More than half of UK insurance brokers say they are in favour of new Consumer Duty rules, with most believing underinsurance should be taken into account as part of its implementation.
The Consumer Duty aims to strengthen consumer protection in the UK and from a general insurance perspective has significant implications for how insurers and intermediaries interact with their customers.
RebuildCostASSESSMENT.com recently gathered feedback from 468 insurance brokers about the new Duty. The rules must be implemented from 31 July 2023 for new and existing products open for sale or renewal. More than half (54%) told us they were ‘in favour’ of the Consumer Duty, while 30% said they were ‘indifferent’. Only 16% were ‘against’.
Comments received from those supporting the Duty included: “Anything that helps drive the right behaviours when dealing with customers is worthwhile and ultimately benefits the industry.” Others felt it was important that “all parties in a chain must meet the same requirements, not just the customer facing intermediary” while another broker told us: “Whilst this new duty may first appear to be troublesome, it can only lead to better relations with clients and look to build trust.”
‘Copious amounts of work’
Those ‘against’ appeared concerned about the intrusive nature of implementation. Comments included: “It’s like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut” and “copious amounts of work on our part with little effect for our customers.”
Another added: “It’s a charter for customers to read even less of what I send them. Our time would have been better spent looking after clients.”
Most brokers said they were either ‘very confident’ (9%) or ‘confident’ (52%) they understood what was needed to comply with the Consumer Duty, while 6% told us they ‘weren’t confident at all’ and 33% were ‘unsure’.
When asked if sufficient support had been given to brokers around the Duty, 45% said ‘yes’ and 55% said ‘no’.
By far, the majority of insurance brokers (78%) believe the issue of underinsurance is something that should be taken into account when looking at compliance with the Consumer Duty.
Only 3% thought this was not the case, with 19% telling us they were ‘unsure’. One broker commented: “It has always been part of the role of a broker to advise clients in relation to sums insured. This does not mean telling them what to insure for, but it does mean helping them to understand how they can protect themselves, and what tools, services and products are available to do this.”
Another said: "Underinsurance can have catastrophic consequences for clients and the vast majority I have spoken to were not even aware of the average condition within policies. With this relating to assets of high value, it's crucial to ensure adequate insurance to enable true financial protection in the event of a loss.”
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