1 Linking the Industry Together September 2013 Issue 03 ISSN Professor Fenn, speaks to Modern Claims about the aftermath of LASPO, Jackson and the government s response to his MoJ report. Don t get mugged: The recent Law Society anti-insurer advertisements certainly turned heads. Modern Claims speaks to professionals on both sides of the fence about the love it or hate it campaign. Modern Claims Magazine September 2013 Issue 03 Charlton Grant Supported by Mark Savill Lyons Davidson Cutting back on customer service is a false economy... If you don t deliver an excellent service, you will lose a customer and then spend more money on marketing to try and get them back. Peter Horton, LV= What a joint venture gives you is a common goal, a willingness to work closely with one another to ensure, importantly, that your systems are aligned... If this makes it easier and quicker for the customer then it has to be a good thing. Association of Regulated Claims Management Companies A CENTURY OF PROFESSIONALISM Sponsored by
2 join the LV= claims team
3 Introduction 03 Welcome to Usually, any magazine put together over the summer months is a tall order for an editor; not only is half the population on holiday but so is the Government. Cue the broadsheets suddenly filled with news items both bizarre and meaningless and the trade press scraping the barrel. I am happy to report however that this has certainly not been the case for Modern Claims this year. With flash flooding, the very recent aftermath of the 1 st April and potentially only a few weeks in advance of further civil claims reform, the summer of 2013 has been a hot and busy one for those progressing change in the sector. I am quite sure professionals haven t done away with their annual leave (and thank you to all contributors for preparing copy before, during and after holidays) but that s not because the workload is decreasing. As Mark Savill, Managing Director of Lyons Davidson, points out in our cover interview (page 11-14), the dust hasn t settled yet or revealed the true picture of claims management ongoing. What is clear though is that insurers and law firms leading process and strategic innovation for their clients are defining the future - something to consider if you re still watching and waiting from the sidelines. On an outcome-based level, the reforms haven t yet started to hit home in terms of judgements and claimant perceptions of value. The views of our columnists on the issue in particular, Alan Nesbit, ARC and Karl Fischer, Wolf Law (page 51-53) are mixed on these points. As claimants (on the whole) have to pay for legal costs from their damages, the focus on customer service and what your business can really deliver is under increasing scrutiny. The most common message in this issue of Modern Claims really is one of customer service arrangements. LV= General Insurance has taken this to the very heart of what it does for its policy holders. Peter Horton, Chief Operating Officer at LV= believes consumers are now too discerning to invest in a branded policy based on aggregator information alone. The LV= branding revolves around the insurance company being the best loved in the market, helped, no doubt, by recent YouGov research that indicated LV= has the highest quality score of any insurance brand. Both Horton and Savill believe simply paying lip-service to customer care (especially at a time when customers are paying even more for policies, buying new BTE legal expense insurance or paying for litigation fees from their damages) is dangerous and potentially brand damaging. So what do you need to get it right? There are a number of ideas and solutions in this issue but two things that come up time and time again are: firstly, create a firm, engaging and clear culture within the claims team, with a focus on helping customers when they need you especially during a time of distress, such as a flash flood. Secondly, the processes, technology, advice and skills to manage the basics efficiently from the outset, leaving more time for specialist care, a focus on the customer and hopefully a long-lasting relationship and renowned position within the marketplace. It looks set to be an equally busy autumn as the claims industry lines itself up for further change, regulation and, most interestingly, consumer reaction. Emma Waddingham Chief Editor The Modern Claims team would love to hear from you. Please do drop me a line with your feedback and news via at: charltongrant.co.uk Modern Claims Magazine Issue 03 September 2013 ISSN Project Director Kate McKittrick Accounts Director Karl Mason Chief Editor Emma Waddingham Group Editor Charlotte Parkinson Head of Events Julia Todd Interview Editor Bippon Vinayak Advertising Rachael Pearson Production Lindsey Thomson-Heley Design Richard Berry Contact t: e: w: Modern Claims Magazine is published by Charlton Grant Ltd All material is copyrighted both written and illustrated. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. All images and information is collated from extensive research and along with advertisements is published in good faith. Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this publication was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
4 04 Contents CONTENTS Intro & THE News 07 Hughes talks news Anthony Hughes asks if, four months on, we have seen any real impact of Jackson and the LASPO reforms on the claims industry. Or are the reforms and business models yet to appear the real cause for concern? The INTERVIEWS 11 Mark Savill, Lyons Davidson Mark Savill, Managing Director of Lyons Davidson - the firm which launched a joint-venture ABS with Admiral - speaks to Emma Waddingham about the importance of strategic partnerships and a potential change in focus for the claims process. 16 Peter Horton, LV= General Insurance Peter Horton, the Chief Operating Officer at LV= General Insurance and MD of Britannia Rescue, speaks to Emma Waddingham about how the brand ensures it meets it s best loved insurer status and what customer service really means in the claims department. 19 Professor Paul Fenn Charlotte Parkinson asked Professor Fenn for his thoughts on the aftermath of his MoJ report, the Jackson reforms and LASPO, in particular, the reaction by government The Opinions 22 Sector soapbox ABI, BIBA, Craig Budsworth, MASS, Rod Evans, FOIL 24 Filling the CMC gap Tony Rand, Vamco Ltd & Kingsley Law Ltd 24 Value added collaborations Andy Watson, Ageas 25 New breed regulation Jim Toole, First Response Law 25 In-source risk knowledge David Williams, AXA Insurance 27 Apps: the whole story? Dolores Evelyn, Eclipse Legal Systems 27 One-stop-transformations Andy Whatmough, S&G Response Editorial Columnists Alan Nesbit Managing Partner Nesbit Law Group & Chairman, ARC Craig Budsworth Chair, MASS & RTA Partner, Glaysiers John Keates Chief Technology Officer Lysanda Ltd Michael Davidson Head of Strategy & Sales Goldsmith Williams Solicitors Richard Clark Director Xuber Alan Strange Underwriting Director LAMP Group Limited Andy Watson Chief Executive Ageas Andy Whatmough Director S & G Response Ant Gould Director of Faculties Chartered Insurance Institute Anthony Hughes Chief Executive Horwich Farrelly Solicitors Ashley Potter Director DWA Claims Bippon Vinayak Chairman & CEO Doctors Chambers Darren Gower Head of Marketing Eclipse Legal Systems David Williams Managing Director, Underwriting AXA Insurance Dolores Evelyn Sales Director Eclipse Legal Systems Professor Dominic Regan Legal commentator, trainer and costs expert Donna Scully Partner Carpenters Emma Bell Director Clifford James Jim Toole Operations Director First Response Law John Latter ACII Director of Technical Centre, UK Claims Zurich Insurance plc Karl Fischer Managing Director Wolf Law Solicitors Keith Crosier Managing Engineer Legal & Technical Assessors Gavin Redman Business Development Manager Express Solicitors Greg Gladwell Chief Executive Officer, UK & Ireland Crawford & Company Lisa Beale Head of Checkaprofessional.com Matthew Waterfield Head of Legal Development Simply Lawyers Michael Nixon CEO Inter-est Ltd Nik Ellis Managing Director Laird Assessors Paul Slaven Claims Manager - Property - International Property & Casualty Insurance XL Group Peter Horton Chief Operating Officer - GI LV= Peter Parry Managing Director Independent Accident Investigations Peter Revell Partner and Head of Technical Costs at Meruit Costs Lyons Davidson Richard Forth Managing Director Forths Forensic Accountants Robert Kelly Key Account Manager Acorn Assessors Rod Evans President FOIL Sarah Hill Partner Berrymans Lace Mawer Tim Wallis Mediator, Solicitor, Director Expedite Resolution Tony Rand Managing Director Kingsley Law Ltd Zoe Holland Managing Director ZEBRA Legal Consulting
5 Contents The cool kid Richard Clark, Xuber 29 The rise of BTE Peter Horton, LV= General Insurance 31 Claims cost battle Richard Forth, Forths Forensic Accountants 31 Co-insurer communications Paul Slaven, XL Insurance 33 Collaborate with caution Eddie Longworth, Parabis Claims Solutions 33 Why can t we work together? Tim Wallis, Expedite Resolution 35 One stop, constant savings Nik Ellis, Laird Assessors 35 PI: a profile of risk Zoe Holland, Zebra legal Consulting 37 Are you operating within the law? Peter Parry, Independent Accident Investigations 37 What s putting people off lawyers? Alan Strange, LAMP Group Limited 38 Strictly liability: a new dawn Alistair Schuberth, Willis UK Retail s Claims Defensibility Team The Features 41 Scared off or spot on? The recent Don t get mugged by an insurer, use a solicitor campaign recently launched by the Law Society has certainly turned heads. Modern Claims asked Alan Nesbit, Donna Scully and David Williams, their thoughts on the love it or hate it campaign. 44 Bugs in the system As gadgets give rise to a clear increase in insurance fraud, Charlotte Parkinson gathers a selection of experts to garner their views on the changing world of fraud. 47 A dark art? Insurers aren t using telematics as extensively as their developers had hoped. As John Keates explains, accuracy and combating fraud isn t black magic, just an effectively used black box. 49 Right players, wrong formation? After two of the coldest winters on record, UK insurers breathe a sigh of relief as seasons pass with relatively benign conditions. Greg Gladwell explains why. 51 Legal opinion Alan Nesbit & Karl Fischer give their view on claimants reaction to sharing damages with their solicitor; Donna Scully looks at collaboration across the industry; Sarah Hill highlights the rise of ghost brokering and Michael Davidson suggests that the rise of Joint Venture ABSs is helping to create a battle of the brand landscape for Harassment returns The recent, fascinating decision of a powerfully constituted and unanimous Appeal Court in Roberts v Bank of Scotland has resurrected an intriguing cause of action; harassment claims. Professor Dominic Regan reports. 57 Building public trust Legal comparison websites are not going to go away, says The Legal Services Consumer Panel, which urges lawyers to be more transparent about service and pricing. Lisa Beale reports. 59 A new beginning Phil Bellamy takes us through the highs and lows of personal injury claims post LASPO with a few positive surprises in addition to the grimly expected outcomes for many. 61 Roll up, roll up Welcome to the personal injury market stall. As marketing collaboratives and new lead generation initiatives spring into life for practitioners, Gavin Redman looks for the real deal in the plethora of marketing company pitches and how to set out your own stall to compete in difficult times minutes with... Rod Evans President, Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) 62 Armed and Ready Darren Gower, Eclipse Legal Systems
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7 Hughes talks news 07 Hughes talks news... Anthony Hughes asks if, four months on, we have seen any real impact of Jackson and the LASPO reforms on the claims industry. Or are the reforms and business models yet to appear the real cause for concern? In truth, it is still too early to say what the longterm impact will be of LASPO. There was obviously a hive of activity regarding the referral fee ban with new business practices being introduced although some commentators are suggesting that not everyone has got it right! So when will we see the first public enforcement of the ban? On the ground floor. On a day-to-day level, the two most significant issues were the reduction in recoverable fees in motor claims and the introduction of QOCS. The former has not had such a significant impact. The general feeling in the market is that consumers are happy to pay for a service and are generally accepting deductions from their damages on the basis that it is still a very low risk purchase, working on a no-win no fee basis with their lawyer. QOCS has caused more people to scratch their head and rethink case strategies because of its retrospective application, in terms of cases which are not funded by a CFA. This has impacted both the claimant and defendant market - particularly around cases involving arguments of fraud or low speed impacts. We ve only just warmed up. In my opinion, the more wide ranging reforms that came into play at the end of July should see more market alteration. The general feeling in the market is that consumers are happy to pay for a service and are generally accepting deductions from their damages on the basis that it is still a very low risk purchase, working on a no-win no fee basis with their lawyer. One of the major objectives of LASPO, so we were told, was to reduce insurance premiums. Indications are that this is working, but I was interested to read the article from the Allianz CEO, John Dye, which states that he believes insurers are in danger of overstating the benefits of the reforms. I have always said, insurance is about pricing risk. Unfortunately, young drivers present the biggest risk, often not causing the accidents that involve a simple whiplash, but major incidents causing larger scale injuries. These reforms won t impact upon that area of the market. Maybe Mr Dye has a point. Ruffled feathers. Unsurprisingly, there have been mixed responses to the conclusions drawn by the Transport Select Committee and its recommendation not to increase the small claims limit. I have long since said that raising that limit to 5000 would not necessarily cure the issue that the consultation was aimed at -which was to reduce fraudulent claims. I suspect the biggest fear is that claims management companies, rather than lawyers, would flood the market. As such claims frequency would not reduce it could be easier for the fraudsters to exploit that situation. Some of the more practical suggestions that were made could reap significant rewards. For example: a reduction in the limitation period and greater provision of information from both sides to medical experts, in advance of their examinations. On a personal level, I would be happy to support both. All sides are agreed that genuine claimants need to be compensated and fraudsters weeded out. Both of the above would go at least some way in achieving that, while allowing insurers to better manage their portfolio of risk if they knew there was a shorter timescale within which to bring claims. Watch out for the mugger. I have always maintained that when it comes to marketing, lawyers should stick to giving legal advice. The Law Society Don t get mugged campaign has caused a real storm in a teacup and I wonder whether the storm has drawn more attention to the campaign than the adverts themselves (as is often the case with some rather annoying adverts on prime-time television).
8 08 Hughes talks news Costs recovery in those cases is normally very straightforward; where an individual is backed by an ATE policy because there is no finding of fraud, simply because the claimant has not been able to prove the case. Compare that to cases of pure fraud where ATE providers will seek to avoid indemnity. More often than not, the individual claimant is a man of straw so costs are often impossible to recover - even when successful. The truth is that it won t be a sustained campaign and indeed the whole furore now seems to have died down. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Law Society decides to instigate phase two or indeed whether insurers will fight fire with fire, extolling the virtues of direct claimant activity. ABS roll-out. I would dare to suggest that the general uptake of ABS status would be much reduced if it were not for the I would dare to suggest that the general uptake of ABS status would be much reduced if it were not for the referral fee ban. referral fee ban. Bearing in mind the amount of work and indeed expense involved in setting up a pure ABS, I can t imagine that many insurers would have gone down that route but for the brainchild of Jack Straw. As with many things, only time will tell as to whether or not they are successful. If they are, I can certainly see how it could help some of the major direct insurers to extend their brand penetration and become known - not only for providing insurance but also legal services - which in turn could allow them to cross sell such services in time. Maybe we have all been mistaken talking about Tesco law and we should in fact have been talking about Direct Line law, after the recent announcement of the Direct Line ABS. Customer value. There is no transparency about how ABSs are set up so it is difficult to comment as to whether or not they will genuinely be able to offer efficient legal services. If they can, then there is no doubt the direct insurance market will have a huge amount of control over its non-fault accident book. Going global. In the same week, we have seen Hill Dickinson announced redundancies, agree to sell off its Chester operation but then open in Hong Kong. We are told that many others are also looking to penetrate the Asian market which, with its current vibrancy, is unsurprising. For decades now, many English firms have had a presence in Asia. Whether more traditional UK firms will be capable of breaking into that market will be interesting. I suspect it will be a challenge. However, in many areas, globalisation is occurring or indeed has occurred. Why should legal services be any different? Look at the big accountancy firms; they are all global, as are the major insurers. Tackling fraud. We have heard a great deal from the Government in terms of the objectives of its consultation being about the need to tackle fraud. In my opinion this is one of the most interesting and challenging areas following the implementation of LASPO - particularly QOCS. My business challenges thousands of fraudulent claims each year and currently has an incredibly high success rate, particularly in relation to low speed impact - arguably the most pernicious area of bogus whiplash. Costs recovery in those cases is normally very straightforward; where an individual is backed by an ATE policy because there is no finding of fraud, simply because the claimant has not been able to prove the case. Compare that to cases of pure fraud where ATE providers will seek to avoid indemnity. More often than not, the individual claimant is a man of straw so costs are often impossible to recover - even when successful. The danger is that this becomes the norm in cases involving low speed impact. A norm which is in danger of driving the wrong behaviour, as claimants have nothing to lose in pursuing the case and compensators have to make that difficult choice. A choice between fighting claims and paying their lawyers to do it, with little or no prospect of getting those costs back. These types of claims are invariably of low value, so economic considerations have to come into play. I would urge insurers not to create another soft underbelly, which is what happened when pre-medical offers became the norm. Anthony Hughes is the Chief Executive of Horwich Farrelly Solicitors There is no transparency about how ABSs are set up so it is difficult to comment as to whether or not they will genuinely be able to offer efficient legal services. If they can, then there is no doubt the direct insurance market will have a huge amount of control over its non-fault accident book.
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11 Mark Savill Interview 11 Interview with... Mark Savill Lyons Davidson The need for cost-control and efficiency in the claims handling process has driven a small wave of collaborations between the insurance and legal sectors mainly for insurers to access technological and process innovation, as well as scale and legal expertise. Mark Savill, Managing Director of Lyons Davidson - the firm which launched a joint-venture ABS with Admiral - speaks to Emma Waddingham about the importance of strategic partnerships and a potential change in focus for the claims process. Q What has been the effect on the claimant side of the business post-laspo - especially in terms of process investment and structure within the firm? Have you restructured the claims team or looked to gain grounds with system efficiencies? A It has been challenging. We have had to continue to update our processes, provide training on new processes, update IT, advise insurers on the changes and totally renew all of our contractual business models. As with a number of businesses we have also had to restructure the business as part of these changes. These are all things that we have been working on the last few years but the pace of change has had to increase. Key to our investment into change has always been technology. We develop our own internal systems which gives us more flexibility; for example, we were the first firm to implement A2A connectivity with the MoJ Portal which was crucial for the business. Since the introduction of the Portal we have been working closely with the MIB [Motor Insurance Bureau] as part of the change control process and have been at the centre of testing both the Claimant and Compensator systems on behalf of the industry. We ve always seen our role as being a strategic partner to the insurance industry, building claims solutions as part of the business relationship it s a collaboration with our clients and ABS is a good example of that. However ABS is not the only answer and there are other business models that we are reviewing with insurers. In terms of ABS, our experience of working with the SRA has allowed us to advise on the content of an application, and management of that process. Key to our support here though is providing not just the legal know-how but full project management from compliance advice and supervision to the technological infrastructure - and delivery of a full range of support services including costs, advocacy, and treatment solutions. The What a joint venture gives you is a common goal, a willingness to work closely with one another to ensure, importantly, that your systems are aligned. This means you can look for changes that speed up the transfer of information between the parties and avoid duplication. If this makes it easier and quicker for the customer then it has to be a good thing. Mark Savill, Lyons Davidson Mark Savill is Managing Director of Lyons Davidson, a national legal services provider, with eight regional offices including London, Bristol, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The Company was one of the first Legal Disciplinary Practices to be approved by the SRA in 2011 and became an ABS under the passport procedure in October Mark has regularly spoken and advised on the implications of LASPO, ABS structures and Portal reform and the other changes being introduced in the claims process. He is a member of the RTA Portal Change Control Committee. ability to provide all these facilities means we can offer a complete package to insurers. This is going to be absolutely crucial going forwards. Q Are enough firms looking at improving accountability on the claims handling processes i.e. cost and profit of the process, essential for those looking to a) become an ABS or b) joint venture with an insurer? AAnyone working within or with the insurance industry accepts the fact they have to understand their business in detail. It is essential that organisations can move with the changes to fee structures and understand margins
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13 Mark Savill Interview 13 within their business. There is also an increasing desire and expectation from insurers to work on an open book accounting basis, so that all parties understand the service and the financial benefits of collaboration and we have been open with our partners on the structure of our business. A key part of that is getting the management information right. You need technology to capture all of the fee and claims management data in order to build efficiencies. We ve been doing that for a long time at Lyons Davidson; offering live on line management information for our insurer clients. Q What has the firm learnt from its work with insurers in terms of the claims process and systems? A We have always aimed to have a strategic relationship with insurers to make the process work effectively. What a joint venture gives you is a common goal, a willingness to work closely with one another to ensure, importantly, that your systems are aligned. This means you can look for changes that speed up the transfer of information between the parties and avoid duplication. If this makes it easier and quicker for the customer then it has to be a good thing. Q Admiral is well known for being employee focused and for giving its staff the opportunity to develop cultural / CSR initiatives to help with employee retention and engagement, beyond professional skills. What has Lyons Davison learnt from Admiral in terms of this mindset? A One of the key influences in our relationship with Admiral is the importance to them of culture; we ve learnt a lot from the way that they work and there are a number of elements of Admiral s approach that I m keen to adopt into our wider business. We re not too far apart ethos-wise which has helped in our approach to working together. Q What is the most difficult part of managing a large law firm in terms of the claims offering in today s climate? A The biggest challenge is the size of change we have had to go through as a sector; with the reforms coming at the same time. It has been particularly difficult because all the changes were introduced at such short notice, so we had to run with several models while the reforms were finalised. The time scales have been a challenge and there s still a lot of uncertainty I think it s clear that there will be a change in the status of medico-legal reports and their cost. I also think we ll see the role of physiotherapy fundamentally change within the claims process as part of an attempt to move from a compensation-outcome focus, to putting treatment first. within the industry as we wait to see what reforms are introduced next. In terms of managing the process within a large firm, we always need to look at the customer journey. While accepting we need to run the business efficiently through technological and process innovations, we work hard with our teams to ensure we don t lose sight of the individual needs of clients. Q How important is online marketing for Lyons Davidson in terms of brand development for both professional partners and for customers. Or should the claims handling records and success on paper speak for themselves? A I don t see online marketing as fundamental to our business development at the moment. The relationships we have within the sector are based around insurers and the introduction of customers who have the benefit of insurance-funded services. We see our website as more of a portal, a doorway to management information and file access for clients. The online delivery of information as part of the claims process is really important and we are expanding our online functionality to meet clients requirements and expectations. Going forwards, we re discussing the provision of other legal services to the customers of our insurer clients (including selfservice, online documentation with full legal support behind the applications), so online and social media marketing will become more of an important factor for us at that stage. Q What do insurers ask Lyons Davidson for in terms of support to manage the post- LASPO / Jackson era? A We have been involved in a number of conversations around the post-laspo implementation, which is where our strategic relationships come into their own. A lot of organisations wanted to see what the immediate reaction would be to LASPO (and some of the initial solutions) by the regulators, the public and the industry as a whole. Now that a number of companies are putting solutions in place, there is an increasing desire to look at which of those work best. The dust hasn t settled yet but there is far more positive interest in the benefits of ABS, especially by insurers. There are other business models that we are discussing that allow both parties to share value while potentially putting in place a structure that could later be moved into an ABS. We are also looking at models that could help insurers implement their Solvency II measures. Inevitably, the experience we have had on the motor side, from a process and technology point of view, has also been useful in helping to advise insurers on their approach to EL and PL changes to the Portal. For example, we have developed our technology as stand-alone software that insurers can implement themselves again, part of our strategic offering to insurers. Q What challenges face the firm and the sector in general now the dust has settled? A I don t actually think the dust has settled. We re still waiting for the next whiplash reforms and to see how claimants and defendants adapt their behaviour to the vertical Portal extension and the inclusion of EL and PL. While the increase in the small claims limit now seems unlikely after the Transport Select Committee report, we still need the final Government response. One of the biggest challenges is to see how the courts are going to respond to all the recent Jackson reforms, especially in relation to costs, and to see how well prepared the judiciary is in implementing these changes. Q Do you see any other changes being introduced as part of the reforms within the claims industry? A I think it s clear that there will be a change in the status of medico-legal reports and their cost. I also think we ll see the role of physiotherapy fundamentally change within the claims process as part of an attempt to move from a compensationoutcome focus, to putting treatment first. There was a clear reference to this possibility in the TSC report and I can see this being expanded. This would allow better management and
14 14 Mark Savill Interview One of the key influences in our relationship with Admiral is the importance to them of culture; we ve learnt a lot from the way that they work...we re not too far apart ethos-wise which has helped in our approach to working together. understanding of the prognosis and could lead to a two track process with treatment reports becoming more important in less serious injuries. Q Do you expect, as suggested by Tim Oliver, Parabis Group, in issue 2 of Modern Claims, that there will be half a dozen or so defendant law firms in a year s time thanks to ABSs and the need for scale? What impact will this have on the market? A Clearly there has been a lot of consolidation and there will be more. But insurers are looking for more specialist services rather than scale alone. They want to work with partners who can innovate and work with them to build solutions. There are a number of efficiency solutions: risk-reward models, co-sourcing claims teams and structures that allow controls on the cost of delivery and claims spend. While the current focus is on claimant solutions, ABSs will make a difference in the defendant legal sector, especially as the SRA is looking to relax the rules on separate business rules, and I expect this to become more of an interest for insurers. Q Are claims teams becoming increasingly deskilled in light of the pressure on costs and the portal? Is there a danger here of losing specialist skills within firms or are scale and the widespread use of paralegals (for example) needed to offer the best value services for customers and partners? A I think deskilled is the wrong word to use. Claims teams need to be appropriately skilled so that they have the right experience to run claims at each stage within the process. The reality is that the Portal has simplified the process, but management of MoJ Portal claims need to be handled with in a specific way that needs key information to be summarised and communicated effectively. We work with insurers to structure claims teams correctly, with the right level of supervision. We are fortunate to have the scale that also allows us to support specialist teams of litigators across all areas and ensure that the supervision and risk assessment process routes claims to the right teams. We have always looked beyond the need for a solicitor s qualification, being one of the first firms to promote FILEX to partnership, and promoting experienced paralegals to partner equivalent senior management positions. To get this right means we have to ensure training is delivered correctly. We have been in the forefront of promoting this in the legal market and this is one of the reasons why we were selected to be closely involved in the development of the Legal Apprenticeship scheme in England, Wales & Scotland. The scheme encompasses learning on the job but with the added benefit of government funding for formal training and a nationally recognised qualification. In the current economic climate this is an obvious answer to broadening access to the profession. iaccident Investigations Where Evidence Counts We help settle claims quickly We are expert independent investigators who take statements (not merely statement takers) All investigators are vetted and have proven police service experience We profile all persons involved in claim including previous claims history Conduct face to face interviews Obtain photographic identification of each claimant / witness / defendant Provide typed Statement of Truth Locus Report with computerised reconstruction Trace your client or witnesses National coverage - anytime anywhere We will provide this service on a no win no fee agreement Endorsed by
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16 16 Peter Horton Interview Interview with...???? Peter Horton LV= General Insurance Peter Horton, the Chief Operating Officer at LV= General Insurance and MD of Britannia Rescue, speaks to Emma Waddingham about how the brand ensures it meets it s best loved insurer status and what customer service really means in the claims department. Q The LV= brand experience is about customer service and going the extra mile for policy holders. How successful has this approach been to date in terms of customer brand awareness over cost of policy (i.e. the use of aggregators, that don t necessarily highlight excellent customer service)? A Having a strong brand is more important than ever. The growth of price comparison sites means that consumers see a list of prices and have limited information to decide who they want to go with. That decision will be based around their perception of your quality, reliability and trustworthiness. Through consistently high quality marketing the LV= brand has become one of the best in the market, in fact YouGov research shows that we have the highest quality score of any insurance brand. It s important that we back that up with a service that matches this perception and we re proud of the fact that 96.5% of customers are satisfied with the service we provide. Q How do you manage initiatives such as the adverse weather projects (for example, during times of regionalised flash flooding) across call centres and teams to ensure everyone is on message or is that culture embedded into the company already? A We have dedicated people who are responsible for owning our Surge plans. [Surge is our response plan for adverse weather events.] The plans are very detailed with contact information for people so that they can be reached 24 hours a day. The plans are reviewed and updated on a regular basis. We take advantage of the peaks and troughs of the business to cross-train people from different areas, so that in the event of a surge of claims we can flex the numbers of people working on different parts of the business. For example, in winter we get fewer customer service calls but more claims calls. It makes sense to get our customer service staff working in claims at this time. This helps with our best loved vision. Best loved by our people, as they get access to different parts of the business to help with their future careers and interests. Best loved by our customers, as they get an improved service. Best loved by our members, as this is more efficient and cost effective. I went to the US and worked with major insurers over there to study how they deal with surge events. I brought back certain key aspects, which we have implemented in our own surge plans. For example, the weather forecast is continuously monitored on a nationwide basis working closely with our suppliers. If we know there are flood warnings in a particular area, then we would text our customers in the area to warn them and give them advice on how to safeguard their possessions. Following an event in a particular area, we have immediate downloads of our customer details in the area that may be affected and we proactively call them to make sure we are looking after them even before they ve made a claim. Having a strong brand is more important than ever. The growth of price comparison sites means that consumers see a list of prices and have limited information to decide who they want to go with. That decision will be based around their perception of your quality, reliability and trustworthiness.
17 Peter Horton Interview 17 If we know there are flood warnings in a particular area, then we would text our customers in the area to warn them and give them advice on how to safeguard their possessions. Following an event in a particular area, we have immediate downloads of our customer details in the area that may be affected and we proactively call them to make sure we are looking after them even before they ve made a claim. Q What type of management and customer care vision is key for LV= s brand success and how do you instil that? A Instilling the LV= Cares message begins at recruitment. We recruit people with the LV= attitude who are prepared to go the extra mile for our customers and deliver the highest standards of customer care. We don t just look for people with experience in insurance but will interview people who show they have the ability to deliver excellent customer care under pressure from other sectors. Our people are key to our success and so it s vital that we get people with the LV= attitude in. Once new recruits join us, we have an extensive induction and training programme to show people how we demonstrate the values through the work that we do. As a fast growing mutual, we believe in being sharp with a heart, this means delivering the high performance of a PLC but with the behaviours of a customer-focused mutual. You can really see how people live the values when we get a surge in claims resulting from an adverse weather event. Last year when we had a huge snowfall, in one of our call centres not one person called in sick or said they could not get in because of the snow. They were all determined to get in and look after our customers and it is this attitude that sets us apart. We ask our people to wow our customers. This means not just delivering the service they expect from an insurer but going beyond that to really exceed their expectations. One example of this is giving each claimant a dedicated claims handler that manages their claim from inception to resolution. This way the customer does not have to deal with multiple departments but can get everything they need by dealing with one person. Q How do you manage these initiatives during a recession and profit? A The proactive initiatives we take actually save the company money. Significant amounts of money are saved in mitigating people s losses; for example, by advising those in flood risk areas to safeguard their possessions. We ensure that we have excellent relationships with our suppliers and empower our people to make interim payments, to ensure that action is taken to reduce losses. We firmly believe that investing in customer service is essential and that cutting back on customer service is a false economy. The insurance marketplace is extremely competitive with customers shopping around more than ever. If you don t deliver an excellent service, you will lose a customer and then spend more money on marketing to try and get them back. Q How do you measure / qualify customer satisfaction (other than an increase in policies sold?) A We ask a number of customers to participate in anonymous surveys and tell us about the experience they have had with LV=. These surveys are very telling and show us what is working and what is not. We use these surveys to test new initiatives and to improve any areas where customer satisfaction falls. In addition, our marketing team carry out research with consumers to establish general brand awareness and to identify what words and values are associated with LV=. Q What is making it harder to meet customer satisfaction or command innovative customer care initiatives (i.e. restraints on the sector, regulation, etc). A Our overall customer satisfaction, which is independently measured shows that 76% of customers are very or extremely satisfied with the quality of people and systems and processes that we have in place. Great customer service is embedded throughout our organisation. Peter Horton, Chief Operating Officer, LV= General Insurance & MD, Britannia Rescue As part of his role, Peter has overall responsibility for LV= s operations unit of over 2,700 staff. Peter has been in the insurance industry for 30 years and was there at the start of Direct Line, which transformed the entire industry, working alongside Peter Wood and Martin Long. He was also one of the founding Directors of Churchill Insurance. An ebullient character; Peter is well known in the industry for his enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment to his job. His approach is one of focusing and developing people to offer the best possible experience to customers. Peter joined LV= in 2006 as part of a turn round team and has made a huge difference in that time. The operations unit including sales, service and claims, has changed dramatically in the last five years. In 2006 the company had a poor reputation for its service, high fraud rates and over 40% staff turnover. LV= s operation is now one of the highest rated in the industry, having won 18 awards over the last 12 months including a Which People s Choice, a Personal Finance award for customer service and has 92% satisfaction scores amongst its customers.
18 Xuber Claims More efficient than... A honey bee... The humble honey bee is responsible for pollinating almost 75% of the world s food crops, with a single bee visiting up to 5,000 flowers a day that s efficient. Operational inefficiencies in claims processing are draining insurers and brokers of revenue and margin. 20% of costs related to insurance premiums are directly attributable to claims related expenses. Xuber Claims maximises operational efficiencies with integrated process automation in a complex world. The outcome is reduced costs and improved customer satisfaction. Xuber Claims it s simply more efficient. Xuber Claims comprises a fully-integrated claims management solution that is both configurable and scalable. It also holds the unique advantage of being part of the only single platform solution with global capability, operating across multiple currencies and regions, with 24/7 support. To find out more about Xuber Claims visit xuber.com/xuber-claims xuber.com
19 Professor Paul Fenn Interview 19 Interview with... Professor Paul Fenn Since the Jackson reforms to costs in civil litigation came in to force in April 2013, many have been waiting with baited breath to see what impact they would have in practice. Professor Paul Fenn - well known for his research undertaken for the MoJ on personal injury costs and having been commissioned by the Government to write a response to the Jackson reforms - is one of those. Charlotte Parkinson asked Professor Fenn for his thoughts on the aftermath on the report, in particular, the reaction by government. Q What, realised? A The in your view, were the Jackson Reforms initially set out to achieve and has this been Jackson review was stimulated by the Master of the Roll s concerns over the rising costs of civil litigation in the aftermath of the major changes to the way litigation was funded - including the withdrawal of Legal Aid and its replacement with (recoverable) conditional fees. I think the package of reforms recommended by Jackson would have provided the appropriate incentives and controls to address these concerns without seriously impairing access to justice. Q Why did you agree to write the response and recommendations to the reforms? A If by this you mean my evaluation of the RTA Portal, I undertook this at the request of the MoJ; I was concerned about the lack of an evidence base and I had ideas for how such evidence could be generated. Q What are your main concerns raised by the reforms for both the claimant and the wider sector? A I have concerns about the potential for unintended consequences which may lead to valid claims not being pursued, settlement amounts being reduced and the legal services sector adapting in ways that may or may not be beneficial. These unintended consequences could flow in part from the likelihood that the new Portal fixed costs are insufficient to cover client acquisition costs, so that these will be recovered from the client via an enhanced success fee. In addition, the flat-rate nature The flat rate nature of the Portal fixed costs could yield little incentives for solicitors to maximise the settlement amount on behalf of their client. Professor Paul Fenn Paul Fenn is Professor of Insurance Studies at Nottingham University Business School. His research into the legal costs of personal injury claims was influential in determining the eventual structure of the Fixed Recoverable Costs Scheme (FRCS) for low value motor accident claims. He was also involved in research on appropriate levels for success fees in Conditional Fee Arrangements, and was subsequently asked by the Ministry of Justice to undertake a review of the FRCS, and, more recently the RTA Portal process. He was one of seven Assessors assisting Lord Justice Jackson in his Review of Civil Litigation Costs and is currently an advisor to the CJC s Costs Committee.
20 20 Professor Paul Fenn Interview???? The MoJ has supported the creation of the Costs Committee of the Civil Justice Council, but this has not been given responsibility to oversee the fixed costs regime in the Portal and elsewhere, which I think is a mistake. of the Portal fixed costs could yield little incentives for solicitors to maximise the settlement amount on behalf of their client. However, if the adaptation by solicitors involves a move to use CFAs with success fees capped at a proportion of damages, or to DBAs, then this incentive effect may be reduced. The effect on claimants willingness to claim given the deduction of a significant share of damages is something that will require time to reveal. Q Is the Government doing enough to improve access to justice for claimants? A I don t have a view on this, as it is not straightforward to identify what is the right level of access to justice. Q How damaging has/could the Government intervention following the Jackson Reforms be, in terms of add-ons and overriding initial policies Jackson set out? A The main problem in my view stems from the Government having imposed an extension to the RTA Portal fixed costs, without recognising the need for integration with Jackson s proposed fast track fixed costs regime. This will be damaging in terms of the distortion to incentives because the reward to defendants from staying in the Portal scheme and admitting liability could be excessively high. Too many claims will be undisputed, even where the case may be weak. By contrast, once claims are outside the Portal, there will be a strong incentive for claimant solicitors to litigate in order to increase the recoverable fixed costs. Q What impact did the lack of clarity in the data provided from the Portal have on your report? A It made it more difficult to obtain a precise measure of the impact of the RTA process because the evidence needed to be drawn instead from a limited sample of claimants and defendants. Q Is the MoJ transparent enough about its review processes or does Jackson s initial proposal for a Costs Council need to be realised? A The MoJ has supported the creation of the Costs Committee of the Civil Justice Council, but this has not been given responsibility to oversee the fixed costs regime in the Portal and elsewhere - which I think is a mistake. Q Do some insurers neglect claimants because they are worried about the bottom line? A Insurers quite rightly fight claims which they feel are unjustified. However there is a tendency to view all claims as cost-generating events, whereas the payment of valid claims is of course their core business. Q To date has the Portal set out what was initially intended? A The evidence I ve seen seems to suggest that it has had a small effect in reducing costs and delay, which was presumably as intended but not as big as was expected. It may also have had some unintended effects on damages and on defendants admission of liability, as explained in my report. Q Why suggestions? A I do you think the Government ignored your don t feel they totally ignored my suggestions because the Jackson fast track fixed costs were subsequently incorporated for claims outside the Portal. My further concerns, over the need for a better integrated set of proportional fixed costs within the Portal, were perhaps inconsistent with their views on the need for extensive reductions in Portal fixed costs. My further concerns, over the need for a better integrated set of proportional fixed costs within the Portal, were perhaps inconsistent with their views on the need for extensive reductions in Portal fixed costs.