Richard Webb, director at Manchester Underwriting Management, explores whether insurance customers get what they paid for when it comes to making a professional indemnity claim
There is an expression used a lot in the insurance industry that claims is the shopfront of insurance.
Clients are buying a product that, ideally, they will never use, which is why insurance products will never create the feel-good buzz of a satisfying shopping trip.
At times, the insurance industry gets a bad press for not dealing with situations. But it also rightly gets positive coverage when it responds in challenging times, such as floods or storms.
The test of an insurance product is what happens when the customer needs it. At Manchester Underwriting Management (MUM), we have always taken the financial strength of the capacity we have seriously. Being insured with a carrier that may not be trading in a year or two is not a great place to be.
When a client calls on their insurance product, they want to know that the person dealing with their query or claim has the experience and knowledge to answer their questions and put in place the right steps to deal with the situation.
With professional indemnity insurance, dealing with problems is not always easy and for many professions, including insurance brokers, it is easy for an insured to make a situation worse before seeking advice.
MUM’s product for insurance brokers features a service that allows our insureds to raise any niggling queries of daily business with a solicitor.
This includes how to deal with and challenge an insurer’s reservation of rights on a customer’s claim – brokers even get legal assistance to challenge insurers when there is no claim against the broker.
This service is designed to prevent a small matter becoming a big claim – providing solutions, not court cases.
When a professional indemnity claim arrives, it comes with the added bite of a client accusing an individual of getting something wrong. Whether the accusation is justified or not, the allegation alone will upset the person it is aimed at because, after all, we are all human.
In such situations, being able to understand a customer’s frustration and deal with their challenges is key to getting a claim investigated and resolved.
It is when a claim is made that the customer then wants to know that the insurer that will ultimately pay the claim is financially sound.
They also want to know that the insurer or MGA handling the claim will talk to them and has the experience to handle the claim.
To put it simply, when the client looked in the shop window, the product they bought did what it was meant to do.