But regulator wants improvements on claims management and policy wordings

Sixty-four per cent of policyholders who claimed against their travel and household insurance policies were satisfied with the overall service they received, the FCA revealed today in its thematic review.

But it also found that 52% of customers that successfully complained during the claims process were dissatisfied with how their complaints were handled.

The principal reasons for the dissatisfaction centred on poor communication, delays, and nothing changing as a result of the complaint.

The regulator said it had uncovered no evidence of systematic attempts by firms to deny valid claims, squeeze settlement costs or deliberately slow claims.

In its report the FCA said: “We found virtually no evidence of insurers trying to push down aggregate claims costs by not settling valid claims, or systematically trying to squeeze the settlement cost. Nor did we see evidence of insurers deliberately delaying settlement, though in a good number of cases this took longer than it might otherwise have done because of poor management of the claim.”

But the FCA’s review identified a number of areas where improvements were needed around better management of claims and terms and conditions for future customers.

The review includes the result of the practices of 10 insurers of a variety of sizes, consumer research and, in conjunction with the Chartered Insurance Institute, a short online survey of its members.

The FCA said the aim of the review was to find out if what the consumer experience is at the point of claiming.

Areas where insurers could further increase consumer satisfaction:

  • Recording and use of inbound claims calls (mainly household)
  • Communication and ownership throughout the claim
  • Management of supply chains (household)
  • The emergency assistance activities of travel insurers and the need for the right insurance
  • Insurance in relation to medical conditions (travel)
  • Consumer outcomes in long chains of delegation
  • The clarity of product documentation