Personal injury claims handling – a follow-up review

2019-04-11 | Reports Insurance

Insurance undertakings have taken steps to develop IT systems, customer communication and quality assurance since FI published its previous report on personal injury claims handling in 2017.

FI surveyed ten insurance undertakings and Insurance Sweden about whether they have taken measures or planned to take measures related to claims handling, competence, IT systems, information provided to injured parties and quality assurance since the previous report.

The surveyed undertakings had implemented a number of measures, in particular with regard to IT systems, customer communication and quality assurance. FI makes the assessment that the changes to the undertakings' IT systems facilitate correct and uniform handling of claims. The changes also provide better opportunities for quality assurance, follow-up and analysis. FI takes the position that is crucial for affected firms to prioritise the measures required to modernise the IT systems. Otherwise, it may take much too long for the measures to have a full impact on the claims handling process.

FI considers the insurance industry's initial efforts to be positive, particularly given the short period of time that has passed since the previous report. FI will continue to follow up on the developments in the area and adapt its supervision to changes in the industry.

Summary

Insurance undertakings have taken steps to develop IT systems, customer communication and quality assurance since Finansinspektionen (FI) published its previous report on personal injury claims handling in 2017. FI presents the results of its follow-up activities in this report.

FI received an assignment from the Government on 15 March 2018 to refer back to the report published in December 2017 on personal injury claims handling ("Skadereglering vid personskada", only the summary is available in English) and present the measures FI has taken since then. FI had identified in that report a number of areas of improvement related to personal injury claims. The Government highlights several of these areas in the new assignment: claims handling, competence, IT systems, information provided to injured parties and quality assurance. FI had also proposed in the report that the Government should investigate how and where to establish supervision of medical advisory services. The issue of medical advisory services is not included in the new assignment and therefore is not included in this report.

To complete the assignment, FI utilised a survey and follow-up interviews with ten undertakings and Insurance Sweden to ask about taken or planned measures within the areas mentioned in the previous report.

The surveyed undertakings implemented a varying number of measures, in particular with regard to IT systems, customer communication and quality assurance. The undertakings take the position that the measures, which both streamline and simplify the claims handling, are in part the result of ongoing improvement projects.

According to the undertakings, both technological development and simplified handling techniques such as direct or accelerated claims handling, have made it possible to release staff to carry out other tasks in the claims handling process.

Almost all undertakings responded that they are in the process of improving their communication with injured parties, both in terms of guidance when an injury is reported and in written communication. The undertakings also describe how they ensure on an ongoing basis, for example through further training, that their staff has the right competence for the tasks being managed.

Insurance Sweden is updating its guidelines within the areas of the assignment and provides examples of changed methods of working and quality assurance.

FI makes the assessment that the changes to the undertakings' IT systems facilitate correct and uniform handling of claims. IT systems also improve opportunities for quality assurance, follow-up and analysis. FI takes the position that is crucial for affected firms to prioritise the measures required to modernise the IT systems. Otherwise, it may take much too long for the measures to have a full impact on the claims handling process.

FI takes the position that both of the Government assignments have drawn attention to personal injury claims handling and, together with the measures already under way in the insurance industry, played a role in the developments related to this area. FI considers the industry's initial efforts to be positive, particularly given the short period of time that has passed since the previous report. FI will continue to follow developments in this area and adapt its supervision to changes in the insurance industry.

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