Every insurer’s business should clearly consider its claims service – delivering what it said it would to customers at the time of purchase. Too often though, providers under-deliver for customers and tarnish the insurance industry’s reputation. Customers expect value, which for them is about the quality, speed and effectiveness of response in the event of a claim. For our broking partners, the idea of value is linked to customer satisfaction and whether the customer chooses to vote with their feet at the time of renewal. For us, it’s about putting the customer first, which means, among other factors, providing the most appropriate expertise, internally or externally.
Nevertheless, ill-advised practices, poor behaviours and inconsistent strategies in this respect continue to plague our industry. Most recently, this has manifested in how insurers engage legal partners, who play a critical role when our customers are in need. A short-sighted, singular focus on cost, and the practice of reverse auctions for legal services, has become commonplace. This practice of appointing legal services based on price alone – which must surely come at the expense of expertise at some stage, as it has in pockets of the adjusting industry – is a race to the bottom. It also undermines the promise that insurance is built on as it amounts to little more than fobbing off your customer to the lowest bidder at their time of greatest need.
Our approach has been to build meaningful partnerships with a select group of legal partners who share our core values and focus on service and value alongside sensible fees. Having that shared mindset is incredibly important, and the by-product of those relationships inevitably means we deliver better service to our customers and brokers.
However, developing a genuine spirit of partnership with experts who value service and expertise alongside efficiency is sadly still the exception rather than the rule. Value goes beyond cost, and having that level of focus not only makes good business sense; it is also good news for the wider industry and its reputation.