That said, we need to seek out ways to improve our collective reputation, whether deserved or not, and Lemonade’s approach provides a timely challenge.
Technology and behavioural change could be a powerful cocktail – we need to be shaken and stirred to action. In the world of Protection, surveys regularly suggest that consumers believe payout rates to be below 50 per cent (despite their being well into the 90s).
In the first six months of this year, Zurich paid out more than £1bn claims in GI and Life claims in the UK. This is a huge number, and evidence of genuine social good, but the on-line comments under financial press articles on any weekend shows that collectively we have more to do.
There will be disruption going forward. I’d be less worried about the technological side – insurers don’t need to see the new start-ups automatically as threats but as potential partners.
The bigger challenge is changing public perceptions and behaviours, so that they expect claims to be paid, they trust us with their data and expect us to use it to craft better, bespoke propositions and communications for them, that insurance is seen as a social good, not a necessary evil and that there is a genuine community of interest.
If we can’t do this, and others can, it won’t just be Lemonade who will have a pop at us…
Peter Hamilton, director at Zurich UK Life