Why independent service quality accreditation matters

January 29, 2024
By Insurindex Editor

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Gracechurch, the research power behind Insurindex, will at the end of this month announce the latest achievers for its 2024 Service Quality Marque Scheme (‘SQM’) for claims. And in mid-March it will launch an equivalent Service Quality Marque for underwriting.

This independent accreditation is awarded annually to those claims and underwriting teams in the London and UK commercial insurance markets that have delivered outstanding service quality consistently.

The Gracechurch SQM is awarded based on independent robust quarterly trend surveys conducted among claims managers in broking firms.  The studies are now conducted in partnership with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and the detailed results are used by many Insurers to focus on service improvements.

In an era when the Consumer Duty legislation raises the bar for customer protection, firms in the commercial insurance market are becoming acutely aware of the imperative to put the customer first and to deliver first-class service.

Gracechurch’s research has shown historically that Insurers struggle to clearly articulate what puts them ahead of their competitors service-wise, and this has exacerbated an already ‘commoditised’ market where price is the dominant competitive variable.

An independently awarded ‘kite marque’ changes that dynamic; helping Insurers to ‘prove’ the quality of service in what has hitherto been a ‘me-too’ market.  And this in turn drives positive competition by encouraging brokers and customers to choose providers based on service as well as price.

The results show that Insurer service has improved recently but average improvement masks considerable service inconsistency with major gaps between the best and worst Insurers. Here again, the SQM helps buyers and advisers make informed choices, so raising the performance bar.

The evidence also proves that Insurers who achieve the SQM work very hard to keep it, and this helps maintain progress on service quality:  several London Insurers have achieved the SQM for more than eight years in a row.

We believe the independent nature of the Service Quality Marque not only helps brokers and customers in their decision-making, but also gives the market something to aspire to, in alignment with the Consumer Duty’s requirements and aims.

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