“While advisers are understandably keen to know our headline numbers, they also appreciate the detail that sits behind them as this can further help them to position the importance and value of protection to their clients.”
Deepak Jobanputra, managing director of VitalityLife, adds that while claims stats might not be front of most consumers’ minds when selecting a new insurer, good claims statistics can help demonstrate the value of protection and allay any concerns they have about taking out new policies.
Mr Jobanputra says: “We combine our annual claims information with statistics on the benefits that our members gain by engaging with the Vitality Programme to give our members and advisers a holistic view of how health and wellness management is correlated with a lower incidence in claims.”
Director of claims and underwriting at Legal & General Insurance, David Banks says: “Our purpose as a business is to support customers at the most challenging times in their lives.
"Producing regular detail around claim statistics helps to do this, but behind the numbers are real people: families who have lost a parent, renters who are unable to work due to illness or injury, individuals who have been diagnosed with life changing critical illnesses. These are the stories advisers want to know about rather than simply the statistics.”
Holloway Friendly also publishes detailed reporting, which includes three categories for non-disclosure: careless, reckless and deliberate.
In May last year, its chief executive Stuart Tragheim went a step further, giving a “call to arms” to the protection industry to show greater transparency in claims reporting.
“We called on all providers to start publishing how many claims they hadn’t paid and the reasons why they hadn’t been paid,” explains Georgia d’Esterre, head of marketing at Holloway.
By highlighting non-disclosure, Holloway hopes to encourage advisers to have these discussions with their clients as early as possible.
“We want advisers to use the information in the report to highlight to their clients the importance of being open and honest during the application process, even if at times it may feel awkward or that they’re sharing sensitive information,” adds Ms d’Esterre.
What’s the adviser view?
There is much love for claims stats, it seems, among the adviser community – or at least from those who use them. But there is room for improvement.
Although an advocate of claims reporting, Alan Knowles, managing director of Cura Financial Services and Chair of the protection distributor's group (PDG), adds that having a league table and showing a company pays 1 per cent more than another doesn’t really help, as such a small percentage doesn’t make one provider better than another.