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Ed joined the Arc Legal team in 2009 as Account Executive. Today, in his role as Account Manager, he supports a number of corporate partners in the development of their accounts and products across the legal expenses portfolio. 

An important part of his role is to provide corporate partners with insight and knowledge on market and product developments, and the likely impact of legal and regulatory changes. Here, Ed highlights the potential challenges he sees resulting from the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) plans for product scorecards and the delays in progress around the proposed personal injury claims reforms.

“There is no doubt that the uncertainty surrounding a number of the key developments the industry faces has an impact on partners, whether in planning the development of products or ensuring relevant communication with customers –  the lack of clarity is a frustration to partners. Arc Legal has invested time and resources in ensuring partners are kept up to speed and understand the potential implications, but it can be a challenge.

“One particular focus has been the FCA’s plan to run a general insurance product scorecard pilot scheme starting this summer. In March, the regulator announced a 12-month pilot on a limited by number of products.

“At this stage, we do not know which products this will include so it is difficult to assess how this will impact on the legal expenses market. One of the key challenges we see is the potential for the application of a ‘one size fits all’ approach across different products. This could end up painting an entirely different picture of the value provided by one product compared to another. This is no more evident than in legal expenses products where their complexity needs to be taken into consideration. We see the need for distinct value measures focused on customer outcome and the level of legal fees incurred by the solicitor. This, we believe, will provide a clearer view on the wider value that Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) products can provide consumers.”

“The details behind the personal injury reforms proposed by the Chancellor last year are yet to be finalised so it is unclear how these will affect our legal expenses products. But, an increase in the small claims limit will lead to an increased need for motor legal expenses as solicitors won’t be able to recover their costs in cases up to the new limit. The removal of compensation entitlement will however, require providers to develop and redesign products to ensure they continue to benefit customers.

“Arc Legal is supportive of reforms that will lead to reduced motor insurance costs for consumers and the removal of unnecessary whiplash claims. However, with no firm detail or further consultation on the specifics, it remains to be seen how the changes will actually be implemented and impact not only on motor legal expenses products but, more widely on products like personal legal expenses which offer personal injury cover to passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.

“The under lying principle of the reforms has to be ensuring that by removing compensation, they do not remove access to justice and disadvantage genuine claimants.

“Despite the hiatus and potential delays around implementation, Arc Legal has been very proactive in considering different business models to meet the changes the reforms may bring to ensure the value of our legal expenses cover is maintained.”

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