prevent fraud As we move into 2020, how important will price Q be for the customer? What other major buying considerations will customers have? In the insurance space, price is always going to A be the main concern for the consumer, perhaps even more so in 2020. Most insurance starts life on an
aggregator and customers are used to price being the main consideration. The way the market has been led has created a general consumer belief that pretty much everything on the aggregator is the same product, so price becomes the determining factor. With the upward pressure on pricing, particularly in motor, and the potential challenges coming around dual pricing from the FCA, this could lead to an increase in new business prices. stance does Markerstudy take on the recent QWhat debates on dual pricing for customers? We’ve always taken the view that loyal customers A should never be unnecessarily penalised for the benefit of writing more new business. Consequently, it’s
something we’ve never been an exponent of. Most of our business has always been intermediated and the street pricing has always been in the hands of the broker. But with our direct portfolio, which was largely through the Geoffrey brand, our price promise says that a renewing customer will never pay more than the equivalent new business price.
Collaboration is vital, do you foresee significant Q advances in and beyond 2020 in the sharing of data, particularly in the fight against fraud? And what do you believe is required?
I agree wholeheartedly with the concept of A collaboration wherever possible. We do share information, particularly to counter fraud in both the
buying and claims processes. One of the current challenges is with the advent of much tougher legislation around data in the form of GDPR. It becomes more difficult to share data with certain parties where there could be a benefit in combating fraud. This is definitely one of the areas that we need to find a common platform to share data in a more intelligent way without breaching GDPR guidelines.
the challenge to deliver speed for the consumer, with QIna high-level validation process, can the two co-exist? Absolutely they can! We have a very high level of A pre-validation before we even provide a price, which all happens in fractions of a second. And with current technology it’s easily achievable.
What is the role of collaboration in counter fraud Q and how does Markerstudy work with its partners to prevent fraud? The partners we work with are mainly the larger A intermediaries. We have data sharing agreements which cover fraudulent behaviour, either proven in the
past or suspected, so that we can protect our insurer partners from known committers of fraud – both policy fraud and claims fraud. And as fraud gets ever more sophisticated, collaboration becomes proportionately more relevant and important, because as you close one door to one fraud another is opened. The hot topic at the moment is identity theft and it’s a growing problem. The criminal fraternity uses it to access legitimate insurance so they don’t have issues such as being stopped by routine police patrols. And while that doesn’t necessarily cost the industry money in terms of false motor insurance claims, obviously the perpetrators of identity theft are using it to roam freely and commit other types of crime. These crimes may or may not have an insurance impact but as an industry, both morally and for the benefit of society, we need to be able to prevent that happening because it has a much wider impact than just insurance crime. Many of the other ‘traditional’ methods of fraud have been negated by actions taken by the industry and by the more sophisticated use of data. This has driven criminals down the path of identity theft to obtain what appears on the surface to be normal insurance cover. By the use of data, the industry has detected those repeat offenders who would make exaggerated claims and multiple claims for the same loss with different insurers. Those loopholes have now been closed. What we’re currently seeing is the more serious criminal using identity theft to keep out of the eyes of the law, and this has brought a more serious element of fraud into the
What regulators don’t want to do is take an action that’s going to lead to increased pricing
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Where criminal activity is concerned, the key is trying to keep ahead of the game to determine where it’s heading and where to put the finger in the dam next!
insurance spotlight. In terms of wider criminal implications, stolen identity can then be used in other ways, for instance, mobile phones being just one method of setting up fake accounts. If you don’t have sufficient systems, access or collaboration with bigger partners you can be left vulnerable, because criminals are investing significant amounts of money into circumventing these checks and balances. The key is trying to keep ahead of the game, where criminal activity is concerned, to determine where it’s heading now and where to put the finger in the dam next!
Dual pricing has long been in the forefront of insurers Q minds. After a super-complaint was submitted which led to an investigation into pricing practices, what needs to be considered in the new decade?
This is going to be a very interesting journey. We’re A at the tip of the iceberg at the moment. The supercomplaint has firmly caught the attention of both
the general public and the regulator. There will be a considered and measured response from the regulators, initially in the shape of firm guidelines and best practice to be followed, rather than any hard legislation, particularly as the regulators have always said they will not regulate price, only practice. As we head into the new decade I do think that regulatory oversight of dual pricing, and pricing in general, will come more under the microscope and perhaps become more heavily regulated in due course owing to the amount of data available and with the use of AI in pricing. Potentially, and I’m not saying this is happening anywhere at the moment, but there could be scenarios where uncontrolled, or unregulated, AI pricing could lead to customer outcomes that aren’t desirable. So from a regulatory perspective there will definitely be closer oversight of not only dual pricing but also pricing practices at a wider level.
As a result of the recent FCA report on dual pricing, Q the FCA are considering whether firms should publish information about price differentials between their customers. What impact do you think this would have on the market?
Anticipating what shape this takes is an interesting A one. We’ve lived with the prescription of renewal pricing showing the previous year’s price and, despite a
lot of fear about that initially, it hasn’t really had a massive impact on renewal retentions or customer migration. The figures remain fairly consistent despite that. So I suppose it depends on what the FCA ask people to publish and how it’s displayed.
For example, if you take a worst case scenario that 60% of renewing customers are paying more than new customers, that would reflect quite badly and would lead to consumers migrating away from such firms. However, if it’s more granular and one person’s risk is priced at £500 yet someone with a similar risk profile is charged £450, then is that going to cause a lot of shopping around? It might trigger some questions but it wouldn’t necessarily indicate that people were not being treated fairly by their existing insurers. I think it has the potential to disrupt the market but it depends on how far they go with what needs to be published. In reality, there are some indefensible examples of dual pricing and there are other examples where the gap is very small and can be easily explained by different cost structures and acquisition. What we do need to be careful of as a market, and I’m sure the regulators are all over this, is that generally the UK insurance market is very competitive, particularly on the motor side, and it’s not a market that is restricted by capacity or competition. What regulators don’t want to do is take an action that’s going to lead to increased pricing. Without doubt, the vast majority of customers do get a good deal and do have the ability to move around quite freely. Yes, there are ‘vulnerable’, customers who we need to look after to ensure they’re not exploited. These would typically include older customers, financially unsophisticated customers who aren’t aware of price comparison sites or have the ability to move easily at renewal. And some customers, for all the right reasons, are simply loyal to a brand and don’t research pricing as much as they could. But generally, the market is very well served.
is Group Underwriting Director of the Markerstudy Group.
What we’re currently seeing is the more serious criminal using identity theft to keep out of the eyes of the law, and this has brought a more serious element of fraud into the insurance spotlight
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Chris Skyner, Regional Co-ordinator for MASS, delves into the challenges of 2020 and MASS’ plan of action.
How are you finding your role as Regional Coordinator for MASS?
It is an honour being elected as the MASS regional co-ordinator. It has given me ample opportunity to meet likeminded people, and share ideas and problems the profession faces in these uneasy times.
What would you say are the main challenges that the industry is facing at the moment, and what are your plans to help MASS tackle them?
The challenges that we face are The Civil Liberty Act and Whiplash Reforms, which will have an effect on the victims of road traffic accidents, and all companies that deal with these types of claims. The proposals will require the victims of accidents to act on their own without the help of legal advice. If the proposal suggested goes ahead, how the Litigant in Person can prosecute their claim via the portal, appears to be something that has not been taken into consideration. This will leave them open to case management companies, and if the matter is listed for a hearing, with a McKenzie Friend, then both parties would not be regulated. The courts have also been affected by the Ministry of Justice cutting back on the judicial time to deal with not only civil matters, but also other cases that go before the court. Many courts have closed and have been moved to a trial centre, Manchester being a prime example. The majority of the satellite courts have closed and have been moved to a central hearing centre. Many of the judges who sit in the satellite courts have retired, which in turn has caused a shortage of judges. My role as regional co-ordinator for MASS is to bring these issues to the forefront for, not only the members of MASS, but other firms and members of the Bar, so that everyone is aware of the difficulties faced by the Litigant in Person.
What is your core aim as a regional representative?
My core aim as the regional representative is to bring these issues to the forefront for the members of MASS and firms and members of chambers on the Northern Circuit, so that everyone is aware of the difficulties faced by the Litigant in Person in the future.
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How has your role as an In-House Advocate & Legal Advisor at Carpenters Group influenced your work with MASS, and vice versa?
My role as an In-House Advocate means I spend most of my time at the ‘coal face’ and experience the difficulties faced by members of the judiciary. I am able to keep my finger on the pulse and report their views to the management committee.
How do you ensure that the work that MASS produces stays relevant to the profession, and keeps members engaged and informed?
The work carried out by MASS is very important, and it does a lot of work behind the scenes in representing the interest of its members and the victims of accidents. MASS has been involved in meeting with the insurance industry and the government to ensure the reforms are sufficiently open and transparent, so much so that a letter sent to the previous Lord Chancellor was picked up by the insurance and legal press, and was addressed by Lord Keen. The management committee considers all the work carried out, and they are focused on the key issues of the day.
Why would you say it is important for members of the profession to be part of a collective like MASS?
By being a member of MASS, you have an opportunity to network and share ideas and issues with other colleagues from other firms and learn from them. This is invaluable as the exchange of information and expectations helps with the day-to-day difficulties faced in the profession today.
is the In-House Advocate & Legal Advisor at Carpenters Group and a Regional Co-ordinator for MASS.
The work carried out by MASS is very important, and it does a lot of work behind the scenes in representing the interest of its members and the victims of accidents
My role as an In-House Advocate means I spend most of my time at the â€˜coal faceâ€™ and experience the difficulties faced by members of the Judiciary
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I believe the benefits of collaboration are really clear if you start to collaborate with people both internally and externally
Collaboration and Inclusion
– Benefits and Barriers
Karen has been working in the Lloyd’s and London market for over 30 years, starting her career in the compliance arena, moving on to a COO and then a CEO role within the Lloyd’s market for an established Lloyd’s Managing Agency. She is also the Senior Independent Director for the USAA Limited and USAA SA, Vice Chair of a Multi-Academy Trust, and Chair of iWIN.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what your current role involves as the Chair of iWIN?
I began my career in the industry 30 years ago, and have chaired iWIN for the last three years of those. What we’ve tried to do in the last three years is to make iWIN a lot more collaborative. More collaborative with other organisations, networks and committees within our industry and the London markets as a whole. We decided to try and reposition iWIN to be more inclusive and better support young women throughout their careers. We need to understand that there’s some great female talent in our industry and I believe we need to showcase the women who are at the top in our industry and specialists in their field. I believe it’s a very powerful thing to promote female speakers where we can, because as well as trying to support and educate, it is important to become a place for people to talk about their skills and talents, which is something I don’t think we see enough of when it comes to women. I love what we do and the events we hold, but I must admit there’s a little part of me that gives a big sigh that I’m chairing a women’s network in 2020. Personally, my work at iWIN has primarily always been a conversation about talent. However, I am also aware that I don’t want women’s voices to be lost in the whole host of other things that are happening in the market place. And so, it’s a very fine balance. We’re not a political body, but we’re there to try and support people and essentially try and be a positive force.
What will the benefits of collaboration be for the industry?
I believe the benefits of collaboration are really clear if you start to collaborate with people both internally and externally. Personally, I don’t feel companies do enough to collaborate internally. Within companies I have seen areas of a business that become silos in themselves, and I believe collaboration internally would give companies a real understanding of who their people are and where their talents lie. By doing this, you can start to think about deploying talent differently and in different places. Quite often, I have found that when you work in a place that operates on quite a silo basis, you become frustrated for opportunities. This applies in particular for women, whom when they can’t see a career path within a company, will look to leave and go somewhere else. Externally, looking at collaboration on a wider scale, I’ve always been quite an inclusive person and believe companies are more fun, more independently-minded and more innovative if they’re inclusive. I don’t just mean with gender and race, but also by observing employees from an education perspective and social mobility; these are things that are important to me. If you looked at the market a few years ago, there were lots of interest groups and women’s groups that were at risk of becoming silos in themselves, so ‘externally’ this is
Companies need to be very proactive with their strategies because conversation about inclusion can be very difficult
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another area where we can collaborate better, so that we all benefit. Working together means we will touch so many more people and demonstrates the skill sets of the people you’re representing. A really good example of this, came at the end of last year when we collaborated with ‘iCAN’ and created a forum that talked about race, talent and barriers to progression. What’s more, we also set up a mentoring scheme called ‘Inspire’ which collaborated the work of both organisations to help mentor young people from the BAME community entering the industry.
What strategies would you suggest be adopted to ensure collaboration success in the Insurance Industry?
Companies need to be very proactive with their strategies because conversation about inclusion can be very difficult. As a company you can support external groups such as iWIN, if their ethos matches yours and what they’re trying to do. Internally, I believe companies should be looking at it more from an operational perspective and not just an ‘HR’ one. You must proactively go out and look to collaborate with your colleagues, creating a culture where there is a way for people to raise any concerns they have, and gives them the ability to talk about the barriers they may face and come up with suggestions. Some kind of ‘employee engagement scheme’ can also be really beneficial and you really need to encourage colleagues to go to these and enjoy them. If you’re going to collaborate, you’ve got to be able to give people the ‘time’ to do this. What’s more, you have to be given the time to think about how to do this. That’s why collaboration has often been seen as a difficult subject, because as we all know, time, in our industry, is one of the most precious commodities.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership within the Insurance sector?
Women can get side tracked as they pursue their careers. That is not to say men don’t as well, but in order to answer this question properly, I will answer this through the female lens specifically. Women can get side tracked by life circumstances, whether this be caring for elderly relatives, looking after your family or having to take some time out for yourself. I believe when you are eventually able to come back, it is incredibly hard to pick up where you left off. Rightly or wrongly, (it is changing in regards to paternity leave and sharing that responsibility), when you take a break it’s really tough to come back. I don’t think companies have really nailed how to deal with that break for a woman. I believe we need to get better in understanding why people may look to have career breaks. I do think that it’s a real barrier to female leadership, and if companies can’t do this, they will lose talent because of it. At the beginning of your career, the industry is very good at welcoming in both men and women. However, as you
advance through your career, the number of female leaders seems to drop off and arguably that is a result of this barrier. It can be really difficult to reassert yourself and you are often viewed differently or even labelled when you do return. I believe we’re still quite rigid in our structures. We’re not flexible enough, and don’t give enough understanding to this part of a woman’s career. You have to have ways in a company (and lots do), that allow this period to be a smoother and more considerate process. Once you’re a leader, understandably so, there are different responsibilities in caring for your company, and less flexibility with certain life circumstances. However, to get to that point of being a female leader, there’s lots of moving parts that enable you to get there, and I’m sometimes not sure that those moving parts e.g. flexibility, are really being utilised well enough. I believe if we’re able to create the environment, where it’s easier for people to come back to work and their skills, talent and ability to lead are still recognised, this would really help to eradicate this barrier to female leadership.
What will the industry’s biggest challenge be for the next generation of women?
The biggest challenge will be whether women want to stay in this industry or not. When it gets to a certain point in their career, whether they’re faced with cultural challenges, behavioural challenges, coming back after a career break, or even a lack of clarity about where their career path is going, I believe women face the problem of do they wish to stay in this industry or not. We need to make our industry as open to talent as possible, wherever that talent comes from. I do believe we have a challenge to make sure this industry stays attractive and open to talent, and we have to consider how we can engage and demonstrate career opportunities to the people within our industry. We need to engage with women throughout their career, making sure they have more guidance on their career path, and we don’t create unnecessary and thoughtless barriers to this. Beyond this, we need to think about how we employ women. I believe that when we provide thought and training in our industry, it’s ok to note that men and women need different things in their career path and different support. I do fear that we have become homogenised in the way we offer help, and we should certainly be pushing for a better way to cater for the diverse talent in our industry.
Chair iWIN & Senior Independent Director USAA Ltd and USAA SA
Carpenters Group Supplement 29
Carpenters Groupâ€™s Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury, Carol Hopwood, discusses the challenges and experiences within the injury sector, and her collaboration with APIL.
Since being appointed Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury at Carpenters Group in 2018, how has the company grown, and what do you feel you have brought to the table?
I am fortunate to have joined such an established and experienced team of lawyers and assistants. In the last 12 months we have grown in head count, introduced new processes that have improved our ability to accurately forecast and deliver results. We have introduced sub specialities within the team to ensure that the right people are dealing with the right cases, and there is a continued focus on how we can continually improve. As well as technical expertise, we understand the importance of a positive client experience and the five-star reviews that the team consistently receive are testament to our focus on the client. Training and development are also key, and we take a proactive approach to succession planning, encouraging the younger members of the team to embrace the opportunities for progression that they have here.
It takes a certain kind of passion and commitment to accumulate the wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of Serious and Catastrophic Injuries that you have amassed over your career, what has driven your dedication?
Itâ€™s simple. I love what I do and so dedication naturally flows from that. I take great satisfaction from knowing that our legal expertise can help achieve the best results for our clients. We support our clients and their families through the most difficult of times. It is challenging on many levels, but we are driven to achieve the best possible outcomes. Being part of a process with the ultimate objective of assisting an injured client with their journey to being the best that they can be post-accident, and knowing that they are being properly compensated for their losses as far as money can, is what drives all of us in the team. During my career I have been fortunate enough to have guidance and support from some of the best legal brains in the sector and I see it very much as part of my role to ensure that we are cascading that knowledge and experience to the next generation of lawyers.
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What are your key challenges in strengthening the Carpenters Group name in 2020?
We work in a highly competitive area of law and are aware that our results and service levels are critical, and so that has been our priority. We have historically chosen not to advertise or use social media as a platform to broadcast our achievements, preferring instead to channel our efforts into assisting organisations and charities that are directly aligned with the serious injury work that we do. We will be building further on this in 2020.
What are the main benefits of your collaboration with APIL?
APIL is the voice of its members and is very proactive in fighting against the changes that we believe dilutes or prevents access to justice. My view is that without the work of APIL and other organisations like it, there would have been an even greater erosion of access to justice. The accreditation schemes, training, APIL assistance and expert database are all valuable resources for us.
APIL underpins a culture, which believes that injured people can often be the most vulnerable in society and helping them can make a tangible difference to their lives. Do you think that standards in personal injury law and process are being driven up by these criteria?
The vulnerability of injured people at their time of greatest need should not be underestimated. It is very much our responsibility as personal injury lawyers and APIL members to ensure that those vulnerabilities, either pre-existing or accident related, are identified early and that every aspect of the litigation journey considers that vulnerability. A good personal injury lawyer should take a holistic approach to each case ensuring that all needs are identified and a bespoke service provided. We may arrange referral for a benefits check, signpost to a relevant support group or charity or even help to educate friends and family about the
During my career I have been fortunate enough to have guidance and support from some of the best legal brains in the sector and I see it very much as part of my role to ensure that we are cascading that knowledge and experience to the next generation of lawyers
impact that their injuries have had upon them both in the immediate and long-term future. This is particularly the case with brain injuries. I also believe that the significant change in recent years to a more collaborative and transparent working relationship, between claimant lawyers and defendant insurers/lawyers, has helped to improve both the process and the outcome for our seriously injured clients, particularly with earlier identification and funding of rehabilitation and timely interim payments. Unfortunately, the proposed changes in process for fast track personal injury work will compromise and marginalise some of the most vulnerable in society. I have concerns about how, for example, an elderly injured party will manage to navigate through the Litigant in Person portal or how those without access to the internet or necessary computer skills will manage.
Since becoming the founding trustee and secretary of Headway Sefton, how has the charity developed and grown?
Our first drop-in session had only two members but everything must start somewhere. We now consistently have over 40 members at our meetings. It is a true community where people look out for each other. It is so rewarding to see the formation of friendships, a return of confidence and the dissipation of that sense of isolation and despair that people have when they come through our door as they are embraced, quite literally, by members of the branch. Thanks to our amazing bid writer and fundraisers, we are able to offer free events, refreshments, social activities and a three-day break in the Lake District every year. I am very grateful to Carpenters for allowing me the time away from the office to support Headway Sefton and for sponsorship of the branch newsletter.
The vulnerability of injured people at their time of greatest need should not be underestimated
Treating law as a rewarding vocation and not just a job, is an ethos which is prevalent throughout Carpenters Group, can you give some examples of how this ideology works on a day-to-day basis?
It is hard not to feel this way when you understand the difference that you can make to a clientâ€™s life. We nurture a culture of doing the right thing, and thinking outside of the box to find innovative solutions for the problems our clients face. Formal office hours and weekend boundaries do not exist, not because we insist, but because the team understand that our role is to be accessible at our clientâ€™s convenience. Seeing clients on bank holidays, evenings or weekends is routine. Our technical director went off shopping for Heinz tomato soup for a braininjured client in hospital who was refusing to eat or engage in rehabilitation until she had it. The soup was duly delivered. We are also keen to ensure that clients who are advised that they do not have a case are not left unsupported. We will research local support groups for signposting, refer them for benefits advice where appropriate and provide other practical advice. Common decency and support for our fellow human beings should not be restricted by the interpretation of the law.
is Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury for Carpenters Group and a Senior Litigator with APIL.
Carpenters Group Supplement 31
Why modern insurance fraud requires a new approach Ben Fletcher, Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau, explores why greater collaboration and improved communication are vital to tackling insurance fraud.
Anyone who has worked in insurance fraud will know that two of the most commonly asked questions are: How big a problem is insurance fraud? When will it be dealt with?
donâ€™t ask when we will be able to perfect the experience because it is a continually evolving process that needs a lot of care and attention.
Our approach to insurance fraud is interesting. I am sorry if I am the bearer of bad news, but the nature of fraud today means it is unlikely to be ever completely resolved.
Modern insurance fraud is much the same. The nature of fraud is continually evolving, and as a result, insurers dedicate significant resources just to keep up with the latest fraud threats across the market.
When we think about the businesses we work in, and how they can deliver a great customer experience, we do not think about that as being a task that once complete, can be filed and move on to the next challenge. We
Fraud, albeit in a different form, pre-dates what we recognise as insurance itself therefore the likelihood of us being able to eradicate all fraud is incredibly low, in
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We have seen that the criminals are not only having a direct financial impact, because of losses through fraud, but their practices risk damaging the reputation of our industry. The reality is that fraudsters are far better at working together than we are
much the same way as society is unlikely to eliminate all types of crime. As such, we need to change people’s perceptions to recognise that insurance fraud is an issue that harms all of us in a variety of ways - it will evolve as society does and our controls to mitigate it need to respond accordingly. The industry has made some significant steps in recent years. It was not that long ago that insurance fraud was widely perceived as a victimless crime. The mere term ‘insurance fraud’, conjured up outdated images of dodgy vehicle theft claims, paint allegedly being spilt on suspiciously old and worn carpet, and lying on applications to try and achieve a cheaper premium. Those things inevitably still happen, however what we now know is that there is a far darker side to insurance fraud.
Many organised criminals now see insurance fraud as a lucrative opportunity that attracts relatively little risk and a business model that yields a healthy return on money linked to wider organised crime. Those criminals will think nothing of stealing sensitive data, inflating genuine claims for their own personal gain or creating collisions between vehicles that are not ‘accidents’ but purposeful collisions. As impressive as the advances we have made are, the reality is that more still needs to be done and the area that probably needs the most focus is communication: how we communicate within our own industry to protect it from those who are trying to abuse it in one form or another. Also, how we communicate with our customers to make them aware of how to spot, prevent and report fraud is key. Most businesses fail because consumers no
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longer want what is being offered. If we can help educate people about what fraud is and the risks associated to it, we have the opportunity to remove the criminal’s ‘would be customers’ and disrupt their own enterprise model. Technology brings so many benefits to us right across society. The way that we as individuals are able to access and consume services has changed exponentially in the last few years, and technology needs to be embraced and encouraged. As businesses, it means we can reach customers more quickly, enable them to buy our services and form partnerships that we previously would not have thought of. We do, however, need to acknowledge that these same technologies are being used by the criminals for their own enterprise. They plan and try to future-proof their models, just as much as law abiding businesses. Fraudsters are not restricted by the same data protection and competition law considerations as our industry is. The reality is that fraudsters are far better at working together than we are. They do not silo things like we do into product lines and try and distinguish a ’slightly,’ fraudulent claim to a ‘really’ fraudulent one, they are motivated by financial gain by whatever means. The industry recognised the need to work together many years ago and the IFB initially started looking at organised road traffic accidents, now commonly referred to as ‘crash for cash’. Once we started aggregating the data, we started to see the links between the different groups of organisers. Fraudsters would not stick to a typical way of committing their fraud, but regularly change and innovate. We have seen that fraudsters will not be loyal to any one particular brand or product line. If they see an opportunity with any company or product they will try and exploit it. We have seen that the criminals are not only having a direct financial impact, because of losses through fraud, but their practices risk damaging the reputation of our industry. When a criminal masquerades as an insurer, broker, law firm or other, the end consumer probably doesn’t initially realise that and therefore the reputation of our industry is being put at risk just as much as the monetary risk.
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We have seen the criminal gangs connected to insurance fraud being connected to many other types of crime, including people trafficking, drugs, firearms and other violent offences. The criminal gangs flourish on being able to convince genuine consumers that what they are offering is legitimate, when in fact it is not. That means that the lines between the genuine and the fraud, between opportunistic fraud and organised fraud, are ever more blurred. Insurance companies are often seen as the victims because they pay the claims. However every business in the supply chain is at risk of being a victim to fraud, and ultimately we all as consumers pay for the cost of fraud in one way or another. The IFB remains a not-for-profit organisation, operated by the industry to help deal with the issues that individual firms cannot tackle on their own. We help develop and publish best practice, share data to find the trends and patterns that fraudsters are trying to hide from us. To help co-ordinate investigations that lead to effective disruption, including ultimately people being arrested and convicted, sends a much-needed message to others that our industry is not a soft target. What started as an organisation focused on one specific type of fraud is now looking at many different types of insurance fraud. While we began working exclusively with insurers, we now work with a range of organisations, including brokers, investigators, aggregators and law firms. The best way to really take the fight to the fraudsters is for us to work together. The term the ‘power of the collective,’ which was used a lot in the formative years of the IFB, has never been truer than it is today.
is Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).
right people. right skills. right technology.
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