Cross-industry effort on improving customers’ understanding

Biba is stepping up its campaign to improve the reputation of the industry for paying claims and to help brokers represent their clients through the claims process.

“It’s a really emotive subject so it’s vitally important that we are able to progress this as an issue for members and our customers. We want to make sure the customer has a fantastic claims experience and that the industry has a better reputation,” executive director Graeme Trudgill told Insurance Times.

“When there is a claim that’s your time to go in and save the customer and offer a fabulous service to them.

“Brokers have a key role to play. If a claim is rejected there could be a professional indemnity claim against a broker. So brokers absolutely want to have a happy customer who is going to renew with them and who is going to have a great service, because it is a shop window,” he added.

Back in January a Biba survey found 89% of insurance brokers believed insurers were becoming stricter on paying claims.

And in May at a Biba conference, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced a thematic review of personal lines claims, for which the findings have not yet been released.

In response to this the trade body formed an industry claims working group, which includes insurers, brokers, the ABI, loss adjusters and other players in the claims space.

It will focus on how to improve the customer’s understanding of the claims process, ways to increase wider public understanding of the role of the insurance industry, reservation rights and how to combat fraud.

Trudgill added: “We want to make this a positive and constructive step forward and turn it all into a positive. We want to try and do everything we can to give the customer the best outcome we can.”

At the Biba conference FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said it was right to address “public concerns that imply policyholders might be facing delays, poor customer service, or having perfectly valid claims unfairly declined”.

Biba is drawing up the final entries for its 2014 manifesto and has called for brokers to tell the trade body about any issues they would like to raise.