Insurers need to invest in their claims operations if they want to keep pace with the demands of their clients, says managing director

UK insurers have “stabilised” their claims services in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, but levels of service are still struggling to meet rising customer expectations.

Independent insurance research consultancy Gracechurch has released the results of its ninth annual UK Claims Monitor report, which saw its service quality marque (SQM) awarded to three UK insurers for 2023.

Allianz, Chubb and Ecclesiastical all received the award, having been “highly praised by UK claims broking specialists for their effective communication, responsiveness and overall broker service and customer focus”.

All exceeded the threshold of 75% positive ratings over the previous year.

However, the monitor also warned that there was still work to do for the market.

Gracechurch explained: “The study, now in its ninth year and conducted among specialist claims brokers, shows that UK claims service has stabilised post-pandemic, but that brokers are still experiencing significant claims service inconsistency.

“The prevailing view is that claims handling needs to be faster and more responsive to meet rising customer expectations.”

Broker service levels

Gracechurch are working with Biba on the association’s new study into insurers services levels, following calls from Biba’s membership to investigate the poor levels of services many brokers said they had encountered during the pandemic and continued to receive following it.

Biba chief executive Steve White said the results of the monitor were a good first step in the process and that work on Biba’s project was continuing.

“Improved service has become a key priority for Biba and our members and is featured in our manifesto,” he explained.

“Our research partnership with Gracechurch is helping us to measure service performance objectively and our aim is to build a leading industry survey on insurer service that is used to prioritise improvement.

“With that ongoing it is really encouraging see the insurers that have achieved the Gracechurch SQM for claims in 2023.

“Congratulations to Chubb, Ecclesiastical and Allianz – claims service represents an important part of recommending an insurer so this is a useful benchmark and we hope to see many more insurers recognised in this way in the coming years.”

Ben Bolton, managing director of Gracechurch, added: “The UK insurance market is still disrupted, especially around talent and consistency of service delivery.

“Some of this reflects wider market issues, however our research shows that insurers can buck the trend through having committed leadership, good management, tech investment and strong service cultures all of which our SQM achievers have in spades.”


The consultancy’s report saw Ecclesiastical come top of the survey’s net promoter score (NPS) table, which indicates which brokers are likely to recommend the insurer based on their claims service.

The report showed that Ecclesiastical had improved on last year’s performance, beating 20 other insurers to top the table for 2022.

Jeremy Trott, claims director at Ecclesiastical, commented: “I’m absolutely delighted that Ecclesiastical has again come top for service and been awarded the SQM by Gracechurch.

“We know – based on our own satisfaction surveys – that we provide customers and brokers with an excellent service, but to receive independent reinforcement of that is always good and I’m incredibly proud of the team.

“The report also shows us areas where we can improve, which we’re always looking at.

“We have ambitious goals for the business and to be known throughout the sector as a leading claims service provider – I am determined to continue to improve our performance levels to help our business grow while providing customers with the top quality service they’ve come to expect.”

Bolton added that insurers needed to invest in their claims operations if they were to keep pace with the demands of their clients.

“It is now clearer than ever that with market-wide talent shortages, the insurance sector needs to invest in technology that enables claims teams to work more efficiently, do less drudge work and focus on collaboration and problem-solving to help customers have good service experiences,” he explained.

“This is also about enabling innovation – value-add services and products that meet the changing needs of the market – without which the sector simply won’t grow.”