Half year claims update

Last week we caught up with Kelly Whittington, Director of Property and Specialty Claims who gave us an update on Aviva's strategy, performance and key initiatives in claims for the first half of this year.

Watch the video below to find out more:

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Transcript  for video Aviva Half Year Claims Update

JOE: Hi, I'm Joe McFarlane, Claims Service Manager for Aviva. I'm joined today with Kelly Whittington,

Director of Property and Specialty Claims. Today we're going to be going through our performance strategy and latest key initiatives from our claims department. So, Kelly, if we can just dive straight in,

I'm wondering if you could tell us a little bit about our strategy at the moment.


KELLY: From a claims point of view, actually we are very aligned to the Aviva overall strategy and that consists of four key priority areas. One is about the service that we're delivering to our customers and our broker partners. The second is around how we're growing, as a business. The third is how are we driving efficiencies that benefit all customers and the fourth is our focus on sustainability, which is a key priority for the group overall and within claims.


JOE: Thanks for that Kelly. I'm wondering if we could dive in and break some of those down. So if we start with motor.


KELLY: Service has been a challenge for us in motor. And hopefully that's not a surprise to anyone. We recognise it and we have been focusing on that but we do recognise that it's been difficult and we really appreciate everybody's patience. From a property and a casualty perspective actually service has been pretty stable and the feedback that we get from brokers and clients using those teams is, is broadly positive. That's been some conscious efforts that we've put into that and we're pleased with our progress. We have had some feedback that our property suppliers haven't always performed in line with expectations. We have made some changes to that supply chain and we will continue to do that based on feedback. So it's really important for us to keep getting that feedback.

So please do keep it coming.


JOE: If we turn our attention to efficiency now. We continue to promote our self-serve options to brokers through Aviva Broker. Can you give us an update as to how those functions are performing and latest developments?


KELLY: Yeah, absolutely. We are really, really pleased with how things are progressing on that front actually. So we got the feedback loud and clear that we were behind our competition in terms of the ability to track claims  and so I'm delighted to confirm that that is now live and you have that functionality and it's going really well. We've now got record number of users, record number of hits of people going in, both looking at an individual claim to get a latest position, but also to then pull more broader MI about how how the account is performing from a claims perspective. We know that we've had some feedback on things that are enhancing that. And so we want that feedback to keep coming. So if you haven't yet signed up, then I really would urge you to do so. 25% of the calls we get into our operation are asking for an update, and you now have the ability as brokers to get that yourself. So that's really important from an efficiency point of view. We can then spend our time focusing on the things where customers really need us. In addition to that, we got some feedback that Live Chat was a bit hit and miss  and there was some mixed feedback and one of the frustrations was that there wasn't the ability to queue. So I'm delighted to confirm that following that feedback, you can now queue both in our property and motor space and hopefully that's another example of we want the feedback so we can keep acting and improving. The capabilities that we've launched so far are really just the start though. And so for, as we look forward, one of the things that we'll be focusing on in the second half of the year and into early 2024 will be the ability to notify some of your claims online. And we are looking at building some automated cover checker decisions into that process, which should make things a lot easier for everybody. So we're hoping that our motor stuff will go live with an experiment by the end of this year and property will follow in Q1 2024. So we are happy with the progress, but we're not resting on our laurels and it's important we continue to invest in those type of initiatives.


JOE: So growth, as you say, is a key priority for Aviva. What is the claims role in helping Aviva grow?


KELLY: So I think we've got a couple of roles to play in that really.  So first thing I think is we have got a team of claims service managers who are aligned to brokers and that team are really there to help with making sure that we are improving the risks that we've got by sharing our insight on how those risks are performing and where there is opportunity to do more. But secondly, we're there also there to come out and work with you to sell the claims proposition so clients are really clear about what they can expect in terms ofservice from Aviva. So I think we can do more in that space and we're always up for being included in any pitches for new business. So please do get in touch I think would be the plea following this conversation.


I think regarding the broader point, actually we know that every penny that we spend on claims has to go into the premiums that we charge our customers. And so it's really important that we look at where are there opportunities for us to improve the way in which we're spending our customers money.  I think an area that has been a big focus for us and will continue to be so is is the fraud agenda. Counter Fraud is a real challenge for us. We obviously are all aware of the cost of living challenges. As a consequence of that, we have seen an 82% increase in opportunistic fraud. We know that  from national statistics that are available that it can cost the economy a billion pounds a year. So I think actually we are investing in the number of people that we have focusing on fraud. We're also investing in the tools and the capability that those teams have got to help them with being better at identifying fraud. None of us want us to be paying fraudulent claims and therefore that's a huge focus for us.


Thinking more broadly, actually, the inflation pressures continue. I think there was a view that perhaps some of the increases that we saw on things like parts and materials and labour were a short term thing.Unfortunately they've continued for much longer than we expected and there's no let up as yet. You only have to look at all the market external indices that are available to see that. So I think identifying initiatives that we can to work together to try and keep costs down is important. If I think in motor actually are we getting claims notified quickly? Are we making the most of the opportunity to capture third parties? Convert people into our network, repairers and preferably our own garage, which is Solus. I think there's more to do. In the property space I think we are investing in the capability of both our desktop surveying team, and also our internal field loss adjusters and actually therefore having some good conversations about how we make the most of that are some specific things.  I think the role of the claim service managers is, is to help with bringing all of those choices together to say how do we work together to keep claims costs minimal. And that's not about not paying the customer what they're entitled to, it's just making sure that we pay exactly the right amount and not a penny more.


JOE: With Sustainability being a key strategic priority, can you tell us what's being delivered in this space?


KELLY: Sure. So from an Aviva wide perspective, we've set ourselves a stretching ambition to be net zero by 2040.  From a claims perspective, we need to do that 10 years earlier, so we really need to get our skates on. So  our first challenge really was understanding what our baseline and of performance was in this space. So we've now concluded, a number of pieces of research and feedback and, data capture exercises with our key suppliers and we're really therefore clear on the role that we need to play to help working with suppliers to achieve those ambitions. I think some immediate things that we've been up to, because I think with all of these things, there's no one silver bullet. It's about a series of things.


In our motor space are our own body shop repairer Solus. They are looking to use green parts wherever possible and I think that's a great initiative, that we've got underway there. And I think getting support from brokers and clients to use that is, is really important. It's amazing how much energy emissions there are from running a garage and we've got a number of them up and down the country. So that has unfortunately meant we've had to pull out of a couple of sites because the infrastructure in those buildings was not going to be, supportive of the ambitions that we had in this space. But overall, we are growing our network of, Solus garages and we've got another two that are going to be opening shortly so I think that shows the level of commitment to the sustainability agenda overall that we need to make some bold decisions and we are.


We've had an initiative working across property where we are looking to repair rather than replace items wherever that is possible. And it is amazing the things that you can repair nowadays. So I think, you know, we need some help with educating clients that's the direction of travel and that's better for the environment. And also we signed up to the Build Back Better scheme in Personal Lines. So customers who, are unfortunate enough to experience a flood if the damage is more than £25,000 and we will also contribute up to £10,000 under the Flood Re scheme to build their property back in a more resilient way. I think as we look forward, there's a lot of education to do in this space. You know, resilience repairs in properties is a real challenge. And actually I think it's important we work together to try and help make sure everybody has what they need to help in that space. I think sustainability is also broader than some of those initiatives.


So if we look at it through D&I lens as well, we are making some good progress on that. We've had a big focus on gender. We've got some work to do in terms of increasing the ethnicity and proportion of staff that we've got in our teams and I think that we also recognise that there's more work that we can do collectively to attract talent and retain talent in the financial services industry overall. So lots of work to do, some good progress, but we've certainly got a long way to go.


JOE: Kelly, Is there anything else you'd like to share with the brokers today?


KELLY: So we spoke earlier about fraud, and so it would be important to mention that we do have the fraud webinar, that was conducted a couple of weeks ago. Feedback has been really positive, so if you haven't had a chance to watch that yet, then I think you'll find some really useful information on there and it's available on Aviva Broker and I should mention that our Counter Fraud team, are actually an award-winning team; Team of the Year at the recent Claims Awards, which was real recognition I think for the progress that's been made. And more recently we were actually the winners of the Customer Care Award at the British Insurers Awards. So undoubtedly there has been some progress, but we do recognise there's a way to go as well.  And the final thing would probably be just to let people know we are planning a series of Claims Roadshows. So coming to a town near you soon and it would be great to see  a number of the claims teams sign up to those to come and meet our teams and start to build those relationships further.


JOE: Kelly, that's perfect. Thanks for your time today. As we wrap up, we just ask that you keep talking to us and you look out for those Road Shows that are coming shortly. You'll receive an invitation and we hope to get as many of you along as possible. Thank you.



What's driving claims inflation?

We’re also pleased to share with you an updated guide to help explain what’s driving claims inflation. The guide looks at what’s influencing the claims trends we’re seeing at the moment and the impact on claims costs as a result. To find out more, download our Claims Inflation Guide.

Tackling fraud

As Kelly mentions in her update, we take fraud very seriously. It’s all about protecting you and your customers. We’re proud of our ongoing effort to tackle fraud in the insurance industry and our commitment to mitigate the impact of fraud on policy premiums. To find out more, download our Defence Excellence document.

For more information speak to your usual Aviva underwriting contact or visit the Claims page on the Aviva Broker website.

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