After leaving school I worked in the insurance industry, starting as a junior and progressing through the ranks, I became a successful director where I ran insurance consultancies. During this time, I have witnessed many changes within the Insurance and Health and Safety best practice world, both at home and globally.
On the plus side for example, the Financial Conduct Authority have put fundamental changes in place to help protect customers, where guidelines have been set to ensure that only regulated advices can now be offered. On the flip-side, however, there have been other changes that have taken place, which in my opinion have not turned out advantageous for consumers. Therefore, I feel the time is right to present a new type of service in the marketplace that Twig services aim to offer.
The modern trend of online services and automated answer phones has removed the personal service that we used to enjoy. I have always been a customer that demands a certain level of service that can only be provided at a personal level.
Unfortunately, I am not a magician who is able to bring back the days when a broker was always waiting for your call. Are you old enough to remember the days when you could have a face to face meeting in his office? Sadly, those days have gone with the closure of nine out of ten High Street brokerages. Now it seems that web based comparison sites have replaced them and people are arranging their own policies.
My experience makes me wonder though, whether the benefits given with one hand are being taken away with the other. You only have to look at the hundreds of complaints hidden in independent reviews that reveal the nightmare experiences of customers attempting to administer their own policies.
I believe that these online companies allow their customers to ‘trip themselves up’ when they unintentionally give inaccurate information and then penalise them, often for trivial minor discrepancies. This can result in huge additional premiums being applied to the policy or even worse still, policies are cancelled for non-disclosures of the correct information. The problems then multiply when people are suddenly faced with the shock of trying to arrange replacement cover with a new company which they can often find difficult because of a previous policy being cancelled by an insurer.
It is prudent to review and update your policy details regularly, as the onus is on policyholders to perform this task.
With regards to Health & Safety, there has recently been, what has been described as the biggest changes in the law since 1974, where fines and criminal penalties have been brought in line with those that apply to ‘environmental’ and ‘financial’ prosecutions. This could result in, substantially increased fines and punishments being dished out to companies and their directors and/or HR & H&S officers, that have been proven incompetent by the courts. These new guidelines can have a crippling effect even on small companies that are not showing due diligence.
Twig services are not a complete solution to resolving all the problems mentioned. In fact, we are not even authorised to discuss your insurance with you in depth and are only permitted to point you in the direction of experts who can. If, however, this has been a wake-up call to encourage you to manage your insurance portfolio better in the future or our e-Learning courses can help reduce the risk of company and personal Health and Safety culpability, a good lesson will have been learned.