The industry body has proposed that insurers take a three-pronged approach to tackle falling levels of trust

The Chartered Insurance Institute has urged the industry to do more to restore public trust in the industry.

A recent survey of 1000 SMEs found that those that had been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown were mainly concerned with policy exclusions, while those that weren’t saw renewal pricing as the main issue.

The latter group also sought more ‘clarity of language’ to better understand how and when to claim.

SMEs that been only been moderately affected by Covid cited ’levels of transparency’ and the ’quality of advice’ given as their main concern.


As a result, the CII is proposing insurers take a three-pronged approach to building trust. It said they should:

  • Find better ways to address the issue of renewal pricing. Initiatives, such as the ABI/BIBA Guiding Principles and Action Points for General Insurance Pricing have resulted in a gradual improvement SMEs perception of how insurers reward loyalty. However, renewal pricing is still SME’s biggest concern. They want more reassurance about the specific measures insurers take to ensure existing clients are treated fairly compared with new clients.
  • Improve advice processes (and non-advised buying processes) to ensure clients understand both the insurable and non-insurable risks that they face, and what they can do about each one.
  • Reach negotiated claims settlements wherever possible. There is still scope for firms to reach agreements with clients about the level of assistance they can give. Assistance given at an early stage will build more trust than compensation given at a later date.

Commenting, Matthew Connell, director of policy and public affairs at CII said firms affected by coronavirus ”are becoming more concerned about exclusions in their own policies, especially around liability and property insurance.

“If we, as a profession, don’t rise to the challenge of improving understanding among SMEs, we risk moving into a ‘forced trust’ position where they no longer trust that the policy will protect them adequately but continue to rely on it because of a lack of other alternatives.

“SMEs understand the value of insurance, but they want a better conversation about how to manage risks.

”The way in which insurers manage the effects of the coronavirus is going to have a lasting impact on trust in the profession, especially for SMEs, who have a higher level of dependency on their protection during significant business interruption.”