The CEO of Cirencester Friendly has said that a statistic of claims paid on its own ‘doesn't mean very much'.
Paul Hudson, CEO of Cirencester Friendly, said of publishing claims stats: "We'd be damned if we did and we'd be damned if we didn't."
"If you don't publish it's 'you've got something to hide, your record's not very good' if you do publish it's 'well everybody's publishing and it doesn't mean anything'."
"I used to attend lots of meetings and say 'why don't we publish in a uniform way, show the worth of the contract and let people judge for themselves?' Whether that's consumers, the intermediaries who are selling the contract on behalf of the providers?"
"It's information, they can place reliance on it or not. When you just put headlines out there "we pay x% of claims" unless you put it in the context it doesn't mean very much. If you try and provide some supplementary information then it does."
"It's a sensible thing to do, if you didn't do it people would wonder why you weren't doing it, if you do do it and everybody does it then it needs to be done in a uniform and consistent way to make sensible comparisons."
Hudson also recalled conversations he had when claims statistics first came out.
He said: "Years ago I used to talk to providers and they'd say 'we haven't got the data'. How scary is that? You haven't got the data or you have got the data - you just don't want to share it because it doesn't tell a very good story."
Hudson added: "If you provide information which is useful and helps consumers form considered opinions or guides them and it's sensible and helpful, then it's good.
"If you just produce statistics and data for the sake of it, it can become confusing and there is the old adage, "there are lies, damned lies and there are statistics.""
He said: "What we do is publish to in order to get as many people as possible to put valid claims through as possible."
"Let's say advisers started to put through data, about the things that they deal with and how they deal with it, some people would use it, some people would not use it."