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31

ISSN 2515-3803

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MODERN Insurance

Editorial Contributors Andrew Gibbons ACII Chair, Industry Claims Initiative on behalf of BIBA

Nik Ellis Managing Director Laird Assessors

David Williams Technical Director AXA Insurance

Pablo Liñares Director of Consulting and Innovating Services GT Motive

Dan Chesney Commercial Director S&G Response

Richard Beaven Executive Director Swinton Group

Donna Scully Director Carpenters Group

Rodrigo DeCossio UK Insurance Lead MarkLogic

Professor Hugh Koch Clinical Psychologist and Director Hugh Koch Associates and Visiting Professor in Law & Psychology, Birmingham City University James Roberts Business Development Director, Insurance Europcar UK Group Jason Tripp Operations Director Coplus

Rupert Armitage Managing Director Auto Windscreens Shaun Smith Sales Executive EMEA iovation Shirley Woolham COO Minster Law Simon Stanfield Chair Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS)

Jonathan Hewett Chief Marketing Officer Octo Telematics Keith Tracey Managing Director, Professional Services Aon Risk Solutions Dr Matthew Connell Director, Policy and Public Affairs Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)

Sophie Timms Head of UK Corporate Responsibility Zurich Stephen Hines President Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) Stephen Marshall ACII Managing Director Insure Apps

Michael Lewis CEO Claim Technology Ltd Natalie Larnder Policy Adviser, Civil Justice Association of British Insurers (ABI)

Trevor Lloyd-Jones Senior Marketing Manager, Insurance LexisNexis Risk Solutions

WELCOME reat customer service means different things to different people. One customer in a shoe shop might truly appreciate the time and attention the sales assistant gives them, while another might cringe away from what they perceive to be overenthusiasm and pushiness from the same employee. At the end of the day, the right salesperson needs to recognise that the definition of customer service is flexible so that they can understand the customer’s needs and advise them on the best product for their circumstances. After all, the proof is in the product.

G

This is something the insurance industry is constantly grappling with, because it’s not selling shoes. Insurance products are of course far more complex and probably more consequential for most people too, and they’re completely unique in that the customer purchases them in the hope they’ll never need them. So how can an insurance business make sure it’s providing consistently good customer service selling ethereal, obscure and sometimes unwanted products? It’s a question we spent a long time pondering over when devising criteria for the first ever UK Customer Service Excellence Awards, and the plethora of nominations we received shed a lot of light on how the industry is going about this. What stood out to me is that good employee to customer service all starts with good employer to employee service, with regular training, feedback and investment in staff making a big impact on customer satisfaction. It was also interesting to learn about the ways the market is trying to make its products more accessible and engaging for customers, finding new ways of promoting or structuring their services to the on-demand generation. There are lots of hurdles to overcome when providing good customer service too, including external factors that impact on the industry. Fraud is a big one. It’s as much of a challenge today as it is when I joined the Modern Insurance team, and it doesn’t look set to be vanquished any time soon. That’s not for a lack of trying from everybody in the industry, and there are some great initiatives out there, like No Office Walls, a platform to enable collaboration between anti-fraud professionals. You can read more about NOW in this issue’s interview with MD Cate Wright, as well as how the industry is approaching Brexit, data and autonomy and other big disruptors. Congratulations to all the awards winners who have certainly overcome industry challenges and put their customers first. It may not be as simple as selling shoes, but you know the customer will be truly grateful to have more than their feet protected when something goes wrong.

Issue 31 ISSN 2515-3803 Editor Brendan Gurrie

Editorial Assistant Poppy Green

Project Manager & Events Sales Rachael Pearson

Modern Insurance Magazine is published by Charlton Grant Ltd ©2018

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.

Issue 31

Brendan Gurrie, Editor, Modern Insurance Magazine. 01765 600909 | @ModernBrendan | brendan@charltongrant.co.uk

Modern Insurance 3


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Issue 31


MODERN Insurance

NEWS 07 Chris Croft talks news

As we cross the one year mark before the UK leaves the European Union, Chris Croft, LIIBA, examines the implications of Brexit on brokers and what they will be doing to help their clients manage the transition.

21 Tech and trust

Simon Marsh, VisionTrack

23 Versatility + Flexibility

Nik Ellis, Laird Assessors

10 Encouraging collaboration: Interview with Cate Wright

No Office Walls was recently launched as a platform to enable communication between anti-fraud professionals in the insurance industry. Cate Wright, Managing Director, spoke to Modern Insurance about how she hopes NOW will assist in the fight against fraud and how collaboration will be central to this.

Keith Tracey, Aon Risk Solutions.

Dan Chesney, S&G Response

Modern Insurance spoke to Jo Evans, Unite Professionals, and Vanessa Jamieson, RSA, about the relationship between case managers and insurers and how collaboration between the two can only improve the client’s care and journey.

45 Harnessing the power of all your data in the insurance market

25 Knowing your customer

46 The perfect storm? 27 The Art of the possible

Stephen Marshall ACII, Insure Apps

27 Moving with the times

Shirley Woolham, Minster Law

Donna Scully, Carpenters Group

29 An opportunity not a threat

Mark Budd, Zurich

31 Getting customers to trust us more

Professor Hugh Koch, Hugh Koch Associates

David Williams, AXA Insurance

19 How can data support automation?

Richard Taylor, GT Motive

20 The arms of data

Trevor Lloyd-Jones, LexisNexis Risk Solutions

20 Three pillars of customer service in the insurance industry

Jason Tripp, Coplus

21 The rise of botnets in insurance

Shaun Smith, iovation

Issue 31

FEATURES

Modern Insurance’s panel of resident associations outlines the burning issues facing the claims sector.

2018 saw the launch of the new and unique UK Customer Service Excellence Awards. Open to the insurance and broker markets, the awards purely focus on customer service; highlighting success, innovation and positive business change for the customer. Poppy Green, Modern Insurance, turns the spotlight on the winners and picks out the highlights of the night.

What value can suppliers really provide?

53 Case Study: Eclipse

36 UK Customer Service Excellence Awards 2018

Marc Lafferty, EDAM, explains the importance of having the policyholder at the centre of the claims process and how this contributes to achieving execellent customer service.

52 Just a thought from Eddie Longworth

33 Sector Soapbox

Michael Lewis and Jonty Hurwitz introduce Claim Technology and what they are hoping to achieve in the sector.

50 Prioritising customer service puts EDAM Group in prime position

Steve Thompson, Industry Insights

19 Going beyond a grudge

Neil Ingram, Direct Line Group, outlines the advancements in the industry surrounding ADAS and what mobility and service solutions we can expect to see as technology continues to develop.

48 Technology in the claims process

31 Claims excellence

EdiTorial Board

Rodrigo DeCossio, MarkLogic, discusses how insurance companies can unlock the value of data to help streamline their business.

Jonathan Hewett, Octo Telematics

29 Righting our reputation 14 Case manager meets insurer: Interview with Jo Evans & Vanessa Jamieson

This issue’s Industry Innovator is James York, Founder of Worry+Peace. James told us about how his platform aims to help customers buy insurance better.

23 The basic principles

25 A first class customer journey

INTERVIEWS

42 Industry Innovators Interview: James York, Worry+Peace

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NEWS

Chris Croft TALKS NEWS As we cross the one year mark before the UK leaves the European Union, Chris Croft, LIIBA, examines the implications of Brexit on brokers and what they will be doing to help their clients manage the transition. e are now over a year into the process that will see the UK leave the European Union on March 29th 2019, followed by a transition period in which EU law will remain applicable in the UK until the end of 2020. After that, our trading relationship will be defined by whatever agreement emerges from negotiations expected to begin in earnest after the Council of Ministers meet in October. Brexit and its implications for our broker members is very much at the heart of LIIBA – one of our three top priorities for 2018. It is important that we help our members to ensure that their clients do not become the unintended victims of Brexit.

W

London is a $91bn premium market, of which about two thirds flows from overseas. It is an inalienable truth in international insurance that clients prefer local markets. The fact that 60 odd billion dollars of business comes to London is tribute to the competitiveness of our product and the fact that we can deliver coverage here that it is hard to find anywhere else. Something like $20 billion of that business comes from EU clients or delivers EU coverage for global customers. LIIBA members need to find a way to be able to continue to provide these solutions to clients whatever the outcome of the negotiations with EU. Firstly, the issue of contract continuity must be fully resolved. There is some doubt as to whether UK insurers will remain licenced to pay claims in a few EU countries without an agreement in place. Whilst we appreciate the efforts of carriers to alleviate this problem by transfers of liabilities to their new EU entities, this is not the perfect solution. Liability transfers are lengthy,

Issue 31

The fact that 60 odd billion dollars of business comes to London is tribute to the competitiveness of our product and the fact that we can deliver coverage here that it is hard to fi nd anywhere else

Modern Insurance 7


NEWS

We need to be able to provide clients with confidence that their contracts will remain valid.

involving potentially confusing communications for the client. It may also not be possible to precisely transfer the liability of a global programme. We therefore support the call by the FCA Chief Executive Andrew Bailey for this to be resolved at official level. And the sooner the better. Transition arrangements will only postpone the issue. We need to be able to provide clients with confidence that their contracts will remain valid. London writes risks that no other centre can. We believe that it is vital to our EU clients and the wider interests of EU27 economies that London remains accessible whatever the outcome of negotiations in Brussels. We continue to lobby Government here and in EU27, via BIPAR, the European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries of which I am a Director, to achieve the sort of wide ranging free trade agreement that would deliver the levels of access that we enjoy today. But we also must plan in case this is not successful. We are working with our members to support their decision-making process on how to create a structure that will work in any

8 Modern Insurance

circumstances. For pure wholesale members this may be maintaining the right relationship with a producer network in EU27. For those that want to deal direct with clients, it will require the creation of a subsidiary in EU27 (and, possibly, a branch of that subsidiary back here in UK). We have been engaged in successful talks with the Belgian government and regulators about these models and they are keen to help those of our members who might choose Brussels as their new EU location. We are also approaching other EU governments to see if they wish to provide similar support. LIIBA members have to defend their clients’ interests at all times. Brexit presents challenges to that. But with our members’ ingenuity and our lobbying and technical support we can ensure that, whilst the UK will leave the EU, our clients will not be left behind. Chris Croft is CEO at London & International Insurance Broker’s Association (LIIBA).

Issue 31


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INTERVIEW

Encouraging collaboration: Interview with

Cate Wright

No Office Walls was recently launched as a platform to enable communication between anti-fraud professionals in the insurance industry. Cate Wright, Managing Director, spoke to Modern Insurance about how she hopes NOW will assist in the fight against fraud and how collaboration will be central to this.

Q A

Can you outline the aim of the No Office Walls (NOW) initiative, and what steps led to its creation?

No Office Walls (NOW) was created out of a passion for industry wide fraud prevention and frustration that as an industry we still fail to communicate often or fast enough to keep up with the fraudsters. NOW was created to allow for fast and effective communication about fraud between insurers, aggregators and brokers. We

10 Modern Insurance

understand that data sharing is hard to achieve quickly and cheaply, but communication about modus operandi, trends and challenges is something that should and can be communicated free of charge, quickly and industry wide. NOW’s goal is to create an industry wide network of counter-fraud professionals who are focused on not just reducing fraud within their own companies, but actively contributing to the industry’s fight against fraud and helping reduce the cost passed on to our customers. Issue 31


INTERVIEW

Collaboration is what’s needed to make our industry an inhospitable environment for fraudsters

Q

How has your experience at Gocompare.com shaped your outlook on fraud in the insurance industry and influenced the development of NOW?

A

My role at Gocompare.com helped open my eyes to not just the role of an aggregator in counter-fraud, but the responsibility all companies have to support one another. Having worked for an aggregator, insurer and broker during my career, I have seen first-hand the challenges they all face. Unfortunately, when it comes to counter-fraud, aggregators often face criticism from the industry, rather than support. I believe that for our industry to come together and address this problem in unity, aggregators, brokers and insurers must all be educated about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. NOW has been developed to provide a secure platform for open discussions and industry education in the form of articles, blogs, videos and reports, all of which are completely free for insurers, brokers and aggregators to contribute and read. I hope that all three take advantage of this and start communicating to address this huge problem together.

Q

What do you identify as the biggest barriers to combating fraud in the insurance industry?

A

Closed minds. Fraudsters evolve, quickly and effectively. They use and embrace any new opportunity to achieve their goal. A large number of professionals in our industry support and welcome innovation and change, but unfortunately there is also still a large amount who don’t. Not everything shiny and new is effective or successful, nor is everything which is established and longstanding, but it should all be reviewed and considered with an open mind.

Q

Why might the silo approach to fraud undertaken by many insurance businesses not be sufficient to overcome the fraud challenge, and how does the culture of the industry need to change to increase progress?

A

Organised fraud rings are just that; they’re a ring of multiple people working towards a common goal. They share tactics, successes and work together to overcome challenges. If there’s a problem they can’t resolve within their immediate group, they simply find someone who can. Insurance is a business, and as with any business the goal is profit. Of course, businesses are going to focus internally on reducing an issue like fraud, which impacts this. However, this industry will remain a target for fraudsters as long as we fail to effectively communicate and present a united front and use not only our internal knowledge and skills, but all the knowledge and skills our industry has to offer.

Issue 31

Q A

How can data sharing and transparency aid in the fight against fraud?

Data sharing is absolutely key to both detecting and preventing fraud. It’s vital that our industry has access and contributes to industry data sharing initiatives. Not only does the act of sharing data help identify fraud, but it’s also our greatest deterrent, sending a message that failure to defraud one of us will result in failure to defraud any of us. NOW is not a personal data sharing platform. We encourage simple communication about modus operandi, best practice, challenges and successes. We hope to create the network and trust needed to encourage this crucial data sharing through the appropriate channels.

Q

Where are there current or historical examples of successful industry collaboration, and are there lessons that can be taken from these and applied to the fraud challenge?

A

There are many examples of successful collaboration within the industry, between insurers, service providers, brokers and the police. This just goes to show that working together and expanding your goals outside of our internal company targets works, and that there is a willingness in our industry to collaborate.

Q

What is the role of comparison websites in combatting fraud, and is there scope for them to be more deeply involved in this?

A

Aggregators have a view of the customer and their behaviours at the point of application, which is simply not available anywhere else in the industry. Aggregators have a very important role to play in sharing this unique view with not only their insurers and brokers but also the wider industry. Although, this is easier said than done… The challenge aggregators face is how? With large amounts of insurers, brokers and industry bodies to share with, each of which having different fraud solutions, quoting and analytic software, finding an appropriate one size fits all solution is timely, resource heavy and expensive. This doesn’t take away from the fact that aggregators have a clear responsibility, but it does call for the industry to work closer with them to understand their challenges and help devise a realistic solution.

Just by speaking to family and friends it’s easy to identify that there is a disjoint in what we consider fraud and what the public considers fraud Modern Insurance 11


INTERVIEW

Q

Is there a need for increased public awareness about insurance fraud, and how can increased industry collaboration aid this?

Q

A

A

Yes, just by speaking to family and friends it’s easy to identify that there is a disjoint in what we consider fraud and what the public considers fraud. It also doesn’t help that there is a distinct lack of trust in our industry. This results in customers feeling little guilt about obtaining savings or funds they’re not entitled to from their insurers. There are some great public awareness campaigns being run by IFED and shows such as Claimed and Shamed have made this a household conversation topic where it would have never been before. However, trust is gained over time by demonstrating that the industry is willing to truly put the customer first. Collaboration is what’s needed to make our industry an inhospitable environment for fraudsters, in turn reducing the impact of fraud by quickly identifying and stopping it, reducing the cost passed onto our customers, and reducing the likelihood of our customers becoming victims of fraud. If we could confidently say as an industry that we put commercial advantage to one side to achieve this, we could certainly change public opinion.

Q A

What has been the initial reception to NOW in the industry, and what does this suggest about current attitudes to fraud?

We’ve had excellent industry support, including from the ABI and BIBA Within our first week we had 13 companies collaborating on the platform, and more counterfraud professionals keen to start sharing their knowledge and experiences with their peers every day. As with any new business trying to introduce a new way of working, we have been faced with a small amount of hesitancy, the majority of which is around a concern of losing commercial advantages businesses gain from having better counter-fraud solutions than their competitors. NOW has been developed as a result of a genuine drive to help our industry, and not a view to profit from it, so of course, this is disappointing. However, we have and continue to receive great support, which is growing every day.

12 Modern Insurance

How do you envision insurance fraud evolving over the next few years, both in terms of type and volume, particularly in response to attempts to combat it? I couldn’t begin to guess how it may evolve, but what I do know is that fraudsters will always seek out the path of least resistance, wherever that may be. In terms of volume, whilst I couldn’t begin to estimate an increase or decrease, I believe that more focus will be put on understanding and measuring the true impact and volume of opportunistic fraud. With the majority of insurance applications being made online and policies being sold in a matter of minutes, to combat this I believe the industry will increase and improve their use of real-time intelligent software such as machine learning.

Cate Wright Cate Wright is the Managing Director of NOW. She headed up the fraud department at Gocompare and before that worked at a broker and insurer. She set up NOW with Dan Cassell who was a founder and IT Director at Gocompare.com. NOW is a free, secure communication platform that enables counter-fraud specialists in the insurance industry to discuss and share knowledge, experience and best practices in real-time. The platform was officially launched on May 8th.

Not everything shiny and new is effective or successful, nor is everything which is established and longstanding, but it should all be reviewed and considered with an open mind

Issue 31


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INTERVIEW

Case manager meets insurer: Interview with

Jo Evans & Vanessa Jamieson

Modern Insurance spoke to Jo Evans, Unite Professionals, and Vanessa Jamieson, RSA, about the relationship between case managers and insurers and how collaboration between the two can only improve the client’s care and journey.

Q

What is the value of effective communication between insurers and case managers for best practice in client care, and how can this be achieved?

Jo Evans: Joint referrals are certainly our preferred way of

working as a case management company. The most effective way of communicating throughout the case is to have conference calls or even better, at least one meeting of all parties; the claimant solicitor, the insurer, the client or their significant other and the case manager.

Vanessa Jamieson: For us as insurers, having

effective communication between us and the case manager is absolutely vital. It means that we can discuss the plans for the client, work out what is best for them, make sure they understand what is being proposed and what the likely outcomes are. Meeting with case managers is something that I would like to do more of; unfortunately I probably only do it on less than 25% of cases.

Q

Are there any potential areas of friction in the relationship between insurers and case managers and how these can be addressed?

VJ:

One area for concern is when the case manager gets too overly invested and makes recommendations that are over and above what is reasonably required. We want to put the claimant back into the position they were in prior to the accident, rather than improving their life beyond all recognition. I can fully understand why case managers get invested, but sometimes there can be too much intervention, which is not beneficial to either party.

transparent dialogue you suddenly have four individuals across the table from each other rather than different stakeholding positions; I do see that as a very important role of the case manager, to skilfully influence the relevant conversations. The case manager should not be making unsubstantiated recommendations. Their role is to inform what interventions would improve the client’s outcome and why, and that is what the other stakeholders need because they don’t necessarily have that level of clinical expertise and objectivity.

Q

Do challenges arise when striking a balance between costs efficiency and consistency of service, and how can any challenges in this area be overcome?

JE:

Rehabilitation is an expensive business, but as long as all parties are adequately informed with clear documentation illustrating clinical reasoning and reasonable effort has been made to explore statutory options and pathways, you can strike a balance. There should be clear evidencing of why a statutory option is not the optimum option for the client and why therefore the private intervention will have the better outcome for the client. I would say that the best cases we have worked on have been where there has been a conference call set up early in the case or in the event that new costs are to be requested to fund a specific approach to rehab intervention, it is the role of the CM to be mindful of this and alert to the commercial

JE:

The case manager can be pivotal in reducing friction. In the event of there being a less experienced claimant solicitor, this can sometimes present a more adversarial approach taken from the beginning, but if the case manager can broker clear,

Ensuring simultaneous sharing of information as a case manager is fundamental in maintaining the confidence and trust of the claimant and defence Jo Evans

14 Modern Insurance

Issue 31


INTERVIEW need to substantiate these costs. They need to recognise that there may be liability issues ongoing or there may be secondary investigations to contributory factors that are going to have an impact on that claim.

Q

VJ: It is really important for us that the claimant is getting

Gradually, the cost of prosthetics etc. are increasing; claimants want and expect to have the best, and there is no reason why they can’t have that if it is justified. Another thing that has changed over the years is the introduction of the Serious Injury Guide. Claimants used to understandably think insurers are just looking to pay out as little as possible, but I personally get claimants thanking me when the claim has settled; claimant solicitors are far keener to work with insurers these days and build a relationship.

the benefit from the rehab – probably one of the hardest things for me to consider is, when do we stop? We need to be able to recognise when the client is no longer getting any benefit and act accordingly.

JE:

The importance of regular independent clinical supervision is vital. It is very difficult to objectively overview your own work. It is important that the clinical decisions and costs attributed to the case are regularly reviewed along with the benefits observed and measured to the client’s health and wellbeing. It is important to consider outcome measures, which appraise what has been gained from the therapy/intervention.

Q

How can case managers keep the commerciality of a claim in mind while remaining independent of this and maintaining the integrity of case management?

VJ:

I don’t see it as the case manager’s job to consider commerciality; in my eyes, their focus should be on the client’s needs. If I am in regular communication with the case manager then I will be in the best place to consider proportionality and will have that discussion as needed.

How have the needs and expectations of clients changed in recent years, and what do insurers and case managers need to do to keep up with these?

VJ:

JE:

If you reflect over the last decade there is evidence of a more proactive approach and collaborative intervention taking place. Case managers are able to provide information to both the insurer and the claimant solicitor earlier, which is a massive positive for the prospect of effective and sustained rehab delivery – it gives you a lot more data to be dealing with so that decisions can be made more quickly. The case manager is then able to progress the potential for the client and facilitate an improved outcome rather than engaging late, once secondary issues have become established and taking a stop-start approach to rehabilitation having to deal with retrospective issues and slow financial authorisation to recommendations, which impacts enormously on the efficacy of good case management.

JE: If you’re a case manager working on a case, whether you

Q

It is always important that a lack of progress noted within a case is challenged via supervision or independent case audit, and if a case manager or supervisor questions the levels of engagement or improvement being evidenced with a client, that this is discussed and questioned as mitigation is the expectation the case manager and client’s working relationship should be based on.

It is really important that the client has regular dialogue with their claimant solicitor. Some of the solicitors who are less experienced in dealing with complex claims don’t necessarily visit their clients, so the case manager is the person the client directs questions about the litigation process to. Case managers should not engage in this dialogue as although they are informed of the process, generally they are unlikely to be aware of the intricacies of the specific case and may misinform the client. This is particularly prevalent around the time in a case when there are a number of medico legal assessments taking place, which the case manager will not necessarily be privy to, if the case experiences changes in the terms of instruction, the funding party is unwilling to provide funds to continue the recommendations being made by the case manager or as the case is litigated and there may be long delays in authorisation to ongoing recommendations.

are instructed under on a joint basis or unilateral basis, you are expected to up your game and be very mindful of proportionality and the focus of your role to return the client to as near the position they were in prior to the index incident. If instructed on a unilateral basis it is particularly important that the case manager monitors costs and outcomes of any proposed rehabilitation as it is unlikely that a claimant solicitor will question the clinical guidance or recommendations of the instructed case manager, it is the case manager’s responsibility as a witness of fact to account for their decisions and the consequential costs if challenged. This was evidenced in the recent Loughlin and Singh sighting that case management and care fell below the reasonably expected standard.

Issue 31

To what degree do clients need to be kept informed throughout the relationship, and what types of information are the most valuable to them?

JE:

Modern Insurance 15


INTERVIEW

It is vital that clients are given regular and clear updates on their cases and kept appraised of each stage of their claim.

I can fully understand why case managers get invested, but sometimes there can be too much intervention, which is not beneficial to either party

Q

How are external influences, such as legislative or economic factors, putting pressure on case management?

JE:

Case managers and case management companies are expected to be well informed about what is going on – the landscape is massively mobile at the moment. There are many acquisitions and mergers taking place; some of that can be healthy to the rehab landscape, but some of it can be really difficult to navigate and work with for case managers trying to remain independent of the litigation process itself and to focus on progressing objectively the needs of the client in front of them. Case management shouldn’t be entered into without training and guidance. There are significant commercial interests involved and many business alliances out there, which have to be understood and considered when working at this interface as a case manager. Otherwise as a case manager you can inadvertently have quite a significant impact on that claimant’s litigation process.

Q

How important is maintaining transparent communication when working on a joint referral basis?

JE:

Ensuring simultaneous sharing of information as a case manager is fundamental in maintaining the confidence and trust of the claimant and defence. This does not prevent a case manager from conversing with either side individually but this should be with the understanding that the content of any conversation will be documented and shared with both parties. The case manager effectively having two masters is always seen as the challenge of a joint referral. My feeling is that the only master the case manager should have is him/herself and confidence to act independently as a witness of fact in the best interests of the client. This should progress without any undue influence from any other stakeholder. The rehab code is explicit in identifying that the INA should be received simultaneously and if case management is progressed under a joint referral it is for the instructing parties to inform the case manager if the terms of document sharing are changed at this point.

VJ: It is the number one thing – having transparent

communication between all parties is absolutely key to a successful outcome.

Q

Are new technologies impacting on case management and client care, and how might emerging technologies have an effect?

VJ: The improvements in prosthetics particularly and the cost of

those are huge for us. That is where we see things impacting on us.

Jo Evans Jo Evans is the MD of Unite Professionals Ltd, a national Case Management company. Jo is an Occupational Therapist by background and has worked with people who have suffered complex MSK injuries and Neurological injury/illness over the last 28 years both in the UK and USA. Working with Case Managers is a passion for Jo who loves the logistical challenge of bringing together individuals and professionals with differing skill sets and knowledge to ensure clients are provided with the greatest opportunity to achieve their potential following traumatic events. Jo has been a board member of the Specialist Section of Neurological Therapists for 19 years, and is involved in considering the BI and stroke guidelines and providing education and standards of best practice to newly qualified Occupational Therapists entering the field of rehabilitation. She is a member of the Board of CMSUK, who are key in overseeing the quality of

16 Modern Insurance

Vanessa Jamieson

JE:

If we are just taking amputees as an example, there are many products and prosthetics entering the market and some of these are relatively little evidence for the longer term efficacy as yet. They are complex with many intricate parts, providing clients with amazing new opportunities to engage in functional activities but come with many unknowns. The role of the case manager is not to act as an expert witness, they are not there to make that end-game decision in “prescribing“ prosthetics, but it is to ensure sufficient evidence to secure funding is available to engage in trialling options which offer clients the most significant benefits and quality of life and representing these benefits with functional outcome measures that can be considered by both sides expert witnesses. The case manager should always try to work closely initially with NHS prosthetic teams in case issues around liability arise and funding is restricted, the basic statutory prescriptions for prosthetics can be very successful for some clients, but is it often the quality of the socket fitting/comfort that benefits from private funds.

VJ: I’ve seen a case where an exoskeleton was recommended

and the client had two trials, but because they are so hard to work with, he actually needed someone else to help him put it on. He liked the idea of it, but the reality of it was a nightmare.

Q

How will the relationships between insurers and case managers evolve in the future, and what will be the main drivers of this change?

VJ:

Education is key. I get asked quite often to speak to case managers, which I am very keen to do as it is vitally important – we have both got different roles and I have understood so much more from coming to speak to Jo’s team – that discussion is so important to have so we both understand the little nuances that make up our roles. The more education and collaboration between insurers and case managers the better.

Case Management practice and ensuring that Case Managers have a reference point to guide standards of practice largely recognised within the field, and she regularly assists the delivery of training to support Case Managers and Case Management Companies.

Vanessa Jamieson I started life in insurance back in 1994 after being persuaded by my sister that RSA was a great place to work. She was not wrong! I have now been with the group for 24 years. I have previously headed up our construction and liability claims teams and since 2010 have been based in the catastrophic loss area. I am the Technical Unit Leader for the Major Injury team based in Horsham and lead a team of 9 technical claims handlers. We deal with all cases over £100k within the team. My own case

Issue 31


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EDITORIAL BOARD

Going beyond a grudge How do insurance products need to change to increase engagement among policyholders to become more than a grudge purchase? ne of my obsessions is the need to move away from the current position of the whole pricing and product design for insurance products, being that we take money from people, they begrudgingly hand it over, don’t really understand what they are paying for, and we hope we don’t hear from them again until we go through the same process a year later!

O

Insurers are recognising the need to provide additional services to make the customer feel they are getting some benefit from their insurance contract even if they don’t have a big claim. The ‘Internet of Things’ provides some great opportunities there, and that seems to be where most insurers are focusing their attention. One big problem we have is that the general public don’t understand that the money they hand over isn’t just going to line insurers’ pockets but is needed to contribute to a pool of money to cover other people’s claims. Some of the nonsense comments in the Parliamentary debates on the Civil Liability Bill show that even allegedly well briefed politicians don’t understand that, so why should we expect the man in the street to do any better? Some new products however, driven by smart tech, are absolutely explaining those principles and bringing increased engagement and understanding, and I think beginning to move insurance away from that ‘Grudge Purchase’. I’m talking obviously about peer to peer insurance; Lemonade initially got publicity by claiming to operate in that way, before quickly moving to an impressive, but also highly smoke and mirrors, settling claims with supersonic speed. Peer to peer in short is where each member genuinely participates in the mutualisation of risk, rather than simply paying for a promise to pay from an insurer. The great knowledge benefit with this is that you as a customer begin to take a genuine interest in how other people are performing and what claims there are, as the model brings a real possibility of a rebate in good years, but also the chance of a demand for higher contributions. Now, I’m not saying this approach is going to replace your standard motor policy with unlimited bodily injury cover and the potential therefore for multi million pound claims, but even if it just gains traction in the personal effects space, it will give our customers a greater appreciation of how the whole process operates, and maybe even make them feel less begrudging when they next hand over their insurance premiums. Here’s hoping!

How can data support automation? In which areas of insurance will automation or AI improve the insurance offering, and in which areas will the human touch always be necessary? ithin the sector that we work in, automation and AI are becoming more and more important, not only in terms of within the insurance companies but also with consumers and the supply chain that supports the claims process when a crash has occurred.

W

In the short term, automation continues to be used to speed up the processing of crash repair claims. Using products such as cloud based customer self-service technology will simply allow the consumer to complete and provide more information at the front end of the claims, therefore allowing better decisions to be made within the insurance company at the earliest point; for example is it a potential total loss or is it a smart repair? Could you take this one step further and allow the consumer to pre-populate an actual estimate with information and images then linking it to AI where the intelligence will support the decisions based on the information and images seen. Add to this the ability for a customer to be able to book the repair in to a bodyshop from a pre-selected “approved” list and already you can see where the potential automation savings in time and cost are achievable. How far can we take this? I know from the investigations that I have completed that it’s my belief that eventually black box data should be able to support this process; wouldn’t it be great if the data within the car has already pre-populated an estimate based on aspects such as speed and direction of impact. Data is being collected in huge detail, and we must look at how this data will support automation further. Having said all of that, I don’t believe that AI can ever completely replace the human touch. We will always need people to physically inspect and repair cars. Of course, we know that the technology in cars will mean that in theory less cars will be crashed, but when they have been it will always require expert eyes to ensure that what the AI is telling them is actually correct. As an example, what extra damage is beneath the skin of the car, is the part a repair or replace? Those kind of questions. Interesting times ahead, that’s for sure. Richard Taylor, UK Business Director, GT Motive.

David Williams, Technical Director, AXA Insurance (UK).

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Modern Insurance 19


EDITORIAL BOARD

The arms race of data How can insurers utilise data in order to meet client and individual needs, and what risks will heavier reliance on data present to the industry?

O

nly 26% of insurers currently validate their data to some extent, while another 19% try to validate it but are unsure of the quality, according to a recent global report from Accenture.

Data veracity is critical for insurance providers to make better business decisions like never before. As data becomes more critical to insurance operations, most insurers can improve how they validate data and combat data manipulation by outside stakeholders, whether in the form of information gaps, inaccuracies or errors introduced by consumers, or fraud. According to the Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance report, many insurers are falling short in verifying the data feeding into their systems. Rather like the message we have been bringing UK general insurance for the last few years, poor quality data - or data that is unverified from contributory databases and policy history from across the market – leaves insurance providers at risk of hidden losses and sub-par pricing and quoting. To this end, we recently launched LexisNexis Risk Insights and Attract™ for the UK motor sector, which help insurance providers understand individual risk, built and designed with insurance data – rather than financial and credit data – to better segment risk. Sitting on the edge of disruption, insurers are feeling the pressure to reinvent their businesses, and the influx of customer data from new technologies presents many opportunities to do so. Insurance providers can use data analytics to focus on manageable tasks with goals like increased engagement, improved efficiency of quoting and underwriting, and reduced churn. There is an arms race of data currently because the business is price sensitive. Increasingly insurers are seeing the benefits of verified data and everyone is looking for that additional insight. But data quality, and normalising the new external data sources to ensure they really make sense for the insurance business are going to be key challenges. Poor quality data is a problem that needs to be addressed early in the insurance workflow, before the data goes further downstream for analysis. As insurance providers rely more on data to make key business decisions, they must identify and prevent ways that data could be manipulated. Data enrichment and risk scoring derived from market-wide policy information are a key step to improving the truth and trust in data that insurers use for key decisions. With better data there’s an opportunity to raise process efficiency and risk mitigation for insurers, thus reducing losses and promoting more responsive and personalised customer services. Trevor Lloyd-Jones, Senior Marketing Manager, Insurance, Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions.

20 Modern Insurance

Three pillars of customer service in the insurance industry think good customer service in the insurance industry encompasses the entire customer journey from prepurchase right through to settling a claim. If there is inconsistency or misunderstanding at any point then the overall service and perception of the insurance provider will be affected.

I

However, there are often different parties involved in service delivery and whilst those organisations will measure their own performance, this may not connect throughout the customer journey to achieve an overall good customer experience. The three critical success factors involved are good product design, an appropriate sales process that makes sure the customer’s needs are being met and a high-quality claims service, which delivers on the promise of protection the customer sought from the insurance product. 1. Product design Increasingly, insurers recognise the importance of prevention and mitigating the customer’s risks. Whilst this helps prevent claims costs for the insurer, there is a huge advantage for the customer. Home Emergency cover that includes boiler servicing is one such example. A well maintained boiler is less likely to breakdown, which is ultimately what the customer wants, but they have the reassurance of help if it does. 2. Sales process Sometimes customers don’t pay attention, and the less risk they perceive the more likely it is that they won’t invest time in research and understanding. Regular product training for front line staff, real life claims examples and clear documentation all help to address this. However the product provider should ideally be part of this, creating that link and continuity between the design and sales that is so important. 3. Claims journey An insurance claim can leave a lasting impression on customers – either one of elation or of frustration. The claims journey needs to carry through the product features and the protection the customer sought when purchasing. In gadget claims for example, the whole purpose of the product is to provide a quick and effective way to repair or replace the item. Reflecting this in the claims process means the customer probably doesn’t need or want to talk to someone about the claim. A simple online tool that allows them to report it immediately, and automatic notifications for reassurance that the claim is progressing aligns the claims process to the product features. Jason Tripp, Operations Director, Coplus.

Issue 31


EDITORIAL BOARD

The rise of botnets in insurance 1

5 seconds. That’s the time it takes to allow fraudsters into your network with a botnet.

A botnet typically consists of a network of IoT devices that have weak security and have been infected by malware. The device is then remotely controlled from another location. These could be computers, phones, game platforms, baby speakers, children’s toys – basically anything that connects to the internet or internet of things (IoT). Why would criminals spend time researching or socially engineering a fake user profile when they have a quicker and easier tool available? Botnets can run through extensive lists of username and password variations to hijack accounts in seconds. With the huge amounts of leaked data available for criminals to take advantage of, the use of a botnet is a logical next step. Botnets aren’t even that expensive; you can rent or purchase one for as little as £5. The Mirai botnet of 400,000+ devices (recently seen attacking the finance sector) can be rented for as little as £2,000 a week. So how does this affect the insurance industry? Botnets are used to incept fraudulent policies on mass, to takeover accounts and access documentation and to make policy changes to later commit “crash for cash” fraud. How many of your users have the same username and password spread across multiple accounts? I’m willing to bet that this is the rule, not the exception. What can you do to protect yourself and your users? When it comes to protecting yourself, you need to be able to recognise the devices that want to enter your secured portals. Has that device accessed this account before? If yes, you can assume they are a lower level of risk. If not, they need to jump through a few more hoops. After all, why would someone be logging in from a children’s toy or be able to complete a lengthy form in milliseconds? The device intelligence you gain here can be fed into an authentication process to help you assess the risk that a device poses and step up the authorisation with multi-factor authentication. A botnet can’t provide the extra levels of authentication needed, but your trusted customers can.

Tech and trust What is the value of trust within the sector, and how can new and emerging technologies be used to improve this valuable trait for the client? n the dictionary, ‘trust’ is defined as a ‘firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of someone or something’. In a recent survey by Marks & Spencer1 , 95% of respondents stated price was one of the most important factors when choosing an insurer. So, differentiation is key. If a provider can gain a customer’s trust, a hugely important value in the sector, they’re on to a winner, and thanks to emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s becoming easier than ever.

I

Take telematics and in-car cameras; previously deployed separately, they were complex to fit and expensive to operate. We’ve developed a cost-effective and simple solution providing both connecting to a bespoke state-of-the-art IoT platform, and together, they’re an unbeatable force. Fleets using this technology literally have a clear view of where their employees are and how they’re driving 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Using highquality footage, they can assess risk accurately and run successful driver training programmes. Crucially, fleets gain the all-important FNOL and a true picture of events should their driver be involved in an incident and also any emergency services needed. The industry has taken a battering due to the rise in insurance fraud. Despite 2,400 fraudulent insurance claims being detected, valued at £25m every week2 , it’s unclear just how many fall through the net. Our cameras act as a driver’s second pair of eyes, offering indisputable evidence to prove liability, defending companies from false accusations, saving thousands of pounds in premiums and getting vehicles back on the road quicker. The authorities are welcoming the opportunities provided by these technologies too - the roads policing lead for the National Police Chief’s Council recently called for the force to ‘embrace’ dashcams3. And he’s right - that’s how much trust we can and should place in them. The ‘transparency’ they offer is having a huge, positive impact on building trust between employers and employees, customers and insurers. With the power to reduce premiums and the number of false or exaggerated claims, they’re helping the industry add value and differentiating providers at the same time. So, how important is it that customers have a ‘firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability’ of insurers? In my view, it’s priceless, and with the support of innovative technology, we’re getting closer to this goal every day. Simon Marsh, Managing Director, VisionTrack 1 http://marksandspencerforbusiness.com/insights/acquisition-retention-schemes/ 2 https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2017/07/the-cons-not-on--insurers-thwart2400-fraudulent-insurance-claims-valued-at-25-million-every-week/ 3 https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/company-car-tax-and-legislation/2018/02/08/callfor-more-traffic-cops-to-give-uk-the-safest-roads-in-the-world

Shaun Smith, Sales Executive EMEA, iovation

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Modern Insurance 21


EDITORIAL BOARD

Versatility + Flexibility What are the advantages of allowing employees the flexibility to work when, where and how they want? or nearly two decades our engineers have been homebased to ensure we have full coverage of the country. Couple this with the fact that accidents (somewhat inconveniently) tend to happen accidentally, we have no choice but to be highly adaptable in the way we operate.

F

Although our business model requires us to be versatile, as a very open minded company I’ve always tried to consider the individual needs of the people who work here. After all, it is the people who make the company; they are our face, our representatives and our success pivots on them. In the early days of the company, I would be asked by staff if they could come in late, leave early, take an extra hour for lunch for a variety of reasons; family, health, social, religious reasons. They would make it up the next day or week so I didn’t see it as a problem; if anything, allowing this flexibility made them happier as they could fulfil whatever they needed to, which in turn made them happier employees and more likely to give that little bit extra when needed. Having worked on my own for the first couple of years, I tended to work in this way, so why not extend this flexibility to them? Mobile phones offered the first glimpse of flexible working but then the rise of the internet allowed us to reconsider our traditional model. We saw the net as just a much longer cable in our network, so what difference did it make where someone was based, provided we could communicate effectively and manipulate or transfer data between one another? Everyone has their own story outside of work, so we took the decision that, provided certain boxes were ticked, we would allow our teams to work whenever they want; some start at 6am but are finished by 2pm, whilst others rock up at 10am and leave at 6pm. The added advantage is that we can give greater flexibility to our clients. Provided our service is excellent, our reports are of high quality and the clients’ expectations are met (but preferably exceeded), then we take the view that when, where and (within reason) how our teams manage this is up to them. In return we have a highly motivated, engaged and generally happy workforce. Nik Ellis, Managing Director, Laird Assessors.

Issue 31

The basic principles What is the definition of good customer service in the insurance industry, and how can insurance professionals achieve this? he basic principles of good customer service are always worth repeating. They are easily forgotten as conflicting priorities can detract even the most skilled professional. A short list of these would include delivering the required expertise, clear communication, responsiveness to customer requests, lending a sympathetic ear and meeting reasonable expectations of responsiveness and consistency.

T

Disagreements are to be avoided over the content and terms of a client engagement or insurance contract, particularly in the areas of cost and claim recoveries. Avoiding these situations requires clarity at the outset and the right culture during service delivery. In both regards, leadership plays a key role in creating the environment and systems for employees to deliver value to the customer. It is axiomatic to say that situations and expectations vary across the industry since there are many different types of client interaction; some customer service skills, however, are universal. I would suggest three competencies that can be built and sustained. The first involves understanding the client’s priorities. How is that achieved? I would suggest rigorous account planning that is conducted with the client. Many account management systems are in fact cross selling tools that clients recognise as such and are therefore reluctant to fully engage. The trust within a relationship is swiftly broken when self-interest is apparent to the other side. A process that puts the client at the centre is more likely to engage them and produce a sustainable process. Account management can be done at the practice or individual client level. My second suggestion is to get the basics right. This involves a well-structured renewal process where the steps and information requirements are clear. It would also encompass communication of market developments and trends, clear guidance on policy wordings and avoidable coverage restrictions. Guidance if a claim occurs is easily overlooked but success at this stage can cement a long-term relationship. The third suggestion is to regularly offer insights to the customer. A regular flow of relevant information can generate a good deal of trust. A system of building and distributing thought leadership can create the material that practitioners can adapt and share with clients. As complexity increases, it becomes more important to guide clients through the issues that they should think about. Keith Tracey, Managing Director, Professional Services, Aon Risk Solutions.

Modern Insurance 23


EDITORIAL BOARD

A first class customer journey How can insurers improve customer retention and loyalty in such a competitive marketplace?

T

he question is, how do you quantify loyalty? One purchase? Two years’ retention? Multiple policies?

Acquiring new customers costs more than retaining existing policyholders (and with marketing costs increasing through increased competition, this has never been more true). Fundamentally, there are two types of customer, those looking for the best value policy (cheapest generally) to ensure they have cover in place but out of necessity, and those looking for a sufficient level of protection and risk mitigation for the item(s) that they wish to insure. Both these customers have totally different approaches to their insurance purchase from the outset, expectations during the period and the renewal process. If you are price sensitive, very little else matters. You simply want to get to the renewal date and have the best priced cover ready to go. There has been a lot of success with the presentation of the previous year’s premiums on renewal letters, but when you speak with consumers, consensus says that a threat to cancel reduces this newly presented premium. It’s a strange phenomenon; you would never fill a basket at your local supermarket, get to the till and be presented with a price, knowing that if you threaten to put the items back they will reduce the cost? So why is this belief so rife in insurance? If you are cover sensitive then you will spend a lot of time researching the best policy to cover your needs and requirements; the process will take longer than a simple search through an aggregator. This type of consumer is looking for piece of mind and comfort, probably wouldn’t mind the odd friendly email and would be warm to being made aware of other appropriate products and services. Customer service should be first class, easy to enact when required and fair regardless of fault. There’s more chance of a policyholder being at fault in an accident so the workflows that follow must be aligned to an overall goal of policyholder retention, not to just manage the exposure. Cost mitigation and management should never take precedent over the treatment of policyholders; give them a first class journey, and they will reward you at renewal. Loyalty rewarded by a customer making no claims is transferable. Loyalty rewarded through respect, and building a relationship the policyholder, whilst giving total piece of mind – that is the type of loyalty which ensures customers stay.

Knowing your customer How do insurance products need to change to increase engagement among policyholders to become more than a grudge purchase? nsurers can provide a wide range of products to help consumers get the most out of their car insurance. However, the price of car ownership and insurance can mean that these products are seen as almost compulsory and only have one purpose: to save money so drivers can actually get on the roads. Someone looking to buy car insurance may feel that they’re being forced to buy products due to circumstances beyond their control, whether or not they want them. This can mean that a product that plays a vital role in enhancing the driving experience is falsely perceived as a ‘grudge’ purchase to be cancelled as soon as possible.

I

Telematics is an excellent example of a product that risks falling into this category. Insurers have often marketed telematics devices and usage-based insurance (UBI) on the cost benefits alone. Young drivers in particular have also been ‘forced’ into installing a telematics device because they’re assessed as a higher risk and therefore need the cost saving of a device to simply get on the roads. The industry needs to change how they build their products and, more importantly, how these products are communicated. Better customer engagement is crucial. Expressing how products such as telematics are proactive, providing benefits, rather than simply solving an unwanted problem, must be central to this engagement. Telematics in particular has a very wide range of benefits and uses beyond simply providing discounted car insurance. Advances in data analytics and machine learning mean that insurers can get closer to their customers than before. This improves the core, money-saving proposition, but also can change the entire insurance experience. Providers of telematics and insurers must express this and make better use of the information provided. This will lead to improved understanding of customer needs. In turn, insurers and insurtech companies can then build products tailored to individuals. The benefits of these products should be easily understandable and provide services that are attractive and desirable. Knowing your customer is key. It’s important to take advantage of the large amounts of information that customers supply to build products that they actually want, or that provide something that they hadn’t considered before. That way, customers won’t feel that they’re being bombarded with bolt-ons they don’t want, just to keep insurance affordable, and will be empowered to select from a range of innovations that richly enhance their driving experience. Jonathan Hewett, Chief Marketing Officer, Octo Telematics.

Dan Chesney, Commercial Director, S&G Response.

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EDITORIAL BOARD

The art of the possible

Moving with the times

How is digitalisation reimagining the insurance industry, and what aspects of insurance still have scope to be further digitalised?

What are the advantages of allowing employees the flexibility to work when, where and how they want?

n 1990, I walked into a General Accident office in Glasgow to learn about insurance. Sitting in the corner was a sparkling IBM PC, with the rest of the office on some form of green screen technology. “Why is nobody using the PC?” I asked.

ecent publicity has underlined how much more UK businesses need to do to modernise in terms of salary differentials between men and women. But modernisation can’t stop there; the entire workplace culture has to move with the times.

I

“It’s our expert Commercial Quotation System; we know we should use it, but we can all do quotes faster than it so we don’t!” I think that this sort of anecdote sums up many of our experiences in insurance – we know we should use the technology but we are happy enough to plough on as we are. Worse still, some of us have seen where people didn’t really want technology to work as it would “commoditise the business”. It has often taken someone from the wings or outside of the industry to come along and disrupt; just look at Peter Wood, a computer programmer who used technology, mainly a phone, to disrupt and create Direct Line in 1985. History and experience show us that it’s not the technology that’s the issue or the differentiator in digitalisation, but the people. So what’s different now? Technology has accelerated change and transformed what’s possible. The first iPhone didn’t have GPS; next year’s will track you to within 30cm on the planet! Insurance people are becoming more technology savvy, and we are starting to understand the art of the possible, mainly due to technology being all around us. It’s people that are reimagining the insurance industry. Leave the stereotypes behind; in my own business over a third of our App users are over the age of fifty. Take the technology we have, whether it be ‘mobile’, artificial intelligence, virtual reality or advanced analytics, understand it and see how it can be applied to what we do. Combine the data rich world of insurance with cutting edge technology, and you can understand why there’s so much insurtech chatter. We’ve scratched the surface so far, mainly focusing on admin improvements. A massive area for development is in analysis and prevention. Will we see insurance becoming more about preventing the claim than paying for it? It’s often said that the insurance industry is about people. The future is still about people, but people with the right technology, skillset and vision.

R

20-30 years ago, people seeking work were grateful that they had a job. Now, it is companies that should be grateful that well-educated, curious people choose to work for them. In order to attract and retain the best people, companies must create a workplace environment and culture that ticks all their boxes, from pay to intellectual challenge. Moreover, the revolution in consumer technology has also changed how customers interact with businesses, meaning companies have been forced to adapt their workplace structures to stay abreast with how their customers want to communicate with them. Minster Law has already changed its working practices, harnessing technology to provide a better service to its clients. Now, our clients with less complex injuries prefer their cases to be managed virtually, letting them get on with their lives quicker. For more complex cases, we understand the importance of building a strong personal relationship with clients and their families. Face to face meetings become part of our service, often at their homes, as well as using digital channels for day-to-day communications. Any chief executive worth their salt would like to get a better balance between their fixed and variable cost base, especially in the low-cost space where the personal injury sector largely operates. Big offices cost big money, and have a negative environmental footprint to boot. Minster Law is moving to a single office to reduce our fixed costs and, by working collectively in one place, will deliver a better service to clients and insurer partners alike. The point is that modern, progressive companies need to mix the best of the old with the best of the new. We look forward to a gender-balanced workforce, doing their best for our clients in a multi-faceted working environment. We can no longer presume that, once we’ve manufactured a product or service, that clients will automatically purchase them. We need to listen carefully to what clients want, and then create the product or service which meets their need, as well as ensuring our employees, who are also critical stakeholders, deliver first class services while staying happy and motivated at work. Shirley Woolham, COO, Minster Law.

STEPHEN MARSHALL ACII, Managing Director, Insure Apps.

Issue 31

Modern Insurance 27


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Righting our reputation

An opportunity not a threat

How can the claims sector improve its public perception in areas where this may not be so positive?

How is reinvention through insurtech shaping the insurance industry?

iven the services the claims sector provides to claimants and victims, it continues to be a crying shame that it has the reputation that it does. Insurers deliver a vitally important service to clients in their hour of need, and claimant lawyers seek to get a fair level of restorative justice. Instead, the sector is more likely to be seen as either profiteering corporate giants or dodgy lawyers fabricating claims by the truckload.

nsurers should see insurtech as an opportunity not a threat. The customer is king, so their experience is as important as it’s ever been. That said, insurtech doesn’t only provide ‘apps’ to the front end; there is a wide range of emerging technologies that can help businesses at all points across the value chain.

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There are many reasons for this, but I would give special mention to the Legal Services Act 2007 that allowed anyone claiming to offer ‘legal services’ the ability to call themselves a ‘lawyer’, the proliferation of PI television adverts to hit our screens, the development of ‘cash for crash’ criminal gangs, the whipping up of a media frenzy, which unintentionally only served to create an impression that there was easy money to be had, and the millions of cold calls that have plagued us all. Also, for too long insurers were prepared to settle all claims early rather than challenge many that they should have done, in the mistaken belief that this would save them money and further expense. Of course, a complex and layered response will be necessary to tackle our reputational problems. Tackling fraud, or at least the perception of fraud, must form a major element of the answer. The Insurance Fraud Taskforce made a good start, but two years later, its report has been left to limp along with limited political direction to deliver on its recommendations. Tackle fraud and what you should be left with are genuine claimants who deserve fair and proportionate treatment. Instead, the plan is to make matters worse again; just when the activity of claims farmers is waning and the number of claims are falling. What the insurance sector may gain in reduced claimant legal costs, it will lose in reputation, and new costs, when premium paying customers are left baffled and demand assistance following an accident, effectively forced to turn to CMCs, many of whom will go rogue following the transfer to the FCA. It is with deep regret that I think the sector’s reputation is about to get worse, not better. Donna Scully, Director, Carpenters Group.

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In terms of ‘re-inventing’, the insurance sector needs to find exciting ways of meaningfully engaging customers with a blend of digital products and services to stay relevant. The need for insurance protection isn’t going away but insurtech facilitates new opportunities to create different experiences that simply weren’t possible before. Also, importantly, government backed schemes like the Fintech Delivery Panel can help facilitate dialogue between the insurtechs and the government – particularly the regulator. Examples of reinvention through IoT are too numerous to mention. Zurich carried out an IoT pilot with a customer in the housing sector, and whist there were some insurance specific benefits to collecting certain data the unintended consequence was that they could chart temperature fluctuations in houses of vulnerable customers who suffered from respiratory troubles. The benefit was there, it just wasn’t an explicit insurance one. Chatbots are increasingly beneficial in the first notification of a claim. One such pilot (a chatbot called Zara!) carried out generated significantly higher than average customer satisfaction compared to previous ways of engaging with our customers. It really helped us understand their behaviours. Zurich continues to work with Laka, who are challenging the conventional insurance model by offering a truly disruptive bike insurance product. They only earn fees when there are claims. No upfront premiums are taken – instead at the end of each month claims are settled as part of a group risk pool plus a fee. A seemingly simple app based solution in challenging the insurance industry to think drastically differently. Insurtech is certainly not the future in isolation; it creates opportunities to deliver new services and products to customers and makes everyone’s life more efficient. However, organisations have to change to embrace moving at pace, and sometimes reinvention can be a challenging but ultimately rewarding journey. Mark Budd, Head of UK Innovation, Zurich.

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EDITORIAL BOARD

Getting customers to trust us more n issue 29, Richard Taylor wrote an excellent editorial on how to provide greater clarity to the customer, based around his underlying tenet that a collision is a stressful time for most, if not all, customers. Adding the distress of a collision and inevitable associated administrative load onto an already busy and heavy daily workload makes any one of us sit back and say ”oh no!” In this circumstance, the anxious and overloaded customer needs the insurer to ensure that the process is clear and straight forward. Initial communication typically by telephone needs to be helpful, concise and understanding – the call handler needs to be empathic and genuinely concerned. Some insurers place a high emphasis on making that first contact call predictive of their firm’s ‘warm, genuine and empathic’ process. Communication style needs, at this first point of call, to be about reassurance and expedited solution-focused.

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Inevitably, stage two is typically paperwork and form filling – it is interesting how most of us with our ‘customer-hat’ on hate to fill forms in – have I got the necessary information? Will the questions be confusing or ambiguous? Help with the content and structure of forms and advice when necessary is hugely reassuring to most customers. A stressed customer will, at times, become illogical and overanxious – this is normal. Any help the insurer’s first contact person can give to calm an already stressful situation and help the customer see the light at the end of an unwanted, undeserved tunnel will make a huge impression on the customer. The company that places high value on getting the customer to trust them, and trust that someone in the company will be on hand to help with subsequent issues, financial and mechanical, will continue to gain market share. The perception that a stressed and frustrated customer has of a helpful, reassuring and trustworthy insurer will win the day. The senior manager who wants their firm to get their customer to trust his company more needs to explicitly own this concept, talk it up and provide staff on the front line with training opportunities to enhance their ‘warmth, genuiness and empathy’ when talking with customers.

Claims excellence In your opinion, what is the definition of good customer service in the insurance industry, and how can insurance professionals achieve this? irstly, I would say that ‘good customer service’ is not what insurers and their supply chains should be striving for; it has to be better than that. Claims excellence needs to be the objective. Insurance customers only experience the value of their insurance cover at the point they need to make a claim. How the claim is handled by all stakeholders (not just insurers, in fact probably more so the supply chain) can really define what great customer service/claims excellence looks like.

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Insurance professionals should start at the first interaction with the customer, whether this be making a claim or querying policy details. We should listen to the customer, understand what they need and be empathetic to their requests. “Computer says no” and process over common sense scenarios must be avoided. What is it that the customer wants and how best do we achieve this with the minimum turbulence? If we put ourselves in the position of the customer, what would we want from a claims journey? Using our own experiences, how can we turn this into reality for the customer? In my opinion we do this by taking ownership of the customer, valuing our relationship with them and not swerving from any responsibility. Should you encounter a problem, do not push a customer on to someone else, this is just moving an issue. Deal with it promptly and rapidly. I am sure that most, if not all customers would probably want to deal with as few people as possible and not endure a series of hand offs, where inevitably communications break down and service deteriorates. Insurers with an empathetic, flexible, honest and a less clinical, yet connected approach will engender greater customer loyalty and will be in with a far better chance of delivering claims excellence. Ok, I know, this is easier said than done in large organisations, but does that not mean that we should not do all we can as professionals to deliver this? Steve Thompson, Director, Industry Insights.

PROFESSOR HUGH KOCH, Clinical Psychologist and Director, Hugh Koch Associates and Visiting Professor in Law & Psychology, Birmingham City University.

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Sector Soapbox Modern Insurance’s panel of resident associations outlines the burning issues

A new Portal for road traffic claims? ith the publication of the Civil Liability Bill in March, attention now turns to what the new IT platform will look like for low value road traffic accident (RTA) claims once the Small Claims Track (SCT) limit is increased. The Bill will introduce a fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries with an injury duration of up to two years, as well as banning pre-medical offers. Reforms to the SCT limit for RTA claims will be implemented by way of an amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have made it clear that these reforms will be implemented at the same time and the industry has already committed to passing on the cost benefits of the reforms.

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An increase to the SCT limit for RTA claims to £5,000 is likely to lead to more litigants in person pursuing their own claims for minor injuries. It is generally accepted that the current small claims litigation process is outdated. Whilst a new online court is being developed, it won’t be for personal injury claims, or ready in time for these reforms. The Government have announced their intention for these reforms to come into effect on 1st April 2019. In terms of building a new IT platform, this is not a lot of time.

So why not use the current Claims Portal? The Portal was built for use by lawyers and insurers, and the Pre-Action Protocol that underpins was not designed with litigants in person in mind. What is of absolute importance for this new IT platform is that it is built primarily for litigants in person, with lawyers and insurers as a secondary consideration. The new system needs to be intuitive, simple, straightforward and easy to use. The new IT platform will need to support the litigant in person through their claim from start to finish, guiding them through an initial list of questions and enabling them to obtain the appropriate medical evidence in a straightforward and easy to understand manner. In conclusion, what is of most importance is that this new system be built with litigants in person at the heart of the process, and that the actual build work starts sooner rather than later to meet the April 2019 deadline. Natalie Larnder, Policy Adviser, Civil Justice, Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Stalling self-driving vehicles? n 18th March 2018, a lady was killed in the USA by an Uber self-driving vehicle. Footage shows the driver of the vehicle looking away from the road for much longer than she was looking at it.

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On 23rd March 2018, again in the USA, another fatality - whilst in Autopilot mode, a Tesla vehicle collided with a concrete barrier, killing the driver. It has been reported that the driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the impact. Perhaps the common denominator in both accidents was the human being who was meant to be in control of the vehicle. Some say that humans should be removed from the equation and that there should be a swift move to full automation. But that would ignore the glaring question as to why, in both cases, the technologies failed to stand up to the real-world situations, which they have presumably been designed to deal with. But even if the technology could achieve a swift and full move to automation, it probably should not do so – the legal framework is not yet in place. The Centre for Connected and Autonomous

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Vehicles has asked the Law Commission to undertake a review of the UK’s legal framework for automated vehicles. That project started last month and is due to take three years. Notably, however, data protection and privacy, and theft and cyber security, will fall outside the scope of their report (although those things will ‘…inform the Law Commission’s review…’, whatever that might mean and however that might be manifested). I think that many in both the London insurance market and the motor insurance market would say that those issues need looking at too. Perhaps something of a lead could be taken from the Americans on that front, who are still debating their ‘SELF DRIVE’ Act. Whilst not everyone there seems to be satisfied with it, as well as dealing with vehicle testing and safety, it also contains provisions relating to data ownership (and deletion), privacy and cybersecurity. With the Law Commission’s final report not due until March 2021, Chancellor Philip Hammond’s desire to have autonomous vehicles on Britain’s roads by 2021 may need looking at again. Stephen Hines, President of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) and Barrister at Citygate Chambers Limited.

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Can clients afford not to pay for quality advice? n this increasingly complex world, particularly in terms of the purchasing of insurance, there is a commodity, often unseen and regularly unappreciated, but which remains extremely valuable. That commodity is independent advice.

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Referring in particular to commercial clients, the need for guidance is even more important, given the backdrop of the Insurance Act 2017 and the change to disclosure requirements. Most clients were blissfully unaware of the changes to their obligations, but if you add this to the breadth of change experienced by clients in areas such as GDPR, Health and Safety, Corporate Manslaughter, construction methods and changes to the injury compensation following the discount rate change in 2017, is it any wonder that arranging appropriate cover is an increasingly complex business (and, lest we forget, how to deal with what will probably soon be “cross border” trade!). There are not many places to be able to obtain advice on all of these subjects in the one place, but an insurance broker is certainly one. Not only can the broker provide insight into the way a business can mitigate some of these risks by using insurance products, they can tap into complimentary services that can help

to risk manage the business. Discounted valuations to prevent underinsurance, health and safety survey and risk management advice, free legal services and claims handling to deal with the unfortunate situations where insurance policies are triggered are some of the areas where brokers can help. All of this is included as a standard part of the services provided by most independent brokers and truly demonstrates the value that our profession plays in advising the smallest to the largest business within UK Plc. So how do you find one of these excellent professionals? That is where the British Insurance Brokers’ Association comes into its own with a government and industry endorsed “Find-a-Broker” service, which plays an integral part in dealing with referrals from what is currently the Money Advice Service and the signposting agreement currently in place with ABI members in relation to travel and motor insurance for older people. Details can be found at www.biba.org.uk. So what value is advice? Andrew Gibbons ACII, Managing Director, Mason Owen Financial Services Ltd, Chair, Industry Claims Initiative on behalf of BIBA.

Challenging the politicisation of the judicial process inisters apparently made 6,787 laws by statutory instrument (SIs) between 2014 and 2016, under powers delegated to them by Parliament. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill currently creeping through Parliament is expected to generate between 800 and 1,000 SIs alone. In contrast, the Civil Liability Bill looks set to only generate a handful of pieces of secondary legislation delegating powers to the Lord Chancellor. They may be few, but they are already lining up to be the primary battle lines.

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The Lords’ own Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee said that “by any standards, the Bill is skeletal”, meaning that it is largely a framework of powers to be granted to Ministers, devoid of the all-important detail, to be added later in the form of one or more statutory instruments. MASS have long argued that given the absence of medical qualifications or experience within MoJ, the regulations on the detailed definition of whiplash should be determined by independent, qualified medical experts. It was heartening that the Committee agreed, saying: “Neither the Lord Chancellor nor the Ministry of Justice is best placed to make this determination, which depends on medical expertise and clinical judgment.”

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Similarly, we do not believe that it is appropriate that the Lord Chancellor set the levels of damages for accident victims under the proposed tariff. The Judicial College’s Guidelines have provided a clear and logical framework for the assessment of damages in personal injury cases since they were first published in 1992, and the courts have been assessing damages since the creation of the law of tort. We believe that it is entirely consistent and logical that the judiciary continue to determine damages under the revised regime. Once again, the Delegated Powers Committee agreed, saying: “We are not convinced that the Lord Chancellor will make a better job of this than the judges, who have had decades of experience dealing with damages for personal injury at the bar and on the bench.”

It is still early days in the passage of the Bill, and no-one knows whether it will emerge largely unchanged having been scrutinised by Parliament, but this politicisation of a judicial process cannot pass unchallenged. The sector, and most importantly, motor accident victims, have a great deal riding on it. Simon Stanfield, Chair of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS).

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Pursuing diversity A

lot of conversations about diversity have centred around a rather simplistic argument that can be summed up as: company boards + protected groups = bigger profits.

However, the real picture is not quite so simple. For example, In 2017, an analysis by US academics Seung-Hwan Jeong and David A. Harrison, of 146 peer reviewed studies from 33 countries on gender diversity and financial performance showed that the relationship between company performance and the number of women on the board or in the senior management of a company was statistically significant, but very close to zero. This isn’t entirely surprising; after all, if companies engage in a tokenistic approach to diversity at a senior level, why would performance change? A clearer picture is given by research published in 2016 by the International Monetary Fund into smaller firms. It found that the ‘positive association between gender equality in senior positions and firm performance is significantly stronger in sectors that employ more women in the labour force’, and this effect was even more keenly felt in ‘knowledge intensive and high-technology sectors—which demand higher creativity and critical thinking that diversity in general may bring’.

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So, diversity is not a ‘one and done’ challenge. To make it count, firms need to understand why diversity makes a difference for them, and they need to make diversity a reality at every level of their organisation. This takes significantly more effort than the silver bullet implied by some commentators. It means measuring the recruitment and promotion of people throughout the organisation, and a thorough understanding of the forces behind these numbers. It means admitting uncomfortable truths about how unconscious bias can creep into recruitment and assessment processes and how informal networks operate to encourage some people to pursue their ambitions more than others. It means boards of companies treating diversity as a key factor in business performance that should be measured and managed as much as any other. Diversity is a tough goal to pursue, but the facts show that if we are to thrive in a modern, creative economy, we can’t approach it half-heartedly. Dr Matthew Connell, Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

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UK Customer Service Excellence Awards 2018 2018 saw the launch of the new and unique UK Customer Service Excellence Awards. Open to the insurance and broker markets, the awards purely focus on customer service; highlighting success, innovation and positive business change for the customer. Poppy Green, Modern Insurance, turns the spotlight on the winners and picks out the highlights of the night.

ednesday 25th April 2018 saw Modern Insurance Magazine’s first UK Customer Service Excellence Awards take place. Held at the unique and very glamorous Café de Paris, London, the black tie gala event was attended by more than 200 of the very best in the insurance and broker markets. It was certainly a celebration of those that are leading the way in excellent customer service and client care. Celebrity comedian Rod Woodward handed out the awards to our 13 winners and produced a hilarious stand-up routine; the evening was topped off with an aerial gymnast, tarot card reader and some spectacular dancing! The event formally introduced the rebrand of Modern Insurance Magazine while highlighting the achievements made across the industry in customer service and engagement as well as recognising company culture.

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We had four wonderful sponsors: Square Health Ltd, Carpenters Group, GT Motive and Doctors Chambers Ltd, who we would like to thank for their involvement in the event and hope they agree that the first UK Customer Service Excellence Awards was a roaring success! We also had our fantastic panel of judges, who had the hard task of picking our winners: Chaired by Donna Scully, Director, Carpenters Group; Ian Golding, Global Customer Experience Specialist, Customer Experience Consultancy Ltd; Andrew Gibbons, Managing Director, Mason Owen Financial Services (BIBA); Aimee Shortman, Managing Director, Brand Biology; Matthew Connell, Director of Policy & Public Affairs, CII; Gerry Brown, CEO, The Customer Lifeguard; Anthony Wright; Assistant Director, Head of Cummunications, Association of British Insurers (ABI); Richard Beevers, Director, Customer Plus; Leigh Hopwood, Redd Marketing and Chair of Chartered Institute

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The first UK Customer Service Excellence Awards took place on 25th April 2018 at the amazing Café de Paris! It was a fantastic night celebrating all that is great about how the industry looks after its customers and puts them at the centre of what they do. What really stood out for me was how genuinely pleased everybody was for the winners and how well we support each other. I was also hugely impressed at what good dancers the industry are when the music started! Donna Scully, Carpenters Issue 31


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of Marketing; Claire Davey, Director, Direct Distribution Skipton Building Society; Nigel Webb, Chief Product Officer, Imparta Ltd; Gareth Shaw, Head of Which? Money Online; John Ludlow, CEO, Airmic; Ian Sadler, Regional Director, Shopper Anonymous; Louise Portelli, Partner, Customer Transformation, Insurance KPMG; Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director, ICSA: The Governance Institute.

Recognising excellence The first winner of the UK Customer Service Excellence Awards 2018 was Pedalcover Insurance who won Best Customer Engagement for demonstrating, through various platforms, excellent customer engagement and a successful brand strategy. Our next winner was NFU Mutual for Best Customer Retention and Loyalty. Plantec Assist Limited won Best Use of Customer Feedback and then went on to win Best Customer Service Product for Customer – one of our big winners of the night! Paul Taylor, Managing Director, Plantec Assist Limited, said of the win, “We pride ourselves on providing first class support to bikers and have been by their side for over fifteen years, standing beside the best known motorcycle brands in the UK. It is an honour to be recognised for our product supporting motorcyclists when they need us most.” He also said, “Feedback is critical to our success and we encourage our customers to share their opinions through the life of a claim so we can improve – during the claim not after it!”

“What impressed me was the range of organisations that were recognised for their work in providing customer excellence. In a world that all too often forgets the service element it was reassuring that these award winners were prepared to invest the time, effort and money in ensuring the all aspects of the service chain were undertaken to the best of their ability with the customer their primary concern. They do go the extra mile and will set themselves up to be successful in the future” Steve Casey, Square Health Ltd

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Best Use of Customer Service Technology was awarded to Cunningham Lindsey for showing an improved customer journey through the use of technology while providing examples of customer engagement and improved efficiency and quality of service through the implementation of new technology. Adapt Ready UK won the Best Customer Service Product for Business, while EDAM Group was awarded Investment in Company Culture. Marc Lafferty, Chief Revenue Officer at EDAM Group, said: “We are especially pleased to be the leading investors in company culture when considering the very high standards of the panel of expert judges, who praised our business for our efforts. To win against other companies shortlisted for the award is welcome recognition from our colleagues in the industry.” Accident Exchange were the winners of the Outstanding Customer Journey award for providing exceptional customer care and evidencing a clear customer-centric mindset. Continuing on with the theme of client care, the Above and Beyond award was given to Direct Commercial Ltd for exceeding customer expectations and going the extra mile for their customers. Cunningham Lindsey were winners for the second time when they won the Fight Against Fraud award – a challenge that is becoming more apparent in the insurance industry. Virtus Validation Limited won the Best New Business Initiative, while Ninety Consulting won

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the Giving it Back to Charity Award. This particular award was for a company who showed significant success in their fundraising endeavours, while demonstrating an innovative approach and encouraging teamwork and staff engagement. The winner of our last award was the one that everyone had been waiting for, the Customer Service Champion of the Year! Exclusively selected by our panel of judges, it was awarded to Intuit Quickbooks (UK) – a fantastic achievement! Nicola Raith of Doctors Chambers Ltd sums up the evening by saying: “Doctors Chambers were delighted to sponsor the Customer Service Excellence Awards, it was a truly fabulous evening of glitz and glamour in an incredible setting. The highlight of the evening was seeing so many companies recognised for their achievements in delivering first class service to their clients. Businesses will always evolve and change but one thing that will remain constant is the importance of excellent customer service. Many congratulations to all that were recognised for this.” As the awards presentation came to a close, the drinks were flowing and everyone hit the dancefloor! Overall it was a fantastic event with some very worthy winners! POPPY GREEN is the Editorial Assistant at Charlton Grant

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“I was privileged to have been asked to sponsor the Customer Service Excellence Awards event and what a fabulous event it was. The venue was different to any of the events I have previously been involved with and that just added to the night. It was different, unique and refreshing to attend; all of my guests had a fab time. The comedian, Rod Woodward was hilarious, however my only disappointment was not getting to perform with the curtain. Well done to all the deserving winners.� Richard Taylor, GT Motive

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The Awards of the Evening Outstanding Customer Journey Winner - Accident Exchange Highly Commended - Cunningham Lindsey and Simply Business Above and Beyond Winner - Direct Commercial Ltd Highly Commended - Centor Insurance & Risk Management Ltd

Best Customer Engagement Winner - Pedalcover Insurance Highly Commended - Intuit QuickBooks (UK) Best Customer Retention and Loyalty Winner - NFU Mutual Highly Commended - Club Insure Ltd Best Use of Customer Feedback Winner - Plantec Assist Limited Highly Commended - Intuit QuickBooks (UK)

Fight Against Fraud Winner - Cunningham Lindsey Highly Commended - Carrot Risk Technologies Ltd

Investment in Company Culture Winner - EDAM Group Highly Commended - Future Proof Ltd

Best New Business Initiative Winner - Virtus Validation Limited Highly Commended - Rightindem

Best Use of Customer Service Technology Winner - Cunningham Lindsey Highly Commended - Booking Protect Limited Best Customer Service Product for BUSINESS Winner - Adapt Ready UK Highly Commended - Industry Insights

Giving it Back to Charity Winner - Ninety Consulting Highly Commended - Evergreen Insurance Services Customer Service Champion of the Year Winner - Intuit QuickBooks (UK)

Best Customer Service Product for CUSTOMER Winner - Plantec Assist Limited Highly Commended - Smart-Cover Direct Ltd

Kindly Sponsored By

Modern Insurance Magazine would like to congratulate all the winners, and thank the sponsors of the event. For information about how to get involved with next year’s awards, please visit www.customerserviceexcellenceawards.co.uk

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Industry Innovators Interview: James York, Worry+Peace This issue’s Industry Innovator is James York, Founder of Worry+Peace. James told us about how his platform aims to help customers buy insurance better.

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How would you describe Worry+Peace in three words?

Creative, Benevolent, Progressive.

What makes Worry+Peace different from traditional insurance businesses?

From the DNA of our brand name, its meaning, through to how we operate, we just are different. That’s not to say traditional is bad – it isn’t. In fact, our new platform is specifically designed to empower experts and specialists and help them meet customers. We don’t see the role of our brand as purely one of selling from our own panel of insurers. We see the customer’s need for choice and convenience as our job to fulfil. That’s definitely a different mindset because what happens if they want to buy from someone else? Our model has evolved to enable choice, regardless of whether it happens to be a product we’ve created that gets chosen.

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What would you identify as the gap in the market that Worry+Peace aims to fill?

What connects every provider in the UK with customers? Big Search, social? Comparison? Well, our goal is to do it better and give the customer tools to manage what happens after the connections are made. We’ve built a platform with this in mind. We also extended our authority to handpicked startups like Flock, With Jack and shortly we’ll announce our third. The success story of the first two is also getting a new chapter!

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What were the main challenges in standing out and establishing yourself in a competitive market?

We’ve invested a lot into our own native technology and capability. That investment alone is going to take time to return – because our ambition has always been big. We’ve had to be creative to get more out of our resources without losing focus on what we’re trying to be. Regulation naturally favours those with better resources. Distribution naturally favours those with bigger marketing budgets. The supply chain naturally favours those with a proven track record. The triple whammies take some navigating. Surviving your first five years, for me, is the first goal. Making a business a going concern is part and parcel of that mission and might happen quickly, or take a long time! Making a place that could connect insurance buyers to any insurance provider, anywhere, has been a series of trials and errors and updates to our tech that make it increasingly feasible with each release. We’re not the finished article, though, you can’t think you ever will be. That’s the final challenge – staying ahead of your own satisfied ambitions.

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How is the wider industry responding to challenges in your area of the market, and how are you tackling these?

In a variety of ways. It’s certainly watching. Observing is the first step. Some are making small, affordable bets, others bigger, bolder strategy plays. There’s no hard and fast rule. You could argue that the second-movers will have all the insight they’ve witnessed to their advantage, so I don’t think we’ve really

Our model has evolved to enable choice, regardless of whether i t happens to be a product we’ve created that gets chosen

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Whoever is going to rock the industry is going to be someone that has a good understanding of technology and is savvy and aware seen moves yet. My fear is that they will interpret insurtech as stalled because we’re in the proving phase and step away from nimble, agile, lateral and all the things that make insurtech so exciting. I don’t see insurtech getting a strategic voice just yet – it’s all very tactical. For example, very few incumbents have an entrepreneur (yep, like me!) or anyone sub 45 sitting in on a board meeting and offering a view from life in the trenches. I don’t think any are even considering that – I think it’s the value we can add as we keep building our viable place[s] in the supply chain.

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How are new consumer buying habits forcing change in the insurance industry?

Insurance in the UK was already digitising. I think on demand is the biggest challenge as it messes with our idea of the pool’s period of activity. But that’s an actuary’s challenge! I actually think we need to have more confidence that the pooling of risk as a concept is exceptional in its societal utility. Taking it to pieces and re-engineering the supply chain is where there are gains and good consumer outcomes. There’s just so much trapped value in poor process, inefficient methods and poor productivity. Consumers can’t force change alone – other structural things need to happen. But the distributing arm of insurtech is constrained because it needs an insuring balance sheet to make a product. Insurers also need to justify that high expense of collaboration. It’s a bit of a catch-22. We won’t have true innovation, with output that can be acquired or iterated, until the PRA creates a microinsurer sandbox. Ignoring the unlimited liability classes, why can’t a new phone insurtech like So-Sure start with just £50k of GWP as a target for its first trading period? We’ve enabled the creation of a regime that thinks big is beautiful and is derisking by nature. But risk is what built Lloyd’s of London!

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The reinsurance carriers are there to pick up the macro, so I just don’t see the logic in preventing proper competition from proliferating. Who exactly will be the next consolidator if there’s no nursery from which to buy the graduates?

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How is technology influencing Worry+Peace’s service offering, and how will this be developed in the future?

It’s a tool. I had many observers asking me if we were a broker or a tech business. We’re very much settling that question because being a tech business is the primary thing – we just happen to own an intermediary company to fill in the gaps. Our new platform will have a rich data well, so it’s about how we empower that for the customer benefit; machine learning seems like a good direction, but I’d likely provide the platform for it, not create the IP. Our new platform already has an API, so that is the natural progression – to offer a general release for providers and partners. But our options for development going forward stretch up the supply chain, and across to claims for consumers. We want to help with everything insurance so people can buy insurance better. So long as the technology helps the mission and that never overrides the customer’s ability to buy insurance better, I’m open.

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What’s unique about the culture of Worry+Peace?

It’s me! As a one-person startup with thousands of customers and unique tech, I guess I am quite unique. I’d love to grow the team, and will do, but it is some contingent on cash flow and funding, which in itself is a whole other challenge! Right now my customers get to speak to me; I’m on the front line and it’s a great feeling and experience. It’s something I’ll ensure doesn’t go if things grow!

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Where do you see Worry+Peace this time next year?

I see our platform working with many, many more thousands of customers and hundreds of providers across the UK. We’ll have launched two more updates to our platform (launching in June) and may even be better capitalised with sector partners who see our strategy beginning to bear fruit. We’ll be a leading voice of progressive policy activism in the sector.

Q A

What advice would you give to anyone else looking to disrupt the insurance industry?

Don’t move. Phone me. I’ll make time for you.

JAMES YORK is Founder of Worry+Peace.

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Harnessing the power of all your data in the insurance market Rodrigo DeCossio, MarkLogic, discusses how insurance companies can unlock the value of data to help streamline their business. nsurance companies have a data problem. They have collected vast amounts of data in a wide range of systems, mainly legacy. This includes information gathered from policyholders at every stage of their relationship, from proposal to claim, all of which has the potential to unlock fresh insights, improve transactional efficiency and streamline every aspect of the insurance process.

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Data has always existed in some form; what has changed in the last few years is that powerful, innovative technology now exists to integrate data from silos and legacy systems and support new tools and techniques for analysis and process automation. Yet, with all this data, and the rising costs for storing and protecting it as data protection laws become more strict (for example, the General Data Protection Regulation), there is an increasing drive to harness all of your data. This means businesses embracing a data-driven approach, unlocking the value of all the data available and treating this as a business objective rather than another IT project. Companies should focus on setting the right objectives, choosing the right tools and working with partners who understand those objectives and can bring expertise and experience to the table. Few firms have all the expertise they need available in-house. That expertise and experience, across many sectors with massive data challenges, already exists and can ensure an unwieldy, expensive, time-consuming project becomes manageable and affordable. Delivery of a business-ready solution in weeks or months instead of years is not wishful thinking – it is the reality of what has been delivered by MarkLogic across a range of demanding industries. Indeed, a large North American insurance company has found that it can get results more than four times faster in partnership with MarkLogic than with its legacy relational database technology platform.

Automation often overlooks the wealth of data captured by previous processes, some of which might even be in paper records

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When such a rich data pool is created there are always opportunities to make use of it that were likely not foreseen at the outset Identifying and integrating data often requires both imagination and for barriers within businesses to be broken down. Ask most business managers where they would expect to find data and they will point to spreadsheets, accounting systems, customer relationship management systems and websites. What all of these have in common is that they are structured and managed within existing, often proprietary, systems. Of course, many previously ‘manual’ processes in insurance are already being automated and are creating new sources of data, but this automation often overlooks the wealth of data captured by previous processes, some of which might even be in paper records. Extracting valuable information from this data is not as hard, or impossible, as it sounds. All documents and datasets held by insurers have common factors, in particular, client names and references. This provides a common thread that can start to link a wide range of records including proposal forms, quotations, risk surveys, pricing spreadsheets, placing slips, broker reports, customer service records, call transcripts, claims records, bordereaux, adjuster reports and finance department client data. The challenge is to integrate all this data into a single database that can explore the links between all this information and then ask ‘What can I do with this information?’ and ‘How can it link with real-time information from external sources?’ Many people will have well-formed ideas of what they can do if the data from such a wide variety of sources can be integrated and then interrogated. However, when such a rich data pool is created there are always opportunities to make use of it that were likely not foreseen at the outset. The more complex the risk, the more data you need to assess the risk. But how many underwriters and client facing executives have visibility to all the relevant data about their clients and the risk they underwrite for them? It is vital that this data becomes accessible and that underwriters begin to use and exploit this richer dataset to help them drive the best outcomes for the business. RODRIGO DECOSSIO is the UK Insurance Lead at MarkLogic.

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FEATURES

The

perfect Neil Ingram, Direct Line Group, outlines the advancements in the industry surrounding autonomy and how insurers will have to respond as the technology continues to develop. ompared to older classes of insurance, such as marine, motor is a relative newcomer; the first car insurance policy was issued in the UK in 1896, some 200 years after Edward Lloyd opened his coffee house. The risks have changed in that time as vehicles developed, became commonplace and now dominate the transport networks around the world, but the fundamental remains the same: a human gets into the car and drives it.

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The pace of change and technological advancement is quicker today than it has been in our history and the automotive sector is no different. Many commentators predict that we are going to see a revolution over the next twenty years, the likes of which we haven’t seen since cars replaced horses, and it is already well underway. We talk a lot in the industry about Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and, in particular, the effectiveness of the sensor suite such as radar, lidar and cameras. The effectiveness of these

sensors is crucial in the development of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) as they will replace the human driver’s eyes and ears. But that is only one part of the puzzle. The other things that humans have is a brain; a sensor does not. All of these sensors, no matter how sophisticated, will simply provide inputs to an artificial ‘brain’ that will then determine what action to take; whether to steer left, right, brake, speed up or stop. The human brain has evolved over millennia. Artificial Intelligence (AI) developers are attempting to create software that can replace the human brain behind the wheel and this presents a real challenge to the insurance industry. Human behaviour is surprisingly predictable, which is why historical claims data is a very good predictor of future claims. But what happens when the past is no longer relevant? When the AI ‘brain’ can be updated (for better or worse) in a single update? How will we know what the future looks like then? Our traditional risk models, that have served us well for decades

The fundamentals of our industry are changing; the naysayers may view this as a perfect storm and batten down the hatches in the hope that it passes

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FEATURES

storm? The insurance industry needs to think differently and develop new ski lls and capabi lities and we need to do that quickly

and have been largely based on past human behaviour, will become obsolete. We will need to develop new techniques to assess the risk that AVs will pose. Access to driving data, both real world outputs and software simulation testing will be crucial in developing these new techniques, as will the ability to interrogate and interpret those outputs and understand the impacts on the likelihood and magnitude of crashes happening in the future. Simply put, the insurance industry needs to think differently and develop new skills and capabilities, and we need to do that quickly. Data analytics, for example, will be critical. This is precisely why Direct Line Group is involved in a number of R&D projects, in particular Move UK and Streetwise, both part funded by the Government through Innovate UK. We are also developing partnerships to work collaboratively with car manufacturers, such as Tesla, and their supply chains, not just to understand risk but also to create innovative products and service solutions that will meet the demands of changing customer behaviour. We are already seeing the emergence of new mobility solutions, such as ride-hailing and car sharing, which we expect to reduce traditional car ownership

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over time. We also have a duty to our customers to help drivers navigate their way through the technology. The government expects to see driverless cars on Britain’s roads by 2021 and is making a number of regulatory reforms to help make this happen. The Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Bill currently going through Parliament is just the first step in sweeping away the legal constraints and rules that currently prevent cars being driven without any human operator inside or outside the car. The fundamentals of our industry are changing; the naysayers may view this as a perfect storm and batten down the hatches in the hope that it passes. We choose to run towards this future, embrace the changes and help drive the revolution. NEIL INGRAM ACII is Head of Motor Product Management at Direct Line Group, and member of the UK’s Automated Driving Insurance Group.

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FEATURES

Technology in the claims process Michael Lewis and Jonty Hurwitz introduce Claim Technology and what they are hoping to achieve in the sector

Q A

How is Claim Technology looking to disrupt the sector?

At present, personal injury claims are managed by a claims handler from start to finish. Many hours are spent writing to customers, entering data, reviewing the claim and determining next actions. This can make what should be a simple personal injury process appear complex. Our claims application turns this approach upside down. By designing a process that assumes a claimant ought to be able to self-serve their claim, and then create automated decisionmaking to bring in the claims handler or solicitor as a greater level of expertise is required, we are able to significantly reduce the number of hours spent working on the claim and the speed at which the claim can be settled.

Our initial aim is to support the government objective of reducing insurer indemnity costs, promote access to justice and support solicitors who need to continue to play a vital role in post-reforms

By giving time back to claims handlers and solicitors they are able to spend more time focusing on the decisions that matter and where they are best-placed to add significant value.

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Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of having to use a website or download a mobi le app the consumer could make a claim from within an application that they already use, such as Facebook or Whatsapp?

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How is Claim Technology using technology to advance its service providing and stand out in a competitive market?

Q A

What gap in the market is Claim Technology aiming to fill?

Insurers and solicitors will be facing many changes if the Civil Liability reforms are implemented in April 2019, and they only have one year to get ready. Our initial claims focus is on personal injury claims (RTA and nonRTA) and creating a reform-ready, low-cost technology solution that can help insurers and solicitors re-design their product and service offer whilst remaining competitive and profitable following the reforms. We have carefully designed our model to be a win-win for defendant insurers, claimant solicitors and litigants in person.

Q A

How is Claim Technology looking to streamline and enhance the insurance process for customers?

Our solution helps insurers evolve their legal expense insurance product. When the reforms are implemented and panel solicitors can no longer claim costs on low-value claims, the costs will be passed back to the insurer. Insurers in turn will pass this cost onto the consumer in the form of higher LEI premiums. Our technology solution can help insurers successfully position their LEI policy as offering ‘value-for-money’ to consumers. For example, for customers with no LEI policy the insurer could offer them a branded application that enables the nonfault policyholder to self-serve their claim where the insurer’s involvement on an RTA case is hands-free. For customers with a basic LEI policy they could be offered the self-serve app with access to basic legal support. Customers purchasing a full LEI policy would be entitled to a traditionally-managed claims service but use the app to obtain updates on the progress of their claim. Our technology can also be used in partnership with insurers and their panel solicitors to drive down the cost of processing LEIfunded pre-litigation claims by as much as 80%.

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Our initial design challenge was whether it was possible to replace an FNOL (First Notification of Loss) telephone call with the customer to a digital experience, without overcomplicating the customer process, losing the personal touch or impacting the great customer experience our users would expect. The result we created was an incredibly immersive user experience on mobile and desktop by taking an almost obsessive approach to good design. In so doing, we’ve automated the customer capture process and the creation of the Claims Notification Form (CNF), which can then have a light-touch review before being submitted to the portal. We could have stopped there, but the process of making it even easier, faster, and cheaper to process an insurance claim never stops and we are fortunate to have a team who have not only built amazing B2B and B2C brands but who also have deep expertise in business process management, technology and risk management.

Q A

What are Claim Technology’s aims for 2018 and beyond?

Our initial aim is to support the government objective of reducing insurer indemnity costs, promote access to justice and support solicitors who need to continue to play a vital role post-reforms. There are two very interesting areas that we have been working on recently. Firstly, we are working on the development of a proprietary risk-engine, which is being led by Jonty Hurwitz who was responsible for counter-fraud/risk solutions at Wonga. We see this as an integral part of our offer in order to balance the need for access-to-justice whilst contributing to eliminating fraudulent or exaggerated claims. Secondly, we are undertaking R&D in chatbot interfaces and AI learning to look at how we can make it even easier for consumers to submit and then manage their insurance claim. Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of having to use a website or download a mobile app the consumer could make a claim from within an application that they already use, such as Facebook or Whatsapp? If we can design a solution around customer behaviour it could unlock potentially millions of pounds in indemnity savings or new premium income as we increase speed and improve the customer journey. MICHAEL LEWIS is CEO and Founder and JONTY HURWITZ is Founder at Claim Technology.

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FEATURES

Prioritising customer service puts EDAM Group in prime position Marc Lafferty, EDAM Group, explains the importance of having the policyholder at the centre of the claims process and how this contributes to achieving execellent customer service.

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xcellent customer service in the insurance sector is achieved by prioritising the policyholder’s needs at every opportunity in the claims process. This is our continued belief at EDAM Group, the UK’s largest privately-owned provider of credit hire and associated services.

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As we offer a post-accident service, most contact that we have is during a time of considerable distress for the policyholder. It is crucial that we treat them with empathy and understanding

We believe that contact with the policyholder should be at the heart of our operation in order to achieve continued excellence in customer service. This will help EDAM Group meet its ambitious target of becoming the leading credit hire specialist to the insurance industry. Shaping our business around customer service To attain our goal of becoming the market-leading service provider, we have developed a number of company-wide initiatives that have been implemented across the business, from the ground up. By investing the resources and time to develop, nurture and train our employees, we are confident that our team will perform at the highest level when dealing with policyholders’ requests. We have launched a number of internal initiatives to uphold this excellence in customer service. The Claims Academy was introduced to give a more comprehensive introduction to newer staff, who will benefit from a thorough integration period. By the time Claims Academy members ‘graduate’ from the programme, they are equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding of the importance of customer service to the business. This is also a small but important part of our ‘recruit, reward, retain’ policy. Taking feedback seriously Feedback is one of the most important elements of delivering high standards of service. Throughout our relationship with all customers, we draw insight from their experience with us. By learning from this, we make sure that we are continually improving our service and customer experience.

The Business Partner Issue Log keeps track of feedback and identifies key areas for improvement. The Log is a record of external interaction from our service team, and the tool is evolving, so we can look back and address the root causes of any problems identified by our partners. If a customer is ever dissatisfied with the service they have received, it is crucial that we isolate the incident and understand if there are changes that we can make to ensure it does not happen again. We measure our success with Net Promoter Score (NPS), a standardised tool that gauges customer satisfaction, based on the evaluation scores that they give us. We regularly achieve an average NPS rating of more than 70, testament to the work we do to meet and exceed policyholders’ expectations.

Helping the policyholder through the process As we offer a post-accident service, most contact that we have is during a time of considerable distress for the policyholder. It is crucial that we treat them with empathy and understanding, while making the process as easy as possible and providing a single point of contact for all queries. We recognise that a faster key-to-key time for the policyholder is important, which is why we have pioneered the Roadworthy Repair Scheme, introduced to make their journey as easy as possible. The service streamlines the vehicle turnaround process by delivering the replacement vehicle and collecting the damaged vehicle simultaneously. As a result, the policyholder is without a vehicle for a shorter period. It also allows us to overcome the delays that are caused by supplementary estimates being submitted and repair work not being clear, again streamlining the process. MARC LAFFERTY is Chief Revenue Officer at EDAM Group. EDAM Group are winners of the Investment in Company Culture award and this year’s UK Customer Service Excellence Awards.

Feedback is one of the most important elements of delivering high standards of service

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Modern Insurance 51


Just a thought

Just a thought from Eddie Longworth What value can suppliers really provide? s I wander around the claims arena helping my insurer clients to forge new paths to future prosperity, I am often called upon to review ‘the supply chain’. Sometimes this is merely a euphemism for cutting costs but, occasionally, I get the sense that some of my clients are beginning to question the real value that they get from their suppliers, and I don’t blame them for seeking new answers.

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After years of supposed ‘partnerships’ between claims and their suppliers, I too am beginning to query what the true nature of the relationship between them should be. I’m pretty sure in my own mind that the suppliers too have also mistakenly reached false conclusions about their role in claims settlement. It seems to me that too many of them believe that they are somehow equal partners in the value chain, sitting alongside the insurer. Let’s look at the reality of service supply in the claims department.

Claims departments don’t make a profit

I get the sense that some of my clients are beginning to question the real value that they get from their suppliers, and I don’t blame them for seeking new answers So where can the value come from? How and what do suppliers need to do in order to provide real financial ‘profit’ to their institutional clients?

Focus on the cost

If we apply the disciplines of the manufacturing environment, the financial value provided by external suppliers is obvious.

The answer is blindingly obvious, but not one that easily finds favour with suppliers – reduce the costs of claims fulfilment and processing – without compromising fair quality.

The business that makes and delivers a car part to Ford motor company is facilitating the added value profit opportunity that they need in order to sustain their business model. When combined with 1000’s of other parts, the finished vehicle becomes worth more than the individual components and there is money to be made by Ford.

Deliver the repair for less money, restore the roof at lower cost, and source the new watch at a better price. It also means being massively proactive in the repudiation of invalid claims on behalf of the insurer and/or settling the claim at a cost effective cash sum if this works for the customer.

But where is the added value profit opportunity that the supplier of building services, vehicle repair or disaster restoration services provides to the claims department?

This does not necessarily mean that suppliers need to lower their prices or profits.

Answer: there isn’t one! The claims department does not have the opportunity to refashion a vehicle repair service and sell it on to a customer at a profit. Rebuilding a kitchen damaged by escape of water has no intrinsic value for the insurer. In financial terms, suppliers are simply sources of cost. A roof that is fixed, a vehicle that is repaired, a stolen watch that is replaced. There is no traditional added value that the supplier can bring to the party, and doing the job well is nothing more than a legitimate expectation for which the supplier is being paid good money. Those suppliers who argue that the added value opportunity is in increased customer retention after a satisfactory service delivery should take a closer look at actual renewal behaviours of claimants whose premium inevitably increases following a claim.

Innovation in delivery methods, materials and process will feed through into the supplier’s bottom line as well as saving money for the insurer. Shared incentives to legitimately manage costs downwards can secure additional rewards for the supplier. Seeking extra volume on the back of better cost management brings extra rewards. Diversifying product/service offers can provide new opportunities. The world of insurtech holds tremendous potential for suppliers willing to fundamentally change their approach to business. Of course, none of this is easy. It places a tremendous burden on suppliers to be constantly fleet of foot and imagination when, in truth, it is much more comfortable to keep things as they are – but that is the route to stagnation and ultimate failure as insurer clients desert you for the competition who understand their true position in the claims value chain. Eddie Longworth is Director at JEL Consulting.

Proclaim encompasses Practice, Case and Matter Management, and is the only system to be endorsed by the Law Society.

25,000 people can’t be wrong

52 Modern Insurance

Contact us for a demonstration

01274 704 100 www.eclipselegal.co.uk

Issue 31


CASE STUDIES

Phoenix Legal benefits from smoother case progression with Eclipse Compact, the legal software solution for small law firms ew start-up firm, Phoenix Legal, is implementing the Eclipse Compact solution from Eclipse Legal Systems, the sole Law Society Endorsed legal software provider.

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Phoenix Legal is an ambitious boutique firm, providing specialist knowledge and expertise within the personal injury sector. Recovering compensation for a range of claims, including road traffic accidents, slips, trips and falls, and accidents at work, the team is quickly gaining a reputation of excellence for its client-focused service. As a new start-up, Phoenix Legal needed a robust case management system that would enable the team to manage its caseloads efficiently, but with an accessible payment model to suit the financial demands of a new business. After an initial demonstration, the firm selected Compact, Eclipse’s new legal software solution designed specifically for small law firms and new start-ups. A personal injury Compact solution will be rolled out across the boutique firm, enabling the team to hit the ground running and

manage matters in an organised and centralised fashion. Taking the core functions of Eclipse’s Law Society Endorsed Proclaim Case Management system, Compact will enable Phoenix Legal to benefit from fast and effortless document production, high level automation and smoother case progression. Alisha Butler, Director of Phoenix Legal, comments: “Having used Proclaim extensively at other firms throughout the course of my career, I knew it would be the system of choice when starting my own practice. The release of Compact however, means I can benefit from a selected suite of Proclaim toolsets that are relevant to the size and requirements of my firm, and that are available on a suitable pricing model.

“This new release demonstrates Eclipse’s ability to recognise the requirements of boutique firms, and as such develop a solution to specifically cater for the smaller market, further cementing its reputation as the go-to legal software supplier.” For further information, please contact Darren Gower, Marketing Director at Eclipse Legal Systems, part of Capita plc, via darren.gower@eclipselegal.co.uk or call 01274 704100. Alternatively, visit www.eclipselegal.co.uk

At HK Associates we provide a comprehensive and independent psychological and orthopaedic reportng service throughout the UK as well as access to a psychological treatment service. Services are provided within the context of personal injury, employment injury, stress and chronic absence management, clinical negligence, Neuropsychology and chronic pain. We have particular expertise in assessing the psychological effects of cosmetic surgery. Adults and children are seen within four to six weeks of instruction at any of our 167 clinics across the UK and the report provided within two weeks. The ‘Find and Expert’ facility on our website allows three experts to be located immediately.

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GROUND FLOOR, FESTIVAL HOUSE, JESSOP AVENUE, CHELTENHAM GL50 3SH Phone: 01242 263715 email: enquiries @hughkochassociates.co.uk Web: www.hughkochassociates.co.uk

Modern Insurance 53


10 MINUTES WITH

Brett Dixon Q A

Our clients want nothing more than to have never been injured. A close second best to that? A timely and fair conclusion to their case

Has the industry changed drastically since you started working in it?

I started work as a trainee solicitor with Rowlands in Manchester in 1997. At that time the Woolf reforms were due to be introduced and we were beginning to see the use of conditional fee agreements. The industry has adapted to change very well throughout my career, so whilst it has changed its core values remain. From the claimant lawyer’s perspective, the focus has, and remains, on the needs of the injured person. The same battles are still being fought with an insurance industry that callously disregards that need and focuses instead on their own profit.

Q

What has been the key positive or negative impact of change in your area of the market?

A

The most substantial negative change has been in relation to funding. The driving down of the recoverable cost of representing those injured through no fault of their own has meant that much of that adaptation has been driven by the need to find efficiencies. This has meant that there is now a real financial cost to that person. Positive change has been more incremental, but the single biggest change began in 1999 with the introduction of Part 36 offers. The ability for a claimant to make an offer that puts a defendant under pressure to bring a claim to a timely conclusion cannot be underestimated. Our clients want nothing more than to have never been injured. A close second best to that? A timely and fair conclusion to their case.

Q

Who inspires you and why?

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A friend recently pointed out a great speech by John F Kennedy and one part of that, in particular, inspires me:

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard...�

Q

Have you had/got a mentor? If so, what was the most valuable piece of advice they gave you?

A

I deliver a great deal of personal injury training and my mentor in that has been Nigel Tomkins. He has been a champion of injured people throughout his life and has ensured that the level of representation they get has increased greatly. This is an important part of the work that APIL has always done. The most valuable piece of advice he has given me has been to do work that you enjoy and find fulfilling.

Q

If you were not in your current position, what would you be doing?

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The work I undertake at the minute is very rewarding. It gives you the opportunity to make a difference on a wider stage: influencing change for the better, with APIL, and making it easier for parties to resolve disputes by putting together a workable framework, through the Civil Procedure Rule Committee and the Civil Justice Council work I undertake separately from APIL. Settling disputes between parties sometimes, though, needs the input of an independent adjudicator. Undertaking such a role, along with the opportunity of creating binding precedents would lead me to consider a role in the judiciary. Brett Dixon is President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

The first point is that we always have a choice, and just because something is hard it does not mean that you should back down from the right choice. Much of what we do at APIL involves hard choices and hard work. The positive change to the discount rate that APIL achieved is a good example of hard choices, hard work and the benefits of long term commitment.

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We know what’s important, that’s why you and your customers are always at the heart of our business... It’s what we do.

BROKER

Highway Insurance

ABC Insurance

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25,000 people can’t be wrong

Eclipse’s Proclaim system is the solution of choice for 25,000 legal professionals in over 1,000 organisations. Proclaim encompasses Practice, Case and Matter Management, and is the only system to be endorsed by the Law Society. From new start-ups to industry heavyweights, Proclaim is the system of choice for forward-thinking law firms. • Fully integrated Practice Management Software solution • End-to-end case and matter management workflow processes • Ready-to-go workflows for specific practice areas • SAR-compliant legal accounting • Fast to implement, easy to use

Contact us for a demonstration

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