GI master brokers back FCA’s push for claims transparency

Ryan Bembridge

January 31, 2019

General insurance master brokers Berkeley Alexander and Paymentshield have backed the Financial Conduct Authority’s plan to force firms to reveal their claim stats permanently.

The regulator also proposed extending the scope to show where consumers are unhappy and have made a complaint as part of the claim process.

The FCA is seeking feedback from stakeholders on the proposals until 30 April.

Geoff Hall, chairman of Berkeley Alexander, said: “We welcome the FCA’s proposals.

“Increased transparency is a good thing for the industry and consumers if it helps maintain quality standards and drives further competition in the market.”

And Rob Evans, managing director at Paymentshield, said: “We welcome any measure that helps to raise standards in general insurance and ensures that people receive the right cover for their requirements.

“The rise of price comparison websites has driven a culture where price rather than value or appropriate cover is often the main battle line.

“This is to the ultimate detriment of customers.”

Claim acceptance rates revealed – but are they misleading?

Data between August 2017 and August 2018 shows that providers with the lowest claims acceptance rate for home insurance include Brit Syndicates (80-82.4%), Ageas (82.5-84.9%), Great Lakes (85-87.4%) and St Andrews (85-87.4%).

Meanwhile the best, with an acceptance rate between 97.5% to 100%, were Zurich, Liberty and Royal & Sun Alliance.

Evans added: “Announcements like this to show the danger of making the wrong GI decisions and the value of professional advice.”

However Hall cautioned against being misled by the data.

He added: “It’s great to see that a number of our panel insurers rank highly here, but we would caution that the data must be used in context of the insurer’s individual product wordings and customer needs – not all products are one size fits all.

“Taken out of context the data could prove to be misleading and encourage brokers to choose one product over another based on inaccurate generalisations.

“For example, accidental damage isn’t always included as standard on all home & contents policies where customers choose not to include it.

“Claims may get rejected by customers wrongly claiming for accidental damage against these policies further down the line. Under this FCA data would that rejected claim count against the insurer?”

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