Insurance firms are under growing pressure to support vulnerable and elderly clients, today we explore how a repair-first approach could help.
The topic of customer vulnerability is one that is high on everyone’s agenda. The implementation of strategies for vulnerable customers, has very much been led by industries such as financial services, who have made great strides in formalising their approach.
Insurance companies have lagged behind and, as a result at the end of last year, the Charted Institute of Insurance (CII) put together a report and recommendations on how the insurance industry can improve its current practice towards vulnerable customers.
They surveyed 23 charities and consumer groups on the issue of consumer vulnerability and the insurance industry. The results showed that 52% felt that the people they represent are inherently vulnerable to unfair treatment within insurance matters.
Ageing population – With innovations in science and technology, we are living longer. Over 18% of the population are aged 65 and over. 69% of people aged over 85 have a disability or longstanding illness, with dementia currently affecting one in six over the age of 80, with this expected to double in the next 30 years.
Computer, literacy and access – 40% of individuals aged 65 and over have never been online. The older generation is potentially more vulnerable because of the increasing trend of services moving online, in addition to shopping for insurance services, the increasing use of customer portals and self-survey for lower value claims.
Learning difficulties – according to a government survey conducted in 2011, approximately 8 million working age adults have ‘below-functional’ numeracy skills and about 5 million have ‘below-functional’ literacy skills in England. For others there is a gap in basic financial; skills that impacts their ability to manage and plan their money and services.
Mental health – One in four individuals are now expected to experience mental health problems in a given year.
We believe that a restoration approach to insurance claims can have a positive effect for vulnerable customers.