Brendan McManus explains that the insurance industry could have supported the government throughout the coronavirus crisis

The government should have taken advantage of the insurance sector’s claim management functionality to help with Covid-19 response measures, such as the coronavirus job retention scheme and business support grants, said PIB Group’s chief executive Brendan McManus.

Speaking to Insurance Times, he explained: “In many ways, the insurance industry would have had a very good solution to help the government in this crisis because we’ve got a massive amount of claims management capability, which could have been put to work analysing and assessing companies’ actual exposure and losses.

“Instead of that facility being used, the government is probably going to overpay a lot of companies with grants, furloughing and everything else when it might not have been entirely necessary.”

McManus said that if the sector’s claims management capability had been successfully used by the government, this could have acted as a much-needed bolster to the industry’s flagging reputation, which has been hard hit by the ongoing debate around unclear business interruption (BI) policy wordings.

“We continue to suffer a negative image because we don’t represent ourselves as well as we might, to the government and to the general public,” McManus added.

“We’re always seen as running and hiding when there’s a problem rather than running towards the problem with a solution.

“I’m not saying I’m the great voice of wisdom on this, but we did have something that wasn’t used by the government and we continue to have a slightly negative image in the public’s eye. But, we do so much good.

“[The] majority of the time, we pay claims left, right and centre to everybody. We’re doing good things for society. People remember the bad parts. They don’t remember the good moments.”