GI boss says improved pricing and claims handling has helped insurer deal with increased claims numbers

Weather has not been a problem for Legal & General (L&G) despite the winter storms, according to director of general insurance Mark Holweger.

Speaking to Insurance Times following the release of a strong set of financial results, Holweger said the insurer’s claims from the winter storms had been in line with expectations.

“December turned out to be what you would call a normal weather month,” he said. “It turned an exceptional year into a good year. January and February would also be in line with what our normal planning would expect around claims numbers.

“The key is consistency of pricing, and you should be planning for those [large events] and inflation, and we’ve always done that.”

Holweger said that improved pricing and claims handling had allowed the insurer to deal with the storms better than some of its rivals.

“We’ve invested heavily in our pricing, underwriting, data analysis and our flood post coding.” he said. “So we are picking up flood claims, but we might well be faring better than some of our competitors.

“Another thing we have invested heavily in is our claims side. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into improving and leading the market with regards to claims and claims costs.”

And Holweger said that improving the claims function was vital to lowering the average cost of claims felt by the insurer.

“It is all about getting out to customers very quickly, making sure you are working with the customer on-site so you can talk through the options to get them back on their feet,” he said. “All that enables you to handle claims much quicker and put them in the right part of the supply chain, which eventually comes down to lowering your average claims costs.

“One of things we’ve benefitted from is that, certainly over the last few months with these large number of storm and flood claims, our claims process has really come to the fore and is certainly one of the key drivers behind some of our success around profitability.”