By: 22 February 2023
Insurers need to deliver ‘brilliantly’ and ‘simply’ for customers, hears ABI Annual Conference 2023

Achieving high standards of customer service was at the top of the agenda at the 2023 Association of British Insurers (ABI) Annual Conference yesterday.

The conference, which takes a high-level view of trends and issues affecting the insurance, pensions and savings markets, focused heavily on the Consumer Duty, the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s new standards of consumer protection across financial services coming into force later this year.

James Henderson, director of customer and digital transformation at the KPMG, the headline sponsor of the conference, called on the insurance industry to treat the duty as an opportunity to focus on the delivering “brilliantly” and “simply” for customers.

The industry needs to elevate the customer experience by investing in tools that can provide better insight and foresight. Ultimately, identifying and then bringing improvements will lead to commercial success, he said.

Speaking on the same panel, Hanna Kam, group chief risk officer at Hiscox, pointed to cyber insurance, which needs to focus on preparation and prevention rather than financial remedies, in an effort to improve resiliency.

Henderson added that innovation is a big opportunity for the industry to improve engagement with consumers. Currently, the market tends to take them through the buying process, until completion. Once they become customers, purchased policies are filed and forgotten about, until it’s necessary to make a claim.

Technology and data can help overcome this engagement gap, Henderson said. Those that embrace innovation in these areas will do “very well”.

Building customer trust is also a priority of the ABI’s new three-year strategy, which was revealed and referenced throughout the conference yesterday.

As part of its strategy, the ABI committed to delivering initiatives that improve customer outcomes and understanding of products, such as its continued partnership with Plain Numbers and the Fairer Finance toolkit.

The strategy also includes a commitment to supporting the economic, health and environmental opportunities and challenges facing society, as well as securing a legislative, regulatory and tax framework that unlocks the full potential of the insurance, pensions and savings markets.

Hannah Gurga, director general of the ABI, said on the release of the strategy: “Our new purpose and strategy set the direction for the ABI, bringing together key stakeholders and partners to drive positive change for our members, customers and wider society.

“Our industry is uniquely placed to support society, the economy and our planet. We stand ready to forge a new era of partnership between business and the state to tackle the long-term challenges we face, and as we seize the opportunities to protect and build a thriving society.”

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