How to use claim stats with clients
When speaking to advisers recently there were many requests for things that are often already being done.
More case studies, more ‘human’ stories, ‘people like you’ examples, consumer friendly reports (not just stats), more information on declined claims etc.
It’s all out there and half a dozen or so insurers already provide this and more in their annual claim reports, which should be essential reading for anyone advising on protection.
Advisers have three options: use the stats pro-actively, reactively, or not at all.
Those who choose to use them pro-actively will do so in the same way as highlighting key reasons why cover is needed and when it will pay out.
The assumption is that everyone has doubts so it’s best to address them positively and early, on which can lead to better client engagement.
Advisers who prefer to wait and see if the ‘will my claim be paid’ question comes up (or similar) will often bring up claim stats only if needed and if the client has suggested there is some degree of doubt.
Where does the responsibility lie to make sure the adviser is aware of the stats – and uses them?
Is it the adviser’s role to find the information, or the insurers job to make sure advisers know about it?
As always, perhaps more of both is needed.
A possible claims stats charter
Many of these issues were central to an industry meeting that took place at the start of the year.
It was attended by insurers, advisers and other interested parties.
Although everyone agreed that claims statistics had brought good to the industry, opinions were also aligned on the need for change.
The meeting was arranged by Protection Review, Fairer Finance, the Protection Distributors’ Group (PDG) and The Mail on Sunday’s Personal Finance Editor Jeff Prestridge and the purpose was to discuss how claim stats could evolve and whether or not it was feasible to introduce some standardisation via a charter.
Then a pandemic hit. And, somewhat understandably, all that has become a little delayed – although insurers are continuing to publish their numbers and evolve of their own accord.
What do insurers think?
Aviva has recently published its fourth annual Individual Protection Claims Report, which includes comparisons against previous years, breakdowns by product, different conditions, gender and age, plus first-hand perspectives of customers, advisers, claims handlers and assessors.
Jacqueline Kerwood, claims philosophy manager at Aviva UK Life Protection, says building trust is a key reason why the provider continues to produce such a comprehensive report.
Ms Kerwood adds: “Bringing our claims to life with real customer stories over the last three reports has really resonated with both advisers and customers, so it’s something we’ve continued to focus on.