This week we look at empowering your customers and share our own big news.

START: BEEN MIS-SOLD A PENSION?

News this week from the FCA shows that the regulator is keen on reforming the FSCS scheme which funds compensation to those who were victims of mis-selling in the past. Brokers will no doubt welcome the move as the collective levy is now over £700m per year.

Views are invited from the industry, but here’s the thing; can any private pension scheme really compete with a public sector, taxpayer-funded one? Might we get to a point in the future when almost everyone who isn’t on a public sector scheme argues that they were sold an inferior product? You only have to look at how Royal Mail bounced its pension liabilities onto the taxpayer before privatisation to see that long term funding for labour-intensive companies is an actuarial headache like no other.

Perhaps it’s time for the insurance industry to campaign for a partnership with the UK government on pensions? That way the burden of contributions, lump sums and consumer anger might be shared in a more inclusive and socially just way.

 

RUN: YOUR IP IS THE ESSENCE OF YOUR BRAND

Paperwork has been filed in Germany in a case which raises an interesting topic for many insurance brands. IMS is taking action against HUK-COBURG, over the matter of smartphone app telematics tech. The wider point is that Intellectual Property is a valuable commodity in a digital world. In some cases, it is the USP or heart of the brand itself.

For brokers with an eye on the future, it’s worth thinking about how to patent a unique piece of tech that sets your company apart. They used to say knowledge was power, but it doesn’t count for much compared to a blockchain-protected piece of code.

 

GROW: LET’S CONSIGN MTAs TO THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY

News this week from Rnwl which suggested that about 31% of car drivers find it hard to cancel or adjust their policy. The FCA rules which come into force in January will oblige insurers to make it easier to cancel or amend a policy, so maybe the time is right to empower customers?

Not just in car insurance, but home, life, healthcare plans, and caravans customers would rather we see the end of MTA charges and brands offer the power to change details themselves.

Here’s a thought; If you build the tools within your app that allow policyholders to customise or amend their policy, then they’re more likely to stay with you, even if they click Yes to the `Add Extra Cover’ charge. What people resent is being charged for admin when there is very little admin, whereas an upgrade is something personalised for them.

 

DEALS

Quick round-up of deals news this week for you; Carrot signed up with CDL and will use the Strata system, Partners& bought Health Matters UK and BGL and Covea formed a joint venture, which will prove useful next year as comparison sites come under pressure to offer lower renewal prices to existing customers.

Meanwhile, classic car insurance specialist Hagerty went public on the New York Exchange with an IPO, Aston Lark bought a policy book from Choice Benefits and Davies Group bought Sionic, a consulting firm who specialise in updating legacy systems across the financial sector.

 

AND FINALLY

Now there was something else…oh yes, Stubben Edge bought Akoni Hub, which is obviously the big news of the week! On that bombshell, we wish you a busy week ahead.