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The way forward for claims service

by Ben Bolton, Managing Director, Gracechurch

“Adversity does not build character—it reveals it.”

I was recently on a panel with a senior claims leader from one of the big broking houses and I described how our research showed that claims service had taken a dive in every market we looked at. I wondered whether he would endorse what the research was saying, and was both surprised and gratified when he agreed and went on to describe his claims teams' pandemic service experiences as 'horrific'. For me, this confirmed what the research has been telling us, that the industry has underperformed badly during the pandemic, that trust is now in deficit and has to be built back somehow.

So we can see the challenge, but how can we rebuild?

Three thoughts:

First, leadership must set claims at the heart of their purpose, a clear promise that customers can trust.

Second, communication on the products and what they do and don't do has to be made simpler and easier for customers to understand. This will be forced in soon with the new push on Fair Value, so why not get ahead of the game?

Third, decide on where technology can help and invest; claims service is data dependent and we know from research that where good claims portals are in play they alleviate enquiry pressures on teams, allowing them to personally manage more tricky problems. This is the way forward, but investment in claims tech is patchy at best and most large insurers have no claims technology interfaces, which is unacceptable in the 21st century.

In the end claims service is an investment but without that investment insurers' growth will be constrained.

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