Research says insurers adopting more stringent approach

Brokers are having to fight harder to get claims paid during the economic downturn due to the stricter policy interpretations and anti fraud-systems by insurers, according to new Biba research.

The study says 67% of broker respondents said that they had to get tough with insurers on behalf of customers to get claims paid in the current economic climate and 93% regularly negotiate up to 20% uplifts on claims settlements.

The situation has deteriorated since last year; with an almost 10% increase in brokers who said they had to fight harder for payouts on behalf of their customers.

Biba chief executive Eric Galbraith said: “This is strong evidence to demonstrate the value of the broker and we plan to use this in every way that we can to promote brokers to wider world.

“I also recognise that with fraud being a major issue, there is a need for insurers to validate claims. However these statistics seem to suggest a too frequent reduction in the amount offered in claims settlements.”

Amongst examples of uplifts in claims settlements cited by a respondent to the survey was a claim for water damage to a kitchen. Originally put forward as settlement at £4,500, after discussing the claim and obtaining more information, it was eventually settled at £20,000.