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BI claims continue to undermine UK insurance sector’s reputation

How insurers respond to BI claims judgment key

The landmark £1.2bn legal battle over the ability of businesses to claim for pandemic-related business interruption continues to be a dominant force in the sector.

Hiscox, RSA, and QBE are labelled in The Times as “nitpicking, cheeseparing, small-print kings” and criticised for “dragging out” the court case a further four months. This issue accounts for 74% of the three companies’ combined volume for the period.

Signs of broader impact on the credibility of the sector

Companies not involved, such as positive performer NFU Mutual, are seeing early stirs of questioning and facing more expectation of BI claim payouts, with small amounts of negativity arising from customers on Twitter quizzing them on how they can refuse payouts given the outcome of the case.

This is an emerging risk for other insurers in the near future as greater expectations may gain traction and leak into more influential sources.

Responding to Covid and the need for greater ESG accountability

Elsewhere, more positive responses to the pandemic offer insurers an opportunity to contribute to society’s recovery. Most notably, Zurich offers employees who are parents or carers ten fully paid days off to deal with “Covid crises” as part of a new ‘lockdown leave’ policy, while Admiral is praised as the standout insurer having proactively given motor insurance rebates to customers.

Other activities in the period also indicate insurers are returning focus back to issues and causes on the agenda before the onset of the pandemic, in particular attempts to curb insurance’s contribution to climate change. Allianz’s announcement it will cut emissions by 25% for some asset classes by 2025 and Aviva Investors’ aims for greener future with cuts to carbon emissions are two prominent examples.

 

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