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Interpreting the FCA’s Value Measures data from July to December 2021, the article suggested some types of insurance policy, such as LEI, are only claimed on once every 664 years on average. Ignoring the sensationalist nature of the article that fed into the incorrect narrative that insurers only want to rake in premiums and won’t pay out, the article was a missed opportunity to educate the public on how LEI can be a valuable addition to their insurance policy.
LEI is designed to support policyholders if they need legal support on a wide range of matters relating to their home and property, personal affairs, and motoring. It’s designed to support consumers who need access to justice when they find themselves having to pursue a property, contract or employment dispute, but importantly, they don’t just add value when a claim is made.
Arc Legal’s LEI policies also provide customers with access to free 24/7 legal advice, whenever they need it, along with our Legal Assistance Portal which provides advice and dynamic template letters on the most common legal issues, along with an advice tree function. Often this won’t lead to a claim as we try and encourage other methods of dispute resolution, that allow customers to resolve their problem without the need to go to court.
Over the last year, our own Legal Assistance Helpline (LAH) took over 44,000 calls from policyholders seeking advice, and issued over 32,000 pieces of legal advice, and I expect our peers in the market have experienced similar levels of usage; far from being a “forgotten policy” – the LEI product is a valuable support to thousands of policyholders around the UK. These key demonstrators of value are not factored into the FCA Value Measures but can be included in Fair Value Assessments.
The Daily Mail article suggests that around 9.1million Brits have a Before the Event (BTE) LEI policy, but the low claims frequency cited suggests that customers either don’t utilise the product, don’t understand the product, or don’t realise they have it.
I’ve spoken previously about this last point. LEI products are often sold as an add-on, where historically, distributors have put less emphasis on explaining the benefits of the LEI when compared to the primary policy to which the LEI attaches. With the introduction of the FCA’s Fair Value considerations and Consumer Duty, this is changing, with distributors making sure their customers are fully aware of all benefits and how to access the service. This will inevitably result in further improvements in awareness and utilisation rates.
LEI continues to be that safety net in the event of a legal dispute. It provides peace of mind, expert help and access to justice when other options are unavailable.
We all have a responsibility to work together to showcase these benefits, provide comprehensive training to our distributor partners and help them to educate customers on the importance of LEI, and the considerable insured and non-insured benefits the product offers.
Tim Mullin, Director of Product Governance & Insurer Strategy, Arc Legal Group
For further information on the above, or details of our products and services, please contact your Partnerships Manager or email [email protected].