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Claims Chasers and Insurers

Not all claims are valid. Not all claims are made. Both mismatches are a tragedy in some way.

Claims management services, whether they are dedicated companies or simply entrepreneurial local lawyers wishing to get more business, can help people. They can help people who would otherwise not make a claim, or who have been unfairly pushed out of the claim process.

On the other hand we have seen literally thousands of false claims exposed in the UK, and some examples of grossly inflated claims. Money Marketing has this interesting article on one recent case. Link.

Don't think it can happen here? Well, claims management companies are already growing strongly in Australia. There are two here in New Zealand. Each will probably drive not only more claims against insurers but more complaints about advice as well.

Holiday Risks

After a long tough week I am not in much of a mood to write: I did Christchurch on Monday, Palmerston North on Tuesday, a long day in Wellington on Wednesday, and a pretty busy day yesterday too.

This weekend will be busy for many of us with the start of preparations for the end of school term, the Christmas break, and tidying up the garden as a good excuse for getting out in the glorious weather. But watch out for holiday risks: from sea-food left in the sun for too long, to the long-term effects of over-indulgence. Okay, we don't have thanksgiving, or a local taste for deep fried turkey, but many of our other holiday risks are the same. So Allstate's infographic (hat tip to Insureblog) on holiday risks is interesting in the run up to Christmas:


They have a gallery of infographics you can browse on a number of issues, including modern hazardss like identity theft, and curiously, 'The right time to get engaged.'

You can also look at all three of the Quotemonster infographics at this post on the Quotemonster blog.


If It's Personalised Advice Why Do All The Recommendations Look The Same?

It's personalised advice, or at least, it is supposed to be.

However, if all your recommendations look the same, beware. Unless you have remarkably similar clients, this shouldn't happen. I would say that if plans for the employed and the self-employed, the childless and the family, the rich and the poor, are too similar - perhaps varying only in cover amounts, and whether income protection cover is included or not, then the advice may not be sufficiently personalised.

This may not matter much right now, but in the event of a complaint, the startling similarity between the last 20 files will suggest a lack of care, diligence, and skill being applied.

If you are not personalising because you think everything is the same anyway, you'r just plain wrong and you need to get comparing.

Or maybe you have fallen in the trap of "there is only one best way to do this and it is my mission to make sure everyone gets it."

If you don't like personalising because it's a lot of work, then son't worry there are lots of ways systems can save you time in putting together good comparisons, research, and recommendations. The holiday period might be a good time to invest a quiet day or two in a bit of process re-engineering.  

Obamacare Website Experience

Video Link

Unless you have been living under a rock recently you will know that the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is experiencing some implementation difficulties. Perhaps this might be a balm to any adviser having trouble with underwriting out there, and any product managers who have ever had problems with their launch. Heck, we've all delivered late, and sometimes needed to re-work things, but few of us will ever fail so publicly and on such a grand scale as this.



Australian Risk Info on Upfront Commissions

Australian Risk Info has this piece which starts with the question "Should upfront commissions be phased out?" and proceeds to rehearse some of the arguments for and against upfront commissions for insurance sales.

One argument no covered is the question of consumer access. Unlike investment advice services which, by definition, are always offered to people who have money, most of the people buying insurance are much younger and often lack the free cash to pay for expensive financial advice. Having that upfront cost built into the product is convenient for them. Without it there would be fewer, a lot fewer, advisers offering help with insurance planning. The market would be concentrated more in the hands of vertically integrated channels. They can be efficient, but they also tend to sell much more limited products because there is much less comparison between providers undertaken by the consumer themselves.