Insurance customers call time on 'archaic' industry

  • Outdated, exclusive and confusing - nine in ten struggle to get clear information from insurers
  • Simply Business launches first ever crowd-sourced customer Manifesto and calls for industry-wide transformation

The UK’s insurers and brokers remain stuck in the twentieth century according to customers, who have revealed some home truths about the sector in research carried out by Simply Business.

The survey showed broad dissatisfaction in a range of areas across personal and commercial insurance, with complaints centred on issues such as reliance on jargon, complexity of materials, impersonal service and outdated processes. Only one in ten respondents said they received clear and concise information when speaking directly to insurers, just a quarter (26%) found written documents easy to understand and three quarters (74%) find websites can be difficult to navigate.

Based directly on the insights uncovered, Simply Business, the UK’s largest insurance broker for small business, has today launched its crowd-sourced Manifesto for change ; a series of pledges it has already committed to and calls on others in the industry to follow. The Manifesto is part of Simply Business’s ongoing campaign to shake-up and revolutionise the sector.

Jason Stockwood, CEO of Simply Business says:

“The current insurance model is broken, more suited for the 17th rather than the 21st Century. Our Manifesto for change may not make us very popular with the rest of the sector but it is high time we move away from the inaccessible, outdated ‘old boy’s network’ that insurance has become renowned for. In the current environment we must accept that insurers are often failing customers so we need to step up and pledge to improve the industry together. This will be vital to retaining, and in some cases regaining, customer trust.” 

Simplicity, Honesty, Human and Listening

The Manifesto pledges focus on the core attributes today’s customers are demanding from insurers; Simplicity, Honesty, Human and Listening, and cover a range of areas from communication to claims procedures. They are now available to view on a dedicated hub, alongside tangible improvements Simply Business has already made and its continued journey to make the insurance process the best it can be for its customer community.

Jason Stockwood adds:

“Our Manifesto represents our commitment to defining and encouraging a new direction for the whole industry; one that is more transparent, customer-centric and built on product and service innovation. At Simply Business we pride ourselves on being a creative disrupter to the sector, taking a more modern approach to what is a very traditional and lethargic industry. Our goal will always be to deliver products and engage with customers in ways that meet their needs, using our own technology and keeping ahead of the curve with advances in e-commerce.”

Additional findings of the crowd-sourced insurance customer research included:

  • 40 per cent of customers said that buying insurance online is too time consuming
  • A third (31%) complained about perceived hidden details online such as Terms and Conditions
  • Nearly half of respondents believed written documents such as policy statements are either full of jargon (22%) or lengthy and incomprehensible (21%)
  • Nearly a third (30%) of customers that have made a claim endured a negative experience with the insurer
  • Retail and banking topped the list of other business sectors which customers felt insurers could learn from, to improve both direct and online experience

Online questionnaire directed to over 500 small business owners from the Simply Business customer community in August 2013. The questions were in reference to the full consumer insurance experience, including both personal and commercial lines.

About Simply Business

Simply Business is the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, specialising in public liability insurance for SMEs and landlord insurance.

Launched in 2005, Simply Business provides an online brokerage service delivering policies tailored to individual business requirements. It has a team of UK based insurance specialists and employs almost 300 people across offices in London and Northampton.

Simply Business provides insurance to more than 400,000 UK SMEs and landlords and owing to its internal underwriting capability can cover over 1,000 trade types. It has been a Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company for the past three years and was recently named in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA. Revenues have grown from £4.2 million in 2006, to £25.4 million in 2014, and the company has been named 2015 and 2016 winners of The Sunday Times’ Best Company to Work For.