For the 22nd day of advent, Stuart Reid, Insurance Times columnist and chairman at Partners& and Pikl, talks remarkable resilience and insurer service

Every day for the festive period continuing until Christmas Eve, Insurance Times speaks to a selection of industry personalities about what they’d like to find under the tree for 2024.  

What was your insurance industry highlight of 2023?

Stuart Reid

Stuart Reid

The highlight for me it that, whilst we live in a country that has faced massive challenges this year, the resilience of our industry is stunning.

We too often slate what provides, for the vast majority of us, a safe and happy home.

Is all that we have great? Absolutely not. But away from the headlines we provide a service that is of such vital importance.

Economically, we benefit from annually renewable products that are vastly cash generative – socially, we are ever more focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and the environment and we are beginning to face into the challenges and benefits of AI, societal change in the ways of working and much more.

What is your Christmas message for your insurance colleagues?

Switch the IT off, have a break and recharge amongst friends and family.

It always amazed me when reviewing stats over the Christmas period how many colleagues logged on or in to work.

With access now 24/7 it is vitally important to just get away – and just as important to be left alone.

So, even if the temptation is there to get up to date or do what is outstanding, remember to send those messages after the break.

There is a life away from work – and for those that struggle to find the time, Christmas is surely the best opportunity to take that rest. Make sure you do.

What do you hope to find under the industry’s Christmas tree for 2024?

To find that insurers finally get their service levels resolved.

As a colleague said recently: “If we gave our clients the service we get from insurers, we wouldn’t have any”. A sad indictment.

It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out over the next year, if insurers do not get it right then we will, even if by provision of products through more and more varied MGAs, claims support and the like.

If the exit of some from the private lines arena spells anything, it means that it will fall to us to fill the gap of insurer provision, where, sadly, in many cases, service is appalling.

Frankly, I think we are in a far better shape and I believe it’s inevitable that we will do so.