In the third section of the research, Michèle Bacchus asks 52 young insurer employees about the relationships the insurance industry has with the government and the general public.
In the commercial world, strong relationships usually mean good business and the insurance market is no different. Meeting people is an essential part of insurance and more than 90% of the young insurers said their jobs involved either some or a lot of networking. All but one held face-to-face meetings with clients, with just over one-third of the 52 respondents meeting monthly and nearly a quarter meeting weekly. The majority of respondents felt interaction with clients was important although some only met with their clients a few times each year.
The young insurers had clear opinions on how the government views the industry: the insurance market is, they said, an “absolutely fundamental” part of the economy; a “necessity enforced onto the general public”. For the government, the industry is a tool to “squeeze extra money” from the people and “someone to blame” when things go wrong. “I know it doesn’t like the potential liability for insurance for events like Pool Re or Flood Re,” said one respondent. “It doesn’t particularly like having that government guarantee over its head.” For some respondents, the government is relatively hypocritical as it seems to “dip in and out when something major happens”, otherwise using the insurance industry as an income generator.
Only emerging “when a serious incident has occurred”, the government’s role is seen predominantly as one of providing emergency help and implementing regulation. Over three-fifths of the respondents believe the government is already working well with insurers although this relationship needs to be more transparent. “The relevant conversations are happening,” explained one young participant, “but it’s difficult to say because we only see the end result, and an end result is always when you come to an agreement.”
So how can the government do more for insurance? Just under one-fifth of the young insurers were happy with the level of interaction they saw between the two parties but almost half called for more: more communication, more transparency and more clarification, with “a clear demarcation of the responsibility of insurers and the state because this has been blurred”. And, of course, more fraud prevention.
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