The FCA hearing results were good news for policyholders. Yet the results were words and deeds are yet to happen. Insurers were supposed to update their policyholders of what the results meant within 7 days. Even though few fans are allowed at sports events, I can still hear “it’s all gone quiet over there” being hummed as policyholders await the outcome.
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Rather than all insurers appealing, I wish at least some of them had differentiated themselves, said sorry for messing about after realising now is not the time to manipulate words. Policyholders would have received payments as soon as possible. They all decided to appeal, making them less appealing than they ever were and proving that their brands have the same values and undesirable cultures where promises mean little and trust isn’t worth much. The consequentials hearing for the appeal is today at 10.30, click here.
Has the FCA bared its teeth?
The lack of communication we have recieved from most insurers shows us that they are largely unconcerned with what the regulator will do to them. History shows the the FCA catches insurers doing silly things, fines them and leaves them to it. Here’s one example. The insurer in question changed their name after this and happily sell insurance. Yes, insurers will be told off for dragging their heels. Yet they fail to realise it is their brand that is being damaged. And the brand of insurance as a whole drops dramatically as a serious form of risk management.
I do think the FCA has got the right tone, yet it is whether they are successful in making insurers pay, when insurers made mistakes in their own policy terms and conditions, that is important to policyholders. We, the policyholders, are the majority.
All insurers know that it would be exceedingly “unhelpful” to deduct grants from insurance claim settlements so they should sign up to an agreement not to deduct them. We are supposed to be helping each other out at times like these. Insurers are stitching up their own customers and taxpayers in one fell swoop.
No-one wants their hard earned tax lining an insurers pocket or boosting their shareholders dividends. One to write to your MP about, if you like that sort of thing.
Are insurers pushing their clients off a cliff?
If a company has made a large error that affects its cash flow, it will probably go bust. However, insurance companies are pushing companies towards bankruptcy. Their error is one they have made repeatedly yet they are not facing up to it.
The fact they have so many errors on their wordings is lost on them. Even today, when I report errors in wordings insurers act as if it’s ok. One morning this week, I explained to an underwriter that their COVID19 clause had excluded cover for Employers’ Liability, which it is actually illegal to do because it is a compulsory insurance. They agreed to change it.
Let’s hope they change their culture too.
The FCA hearing didn’t make insurers add Covid to a list of infectious diseases that insurers do cover. However, it did tell insurers to stop bending words and meanings and contact their customers with an update. The FCA were clear, some policies cover this interruption and insurers should pay those claims or explain why not.
Keep on top of the dates. The next date is 2nd October and all appeals should be made by then. https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/business-interruption-insurance#latest-updates. After that, a person can apply directly to an appeal court (as opposed to the High Court on2nd October) for permission to appeal.