Over recent years the insurance industry has experienced a rise in claims costs, meaning that policy holders’ claims are becoming more expensive for insurers to pay out. This rise in costs is due to a number of reasons such as the increased cost of living, and the lack of availability of workers in various sectors in the claims process, making the claims process more expensive, and long-winded, all costing insurers money.

So, what does that mean for you?

This rise in the cost of claims means that insurers are paying out more money to their policyholders, meaning that they must increase the premiums of their policy holders in some way to recoup their losses, all of which makes purchasing insurance increasingly expensive.

In the wake of this recent inflation in the industry, Axa Insurance have helpfully put together a report with some key points explaining why claims costs are increasing. This is particularly helpful for us at Talbot Jones Ltd, as this is something we have experienced to be the case when dealing with our customers’ liability claims. The report also details what the industry is doing to try and combat this, and how you as a customer can better protect yourself.

Claims and settlement costs are driven by cost-of-living inflation

  • The impact of Covid & Brexit causing the following:
  • Supply chain issues creating longer waits for parts and increased import expenses
  • Increased wait time for medical assessments and reports, which could lead to injuries worsening, and increasing the final medical bills that insurers have to pay.
  • Price inflation driving up labour and materials costs.
  • The current economic climate causing company insolvencies to increase, leading to more liability claims against the professional advisors for those companies.
  • It is also known that fraudulent claims increase when the economy is in a downturn, meaning that even if claims aren’t successful there are increases in claims costs to investigate claims, as well as pay-outs for successful claims.

How the industry is helping to try and combat these issues

  • Increasing the use of assessing physical damage through a virtual assessment of images of the damage to decrease claims costs for assessors coming out to physically inspect the damage.
  • Improving training to help better detect fraud.
  • Providing legal advice through insurance policies such as ‘legal expenses’ add-ons as a first port of call ahead of liability claims.
  • Offering use of their own suppliers with cheaper costs.
  • Provision of surveyors who can come out to assess customer’s health and safety year-round, and not just when claims occur in-order-to reduce the risk of further incidents.

How customers can protect themselves

  • Managing risks to reduce having a claim in the first instance, for example by taking precautions, carrying out and sticking to risk assessments, particularly for potentially hazardous activities.
  • In addition to this, having written procedures for how to deal with incidents when they occur to mitigate further damage.
  • Keeping up to date with HSE regulations.
  • Talking with your broker to identify any potential gaps in your cover, and if in doubt, always provide more information rather than less.

At Talbot Jones Ltd we are passionate about risk management, and we would love to chat to you to discuss how we can help you protect yourself and mitigate claims in your specific situation as a policyholder. Please contact our claims manager on 0191 731 6383, or by e-mail on miranda@talbotjones.co.uk.

Talbot Jones Ltd is a family-run Chartered Insurance Broker specialising in Third Sector and Professional risksGet in touch for free insurance advice, review or quotation.

Talbot Jones Ltd incorporates March Insurance Services, a Chartered Insurance Broker specialising in Agricultural and Hospitality Risks.