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Sustainability in insurance cannot be underestimated

31st October 2019

As claims continue to rise the impact on the environment is huge and cannot be underestimated. There is a greater need and demand for the world as a whole to create more sustainable practices.

Customers are becoming increasingly aware and interested.  A 2017 study by Unilever found that one third of consumers are more likely to buy a brand if they have ethical practices in place, and according to data from an August 2018 Nielsen report, 81% of respondents of a global survey felt strongly that companies should help to improve the environment, with millennials (85%) coming out ahead as the generation that said it was “extremely” or “very” important that companies work to improve the environment. With these consumers projected to be spending $150bn on sustainable goods by 2021, brands have accelerated messaging that highlights their environmental credentials, and insurance brands are part of this move.

Plastic Surgeon works with many of the UK’s leading insurers, and our insurance division continues to grow apace.  Sustainable development is a crucial element of our daily business and the insurance industry is continuing to make improvements within this arena. The UK’s leading insurers are placing a strong focus upon promoting and monitoring the development of products and services that create and support sustainable practices.  In a recent podcast with The Apprentice’s Nick Hewer, on the very subject, Graham Stait Head of Supply & Experts at Allianz commented:

“We have recently partnered with Plastic Surgeon – an innovative provider of restorative solutions.  We are increasingly looking at buildings contents and how we can improve our sustainable practices, in particular looking at things such as scratches to tabletops, and damage to sanitary ware. 

“Developments in repair technology allow these items to be repaired as new, which avoids the need to replace, minimising avoidable waste, and at the same time, quality is not compromised.”

Sustainability in the insurance arena is becoming even more critical, as the size of losses continue to become larger and with many perils such as escape of water damage (EOW), becoming more frequent, it is important that other insurers look to follow a similar example.

Plastic Surgeon feature at 05:15

At Plastic Surgeon, we have noted that, although the industry is getting better, many are still adopting a replacement first approach to – in particular – to the likes of EOW claims, resulting in millions of tonnes of needless landfill every year.

We strongly believe that by changing the approach to – ‘repair first, replace last’ would have a huge influence on lessening our impact on the environment.  We, and many in the industry are continually shocked at the number of repairable items that are consistently thrown away, resulting in millions of tonnes of unnecessary landfill, increasing our impact on the environment, and escalating costs!

Sustainable Practices

In a survey we carried out with insurers earlier this year, 79% of respondents stated that they are not handling claims in the most sustainable way.

Head of insurance at Plastic Surgeon Chris Edwards explains: “Often insurers are still reliant upon old fashioned, unreliable and expensive processes when it comes to their approach to handling claims.

“Many insurers do not understand just how many items are completely repairable, and during incredibly busy times they, and their supply chain revert straight to a replacement first approach.

“In report for a leading insurer carried out in 2017, we reported that only 16% of the damage we see is irreparable, so more can most certainly be done”

Numbers are definitely improving however, in 2018, Plastic Surgeon reported that we have saved 3,783 tonnes of landfill over the course of the year, this was up 9% on 2017 figures and early indications show that 2019 numbers will increase considerably.

Added Chris: “In addition to the overall reductions in terms of landfill, carbon emissions are greatly reduced through the lessened need of manufacturing, transport, and the energy required, with the industry under more and more pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and visibly show its commitment to the environment, a ‘repair first, replace last’ is a quick win!”

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