The way in which the insurance industry works is likely to see huge changes in the near future predicted a panel at the cover forum.
Peter Le Beau, managing director of Le Beau Visage; Emma Thomson, life office relationship director of LifeSearch; Melissa Collett, senior ombudsman at the Financial Ombudsman Service and John Ritchie chief executive officer of Ellipse were asked questions by delegates to the Cover Forum.
The nature of the present market was summed up by Le Beau as "We are really annoying people," whilst Thomson added that "the customer wants to buy" insurance products but the process is proving off-putting.
Ritchie said: "we obsess with finding the marginally impaired" and taking into account their conditions in the underwriting process and so put them off the process. Collett noted that the underwriting and pricing of products were not usually complained about to the Ombudsman before warning that the industry should "signpost rather than disappoint."
Collett added that the underwriting process led to advisers: "quoting back with higher premiums and people don't like that."
On a question concerning the effectiveness of claim statistics in the industry Thomson said the use of claim statistics was good for the industry as: "well over 90% of claims are paid and we need to get that message out."
The Panel were also asked which changes they'd most like to see in the industry, both Le Beau and Thomson wished for a better engagement with government and visibility for issues within the industry.
Ritchie hoped for an increase in the use of research to understand consumers in the market better and improved communications between the industry and consumers.
Collett's suggestion for the future was an end to question sets and disclosure forms to reduce the amount of disputes arising between providers and clients during the life of a policy.
'We need to fight to keep business now'
‘Is the grass always greener?’
Based on customer's age
The underwriting impact for those at most risk of the pandemic