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UK: FCA publishes final results of its thematic review of the claims process in the insurance market

23 May 2014
This thematic review was launched in May 2013 to examine the claims process in the retail insurance market, with a particular focus on household and travel claims.

The purpose of the review was not to test whether insurers are complying with FCA rules, but to find out more about customers' experiences at the point of claim.

The FCA have referred to the point of claim as "the moment of truth" when consumers find out whether the claims process matches their expectations as to the cover they thought they purchased.

Findings

The FCA published its final report on 22 May 2014.

The findings are broadly positive in that 64% of policyholders surveyed were either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their experience.

Nevertheless, the FCA has identified a number of areas where improvements could further increase customer satisfaction.  These include:

  • Recording and use of inbound claims;
  • Communication and ownership throughout the claim;
  • Clarity of product documentation; and
  • Consumer outcomes in long chains of delegation.

What does this tell us about the FCA's approach to thematic reviews?

The thematic review is a relatively new tool, so this newly completed review may give an indication of how the FCA intends to use the tool in the future.

In terms of process, ten insurers were involved in this review, selected against a range of criteria including size; product range; and business model.  The FCA also carried out research amongst successful and unsuccessful claimants.

In its final report, the FCA spoke of the project as providing a benchmark as to consumer satisfaction levels.  It went on:

"The project has provided a foundation for future supervisory work, whether as regards individual insurers or across a wider cross-section of insurers".

In its press release accompanying the report, the FCA indicated that it will build on these findings in undertaking its new thematic review into commercial claims, announced in the FCA's recent business plan.   Click here for our post of 7 May 2014.

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