"As always, we remain committed to working with those insurers who are not current signatories to help raise standards across the whole industry."
- Neil McCarthy, PDG Chair
Releasing a new badge for signatories who achieve charter status, The Protection Distribution Group (PDG) has announced the following fourteen insurers who have been named in this year’s Claims Charter: AIG, British Friendly, Guardian, Holloway Friendly, HSBC Life, Legal & General, LV=, MetLife, Royal London, Scottish Widows, Shepherds Friendly, The Exeter, Vitality, and Zurich.
This Charter was introduced in 2018 to boost outcomes for claimants by improving basic levels of Best Practice undertaken by insurers. The charter sets out a number of criteria that must met before an insurer can become a signatory which is reviewed annually. This year, the charter has included extra questions on service standards for assessing claims forms and reviewing medical evidence.
Since it’s vital that claims are assessed in a timely manner, the PDG has already confirmed that ‘claim assessment times’ will be a new measure in 2024. This has also, in part, been fuelled by the PDG’s disappointment with the overall time taken by insurers to assess claims forms and evidence gathered as part of the claims process. It noted that these delays can cause financial problems for claimants as well as additional worry and distress.
These concerns have been raised both internally and externally to the PDG by advisers who had experienced “significant delays by insurers at claim stage,” which the group felt couldn’t be ignored.
The next Charter review will take place in January 2024, earlier than originally planned as the group feels these new measurers need to be implemented as soon as possible but with enough time for insurers to create change. The exact criteria will be based on service developments for the remainder of this year as the PDG continues to campaign for significant improvements in claims service levels.
Commenting on these signatories and criteria changes, Neil McCarthy, PDG Chair, has said:
“We continue to see challenges to service levels in the area of claims, which makes the work that the PDG are doing in this area all the more important for securing the best possible customer outcomes. This year we have seen a significant drop in service, particularly regarding assessing claims forms and the time taken to assess medical evidence.”
McCarthy continued: “Whilst we acknowledge these challenges, we feel it is very important that the charter continues to serve as a driver for positive change in the market which is why we will be raising the bar in 2024. We applaud the fantastic work insurers do in paying claims and providing additional help to claimants in the form of added value services and hope this future change to the Charter will serve as inspiration to insurers to also ensure the time it takes to assess claims is much improved.”