1 min read: INSURANCE INFLUENCERS – RICHARD FINAN
Forging ahead to meet customers’ ever-changing needs The ancillary market has traditionally lagged behind...
James Waddy started his career at Arc Legal over seven years ago. During his time with the business, he has seen the company establish itself as leading legal expenses insurance (LEI) provider, witnessed its acquisition by AmTrust International and been involved with the development of exciting new products and services to expand the Arc Legal product portfolio. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also seen several significant regulatory and legislative developments that have led Arc Legal and their panel solicitors to innovate in terms of product offering and service delivery – who said seven years was a short window of time!
James joined the company as Commercial Assistant, focused on marketing activities and implementing new business accounts. In a couple of years, his role expanded to encompass new business development activities. He became Commercial Development Manager in 2015, with a focus on the strategic development of sales, marketing and product development activities.
Here James talks about his role, the development of Arc’s product suite, the company’s commitment to enhancing the customer’s journey and his thoughts on the impact of the personal injury reforms.
Tell us about your current role and is there such a thing as a typical day?
My role focusses on the development of new business opportunities with existing and prospective partners. I also oversee all marketing and product development strategies including marketing campaigns, PR activity and corporate events.
It’s a really varied role so a ‘typical day’ doesn’t exist! My day can consist of meeting with prospective partners, putting together a pricing proposal, through to working on a strategic project with our marketing team. There is never a dull moment, and this variety is one part of the role I find very enjoyable.
What have been the highlights and main developments in the business since you joined?
I was fortunate to join the business at the start of a significant growth period, which saw Arc Legal establish itself as one of the leading providers of legal expenses insurance.
Throughout this time, the business have experienced growth year on year, and we now manage over 16m LEI policies. Our most recent developments have included the development of our additional ancillary product range, which saw the company build on its successful and well-regarded LEI portfolio with complementary assistance covers.
In the last couple of years we have also seen significant growth in our Commercial LEI book, and this continues to be a focus of our product development going forward.
Can you tell us more about the strategy for and delivery of these new products and services and how distribution partners are responding to them?
The strategy behind the launch of our additional ancillary products and services was to allow our partners to consolidate their add-on product range with one provider. Our partners will be able to benefit from saving both time and resources by using a single provider for all their needs, rather than managing multiple supplier partners.
Since launching them at the end of 2016, we have had a great response from our partners. They are seeing the real benefits that partnering with us for their entire product range can bring. Our approach continues to be a flexible one, with the ability to create bespoke product and service offerings to suit our partners’ needs.
Arc Legal is committed to enhancing the overall customer journey across it products. How does your role contribute to this?
I am in regular dialogue with all departments across the business, and I have therefore been fortunate to play a part in the company-wide drive to enhance the customer journey. I understand the needs and requirements of our partners and was able to integrate these into our plans.
In 2016, we launched our Online Claims System.
The project was headed up by the marketing team, working in partnership with our IT team and other stakeholders in the business. The aim of the project was to streamline the customer journey and provide extra assistance to help them deal with their issue. We put a lot of work into planning how the new system would look and how we could simplify the journey whilst still capturing maximum information at the point of claim. Following input from all company departments, we have added features such as support videos from our panel solicitors, factsheets and a web chat facility.
The project has played a significant role in delivering real improvements to the way policyholders can submit claims to us and I count it as a personal career highlight.
To complement the use of the Online Claims System, we have also developed our customer service strategy to cater for all of our customers’ preferred methods of claim submission – this is particularly necessary as we have such a broad customer base.
In addition to customer claims journey, we also spend a lot of time with our corporate partners to ensure that their customer agents fully understand the features of the LEI products that they are promoting to their customers at the point of sale. This has become increasingly relevant with the regulatory drive to ensure that customers are making informed buying decisions around add on products.
Working on the customer journey allows me to collaborate with a number of different departments in the business, with the combined aim to improve not only the service we provide to customers, but to also streamline our internal operational procedures.
What is your view on the PI reforms and how these might impact Arc Legal and your distribution partners?
Reforms to the personal injury claims process have long been mooted. Our position has always been to respond with products that are reactive to the specific requirements of policyholders and our partners. As a result, we have been at the forefront of developing servicing models in anticipation of the reforms to ensure that we provide a motor legal expenses insurance (LEI) product that continues to provide full and relevant cover.
The reforms will completely change the commercial dynamics of Motor LEI. They therefore present a significant opportunity for us to create products and services that provide real value to customers.
I am particularly excited by the service delivery options we are developing with our solicitor partners. The reforms have prompted a complete evaluation of the service process, and will lead to streamlined and digital interfaces that will enhance the customer journey.