October 3, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter
Insurers must address their “pretty appalling” reputation with the public, Lloyd’s director of worldwide markets told the Chartered Insurance Institute Annual Conference last week.
James says the industry has lost public confidence, as well as that of investors and regulators, in part due to its poor financial performance, but also shoddy service.
In the U.K., for example, two-thirds of consumers felt insurers tried to avoid paying claims, and only 14% felt any loyalty to their brokers.
“If a brand is what people say about you when you are not there, then the insurance industry is currently in trouble,” says James. “You might ask, what does is matter if we are all tarred with the same brush anyway? Well, I would argue it matters a whole lot to the bottom line, the way we are allowed to do business and the health of this sector.”
The industry’s returns, even during the “so-called” hard market, were weak, and insurers risk sending investors to other sectors with this kind of performance, he says.