New survey shows discontent with claims outsourcing among insurers and brokers

Only 1% of insurers and brokers think service levels improve as a result of claims management outsourcing, according to a new survey.

The results show that 31% of respondents believe that service levels suffer, with only 1% identifying a service improvement. And 16% say that offshoring is not as cost effective as it is perceived.

The survey was carried out by WNS Assistance in association with Insurance Times.

Tim Rankin, managing director of WNS Assistance, said: "This is important and we need to address this concern. Service levels are still not 100%, but outsourcing as a proposition needs to be absolutely bullet proof and deliver a better service."

Yet paradoxically 68% of respondents believe that offshoring will increase in the industry in the future with only 7% saying it will reduce.

Rankin added: "There are clearly those who want a complete claims service outsourcing operation. But there are also those who want to look at specialised areas like uninsured loss recovery and repair management which were once the preserve of the insurer and now offer a great opportunity."

Lower costs and higher service levels are the key factors companies consider as the most important when looking at outsourcing. Thirty two per cent of respondents cite lower costs while 57% identified high service levels.

Of those who currently outsource, the most popular area of claims management is in uninsured loss recovery, accounting for 61%, with financial operations the least popular with 9%.

This pattern is repeated for those companies "considering outsourcing"; the most popular is uninsured loss recovery with a 46% response, while financial operations is what companies "would not consider" outsourcing - totalling 66%.

"This shows we need to be using our specialist expertise to focus on the areas where outsourcing is needed and wanted," added Rankin.