Acting editor Yiannis Kotoulas discusses whether the insurance sector and it suppliers are supporting eachother as much as they could be

No one working in the insurance industry, on the insurance industry or with the insurance industry – as I like to think Insurance Times does – will be surprised to hear that its reputation has been battered somewhat of late. 

We all engage with insurance daily as part of our working lives and it can be easy for us to recognise the value of insurance as the support structure for much of what goes on in the economy.

Yiannis headshot

Yiannis Kotoulas

But for Joe and Josephine Bloggs, insurance can often be seen either with disdain – as just another bill that they have to pay – or, as a friend recently told me, with incredible frustration – when renewing a policy becomes difficult because of bureacratic systems and a lack of understanding. 

With the costs of insurance rising almost across the board, those of us in the industry should remember that the reputation of the industry as a whole is important.

Our cover story this month comes from David Blackman and examines exactly what has impacted the stock of the insurance sector with the public – and how the sector can recover its reputation. 

Insurance firms have faced up to tough economic times recently and are beginning to come through the other side with resilience and growth, as Insurance DataLab’s Matt Scott explores in the issue. But in surmounting these difficulties, the sector must not lose sight of how it is perceived. 

A recent example of bad press came from the release of Citizen Advice’s second report on the so-called ethnicity penalty in the insurance industry. 

In its report, Citizens Advice revealed that motor insurance firms were charging people of colour 40% more than white people on average per year.

While junior reporter Chantal Kapani unpacks the facts behind the report here, this sort of headline can be damaging to the industry if it does not make sure to emphasise its own positive contributions to society. 

Insurance really is a force for societal good – it allows for the construction of new buildings, protects people during catastrophes and even facilitates the shipments of vital grain from warzones

Customers’ premiums go towards supporting these societal goods alongside their own protection and safety. Frustrations at increased costs are natural and almost unavoidable, but in increasing our stock with the public, why do we not shout about our wins a whole lot more?