Management briefing

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The UK's motor claims industry has a difficult balancing act to perform. It is continually having to...

The UK's motor claims industry has a difficult balancing act to perform. It is continually having to identify new efficiency savings - or in more crude terms to cut out cost from the claims process - while improving customer service. Over the years, and for understandable economic reasons, the pendulum has definitely swung towards the former, resulting in a major focus by insurers on process rather than seeking to maximise the benefits in customer service.

Process and customer service are not incompatible, as a slick and efficient process is essential to delivery, but it would seem that even where insurers and claims service providers have got their processes right, the actual customer experience is often sorely lacking. My own recent experience may or may not be typical - find it on youtube or postonline if you really want to know more - but it was disappointing.

And it is the term experience, rather than service, that is key to understanding what is going wrong. A so-so service delivered in a customer-friendly, well communicated way (be that by e-mail, phone or in whatever way the customer wants), can leave a more positive mark than a slick and efficient service lacking in essential communication.

The issue of customer service was, in fact, the subject of our roundtable (p3-5) and most attendees agreed there is still a long way to go. That said, the industry is slowly starting to change, and in some cases for the better, and we hope that this conference went some way to helping accelerate the positive changes that are already underway.

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Enterprise rent-a-car

Enterprise Rent-a-Car specialises in providing replacement vehicles and courtesy cars that are relied upon in the event of an accident. Enterprise also offers daily and weekend rental for private or business use. It currently has more than 330 locations across the UK and Ireland and employs more than 3500 staff.

SPONSORED BY

- Accident Exchange is the UK's fastest growing provider of accident management and claims management solutions, including the provision of replacement vehicles for non-fault accidents for the duration of repair. The firm works with insurers, car manufacturers, dealers, fleet management operators and bodyshops to remove costs, improve customer retention and enhance revenue streams.

- Axa Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK. Launched in January 1998 as Axa Provincial Insurance following the merger of the UAP and Axa Group in 1997, the company changed its name to Axa Insurance in October 1998. Many of the general insurance products of Guardian Royal Exchange Group (GRE) were absorbed by Axa Insurance in May 1999. The products offered are motor, home, travel, pet and commercial insurance.

- CRIF Decision Solutions specialises in the development of customer database solutions for claims management and fraud detection for the insurance industry in the UK. The company is an IDSL nominated supplier of services to the UK insurance industry and has developed web-based services enabling the management of personal injuries, motor and household claims information. The company also hosts the Elixir2000 database for life insurers, allowing them to comply with Financial Services Authority regulations and share information across the industry.

- Cunningham Lindsey UK specialises in providing expert loss adjusting and claims handling services, including motor fraud and claims management, which is one of the fastest growing areas of our business. We provide a cost-effective defence against fraud and are also able to validate and settle genuine claims promptly. Our people and our IT, alongside detailed and transparent processes, allow us to design and deliver innovative services, which generate competitive advantage in support of your goals.

- Drive Assist. Our mission is to be the leading supplier of short-term replacement vehicles, by providing an unrivalled quality in accident advice and support. Drive Assist's portfolio of products and services satisfies numerous markets within the accident management industry including insurers, brokers, accident management companies, repair networks, recovery organisations and legal practices.

- ISO helps its customers identify, mitigate and price for risk by providing comprehensive data, leading-edge analytics and decision-support services. For motor claims, ISO's solutions include Claims Outcome Advisor (COA), the leading multi-dimensional personal injury claims management and evaluation solution and advanced visual link analysis technology to help identify fraud.

- RAC Auto Windscreens. Serving the insurance industry since 1971, RAC Auto Windscreens is a leading automotive glazing and repair specialist in the UK. We can replace glass in virtually any vehicle, whether it's a car, van, truck, train, construction equipment or boats, helping you serve all your policy holders' needs. The largest fitting centre network in the UK, backed up by over 1000 mobile units and a team of skilled technicians, work together to ensure your policy holders are only a phone call away from a true 24hours a day, 365 days a year automotive glazing repair and replacement service.

- Weightmans' specialist national motor unit handles personal lines, commercial, bus, logistics and emergency services work. A key part of the unit is the specialist fraud team, which deals with staged and fabricated accidents, phantom passengers and minor impact claims, in addition to dealing with enforcement and prosecutions. The unit also has a market leading reputation for its large loss/maximum severity injuries work.

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