These posts are all about ethical leadership. It's a big subject that is getting lots of attention, so explore these posts to see what it means in the world of insurance.
Why Equality of Fairness will shape the Future of Insurance
Fairness in insurance has four dimensions. How they come together and interact is called equality of fairness. This will shape the future of insurance.
The Big Ethical Challenge for Insurers in 2021
The big ethical challenge for insurers in 2021 will be to learn the lessons from events in 2020 and to apply them systematically across the firm. It will be a bigger task than many insurers think, but those who get it right will reap reputational rewards.
8 ways in which a digital strategy can build trust in an insurer
Digital strategies in insurance will be undermined if they don't build trust in the insurer. I explore why this is so, and present 8 ways in which an insurer should start looking
Ethical decision making is the best response to individual accountability
The rise of individual accountability for insurance executives has highlighted the importance of bridging the gap between ‘thinking about ethics’ and ‘doing ethics’. Ethical decision making is a set of skills designed for that purpose.
Data and Power pt4 – the right skills are vital to success in data ethics
A commitment to data ethics will only succeed if the people delivering this transformation of insurance have the right skills. Insurers have a long way to go on this.
Data and Power pt2 – the two big threats to insurers’ digital strategies
Insurers are going to find that discrimination and access represent the two biggest challenges to their digital strategies. How insurers engage with these issues is critical
Data and Power pt1 – the starting point for insurers’ data ethics journey
The most significant ethical theme that insurers need to address over the next three years is data ethics. Yet it is complex and nuanced, so insurers need to think carefully about how to organise their response.
The lessons that claims people should learn from the exam grades debacle
The recent exam grades debacle in the UK provides insurance people with lessons on what will befall them if current trends in claims practices continue.
Why pricing data can send out all the wrong signals
Insurance people used to think of pricing as just a market thing. Now they recognise that fairness has to be factored in as well. Yet the ethics of insurance pricing has other dimensions that need to be factored in. If they're not, the current pricing review will take even longer and become even more tortuous.
The big questions about vulnerability that your firm needs to address
The regulator’s new guidance on vulnerability presents insurers with some serious questions to address. Understanding the ethical context from which they emerge will help your firm really get to grip with the issues.
The radical ways in which time is changing insurance
The need for annual or long term insurance policies is being questioned. A new temporality of insurance is emerging, with significant ethical implications.
Why cognitive diversity can boost ethical performance
Cognitive diversity can be hugely influential when it comes to ethics. Views are encouraged, voices heard and challenges met. In such changing times for insurance, this matters
Why conflicts of interest are an exponential ethical risk
Conflicts of interest are an exponential ethical risk because of the powerful signals they send out about how your firm is managed. This creates all sorts of reputational risks.
Behavioural fairness is a serious risk to the future of insurance
An influential narrative has emerged within insurance in recent years, centred upon the notion of behavioural fairness. It's a narrative that could determine how insurance evolves over the next decade. The problem is that it's a narrative with significant flaws.
Some thoughts on ethics, insurance and the pandemic
It is in times like the present that the reputation of the insurance sector will be defined. Here are some thoughts on ethics, insurance and the current pandemic.
A dangerous regulatory mindset that will undermine trust in insurance
'Not our problem' is the conclusion the UK regulator has reached about personalisation, the most fundamental change happening in insurance. So why is the FCA being so myopic? And how should insurers respond?
The ethical storm clouds hanging over insurance claims practices
The biggest ethical exposure facing insurers over the next 24 months will come from claims practices. It deserves to be one of the big financial risks that insurers typically detail in their annual report. So why are ethical storm clouds hanging over claims?
The three lines of defence model is not working for insurers
Why are so many ethical challenges being faced by insurers at the moment? Has the three lines of defence model failed? If so, what can insurers do to make it work?
Why discrimination is an enormous ethical challenge for insurance
Insurers are facing a challenge to how they have been managing discrimination across their business. They should treat it seriously, for it has powerful backing and could have serious repercussions.
The big ethical challenges facing insurers in 2020
2020 will be an eventful year for insurers. During the many years I’ve been tracking the ethical challenges facing insurers, never before have I seen so many issues demanding attention. Some firms will find the learning curve steep and challenging.
How positive an influence are reinsurers having on data ethics?
Reinsurers are an influential bunch. This makes their approach to data ethics important. So it's troubling then that their messaging seems to be so mixed
Pricing is a prudential risk that comes with complications
Pricing is now judged to be a prudential risk. Insurers need to handle it with care, for its ethical side makes it more nuanced than many realise.
Why insurance executives need to think like a decision architect
A challenge like data ethics needs insurance executives to be more like decision architects. This will have a deeper and longer lasting impact on a key theme of 2020.
The ethics of loss adjusting firms – why so much secrecy?
Why are so many loss adjusting firms being secretive about their codes of ethics? Few put them in the public domain, but keeping them under wraps doesn't help build trust in their work.
Politicians are burying the loyalty penalty: so what comes next?
The political writing is on the wall for the loyalty penalty. Yet the regulator will still face some difficult challenges to getting their response right. At least they've now got some powerful friends to help them.
The Fundamental Challenges that Insurance faces from Data Analytics
What are the fundamental challenges that data and analytics pose to insurance? Here are six that I think raise profound questions for the sector.
Why Honesty and Purpose will change the Conduct Agenda
What is an insurer there for? It's a question that every insurer, new and old, needs to understand and address with honesty, for it drives how a business is run.
Are firms looking in the wrong place for unethical behaviours?
Many insurance firms organise themselves to be on the lookout for the big unethical scandals that might ruin their reputations. It may make sense, but it misses out something vital.
Harsh lessons that UK insurers will learn from the pricing review
We’re starting to see the regulator’s response to the pricing super complaint take shape. And it’s pretty much in line with what I predicted back in September 2018. Yet their review is far from over. Some heated debate seems inevitable.
Why supervisory technology will revolutionise insurance
Just as insurers are gaining new insight from all their data and analytics, so are regulators too. And the trajectory that regulators are taking could have profound implications for the market’s attitude to ethics.
Be honest with yourself: ethical dissonance and personal accountability
Addressing ethical dissonance will improve trust in your firm and reduce the risk to executives of personal regulatory sanction. Here's how to recognise it and organise your response.
Data and analytics: the problem that insurers will have with identity
Data and analytics is changing insurance in all sorts of exciting ways, but it's also raising some fundamental ethical questions. The first we'll be looking at is identity
The biggest ethical challenge facing insurers in 2019
The insurance sector will face some big ethical challenges in 2019 but one challenge will stand above all others. And surprisingly, it's not pricing.
The underlying warning in the FCA’s report on household insurance pricing
The UK regulator's report on insurance pricing will have set alarm bells ringing at many insurers. The underlying warning in it represents a real challenge to many firms
What lessons can insurance people learn from the Liberty Mutual fine?
The £5.28m fine handed out by the UK regulator to Liberty Mutual last week fired two warning shots across the bows of the insurance sector. This week's blog post examines their repercussions for insurers.
Why conflicts of interest is the top ethical issue for claims in 2019
Every claims director in every insurer should be looking to include an assessment of conflicts of interest in their plans for 2019. It's going to be their number one ethical risk. Here's why...
Is a retreat from insurance underway? Not by consumers, but by insurers
Insurers talk about moving customer relationships from ‘indemnity me’ to ‘keep me safe’. Does this represent the start of a retreat from insurance?
The super complaint will put pricing practices under intense scrutiny
A super-complaint was delivered last week to the UK competition authority. It means pricing practices in the retail general insurance market will now come under intense scrutiny. I assess its origins and implications, and show how insurance firms can respond.
Executive accountability is raising concerns – here’s the best response
New regulations are raising executive accountability. Insurance people are worried about their personal exposure to compliance failings. Here's their best response.
Research confirms the main reason for insurer failure in the EU is unethical practices
Why do insurers fail? It turns out that ethical problems play a big part. Insurance may be complicated, but it's the human factors that really matter.
Insurer codes of ethics are not addressing the big trust issue
Insurance firms are changing, but their codes of ethics are not. My recent review found a distinct gap opening up. Some of the key issues were missing.
How can insurers get people to open and read their code of ethics?
How do you make sure people are opening and reading your code of ethics? My review found that insurers were missing out on some significant opportunities.
An important lesson for insurers to learn about their codes of ethics
Codes of ethics tell people about a firm's ethical commitments. I’ve completed a detailed review into how insurers do this. The first finding was a surprise!
Where the really fundamental changes in insurance will emerge
How transformative are the changes happening in insurance at the moment? In amongst the noise of disrupting start ups, is a paradigm shift under way?
Why ethics initiatives can lose momentum, and how to fix it
Ethics initiatives often launch with a flurry of activity, but then lose momentum as they progress. Why does this happen, and what can you do about it?
The new pricing principles for insurance: origins, impacts and ideas
UK insurance is adopting new pricing principles for personal business. Yet in doing so, individual insurance firms will need to address some tough questions about controversial practices.
Are actuaries ready for a new era of accountability in insurance?
Actuaries are approaching an ethical crossroads, where the opportunities of data and analytics will meet a new era of accountability in insurance. How they respond will set the scene for how trust in insurance develops over the next five years.
Honest Insurance is now a marketing favourite. What does it say to you?
When you’re told that what’s being offered is honest insurance, what do you think? Some will be reassured that all is bound to be well with the policies of an insurer like that. Which indeed it might be. If however you’re curious about what is meant by honest insurance, then read on.
The drive to build trust in insurance must start here
We need to think differently about trust in insurance. Digitisation makes this more important, not less. Firms need to organise their thinking, and not just leave trust to chance. If there’s a new ‘trust story’ to be told, it’s insurers who need to write it, before someone else does in their place.
Personalisation – could it take insurance into a digital winter?
Insurance is being transformed not by data or analytics, but by personalisation. Yet personalisation has some inherent flaws, which I examine in this post. What we could end up with is a cauldron of disruption, fuelled not by innovation, but mistrust.
Why every insurance firm needs an ethical vision, and 12 steps to build one
Leadership on ethics is a key factor influencing the trust that clients have in a firm. Getting that leadership on ethics right requires a clear ethical vision. So how do insurance executives craft that ethical vision?
Four Ethics Courses for Insurance Professionals
This year could be a daunting one for some insurance people. Over the next 12 months, they’re going to have their integrity assessed. And if they fall short, their certification to practice in the sector could be affected. These four ethics courses address this problem head on.
Could this Digital Tool transform the Ethics of Insurance?
Artificial intelligence could be used in ways that could transform the ethics of insurance. One development in particular could have widespread implications
How to teach leadership on ethics in a way that actually works
If leadership on ethics is on your learning and development agenda for 2018, you need to remember three important things about how to structure it.
The Great Accountability Challenge facing Insurance Leaders
Technology is reshaping the business models of insurers. Yet this reshaping presents a new accountability challenge that needs to be addressed.
Destructive demand: Is it happening in insurance underwriting now?
Destructive demand can damage the reputation of insurance. It happened with referral fees. Could it be happening again with underwriting data?
What risks does big data pose for professionalism in insurance?
Big data is starting to transform insurance. It could also transform professionalism in insurance, in ways that present some pretty new risks. So what should professional bodies around the world look out for?
Sounds crazy, but consider putting your top sales person in charge of ethics
I’ve never come across an insurance firm that has put responsibility for the firm’s ethics programme into the hands of[...]
Addressing the key question for 21st century insurance head on
Europe’s leading experts on computing, privacy and data protection (CPDP) will be brought together at a conference this week in[...]
Interesting Research into the Ethical Orientation of Insurance Managers in India
When we’re questioned about how ethical we are, most of us respond very positively, and that’s great, but it’s not[...]
Setting a Personal Example – why it often fails, and how to fix it
While there’s certainly more to ethical leadership than ‘setting a personal example’, it’s still an important component. After all, why[...]
Ethical leadership – there’s more to it than just ‘setting a personal example’
There’s a tendency amongst business leaders to put ‘setting a personal example’ at the heart of their approach to ethical[...]
It looks like the FCA really does not understand big data
A recent speech by the chief executive of the UK regulator for insurance focused on big data. It clarified one[...]
How to build momentum into our ethics plan for 2017
It’s the time of the year when firm’s are planning the ethical steps they want to take next year. And[...]
Are your firm’s values less ethical than you think?
Ethical dilemmas provide great material for use in corporate training, for they can easily be tailored to reflect the learner’s[...]
Too busy to incept a big ethics project? OK, so do this simple change instead…
With insurance firms under so many pressures to adapt, compete and innovate, those in charge can sometimes see ethics as[...]
Why Warren Buffett’s famous quote on integrity has a strong message but doesn’t reflect reality
The insurance chief executive and investor Warren Buffett is famous for quotes that are pithy and often prescient. One of[...]
Analytics is the new frontier for insurance – exciting but dangerous
When investment returns look uncertain and market conditions are challenging, executives often listen that bit more keenly to new ideas[...]
Will life insurers show leadership on big ethical issues?
Two years ago, a senior manager at a leading reinsurer wrote an article entitled “NO wearable device = NO life[...]
Are we seeing the start of a ‘retreat from insurance’?
It’s becoming fashionable amongst insurers to talk of turning themselves into providers of lifestyle services to customers. It’s portrayed as[...]
Six steps towards a more robust ethical risk assessment
It’s approaching halfway through the year and, let’s assume, you’re on notice to give a presentation to management about the[...]
Ethical awareness for claims people – pt3 – conformity
People have a tendency to think differently in a group than how they might do so when on their own.[...]
A hugely significant decision for personal lines pricing
A landmark decision by US insurance regulators could translate into significant disruption for the UK personal lines market if the[...]
Ethical Awareness for Claims People – pt1 – Framing
This is the first of a four part series of posts looking at ethical awareness for claims people. In each[...]
Whistleblowing – rewrite the policy, the processes, the lot
The new rules on whistleblowing that UK insurers will soon have to adhere to will bring about more fundamental change[...]
What employees say about managers and ethics at work – Part 2
Much is made of the ‘tone from the top’ – the strength and consistency with which senior executives guide the[...]
Insurance marketing and the dangers of manufactured vulnerability
Marketing is adopting the tools of big data and some of the practices that are emerging would, if used by[...]
Could price optimisation soon be banned in the UK insurance market?
We know that price optimisation is an established feature of many markets – hotel beds and airline seats for example.[...]
Does your Code of Ethics send the right signals to employees?
Following on from this recent post, your employees should now be convinced that your firm’s code of ethics is worth[...]
What lessons should insurers learn from the VW scandal?
The scandal currently engulfing the car maker Volkswagen will undoubtedly feature in many an ethics course for years to come,[...]
Ethical dilemmas are the last stage of ethical decision making – here’s stages 1 and 2
I write many ethical dilemmas - it's fun assembling the characters and devising a situation when conflicting values have to[...]
A revealing window into insurer thinking on big data
A recent conference on 'big data and insurance' opened a window into the UK insurance sector's current thinking on what[...]
Why story telling is vital to delivering the new conduct standards
The first of the new conduct standards for insurers being introduced by the UK regulator from March next year is[...]
Four signs that senior people at your firm are struggling with ethics
Delivering an ethical ‘tone from the top’ can be a challenge at times for some business leaders. The UK’s Co-operative[...]
How to start getting results from ethical due diligence
The UK insurance sector has been told in no uncertain terms that it isn’t doing enough ethical due diligence. The[...]
Conduct risk appetites are double edge swords, so handle with care
Many insurance firms will be checking their conduct risk appetites after the UK regulator emphasised their importance in a recent[...]
Ethics survey reveals a lot about the insurance profession
What do insurance professionals think about the ethics of their sector? A recent survey of over 3,000 members of ‘The[...]
Four legs that a conduct risk appetite needs to stand on
The UK regulator has castigated insurers for not having a clear conduct risk appetite for their delegated authority business. Some[...]
Assessing integrity: how should insurers respond to the new rules?
Insurers in the UK will soon have to carry out ‘fit and proper’ assessments of executives performing certain key functions,[...]
How objective is the data your firm uses to make decisions?
An insurer told me recently that the only reason for a huge increase in a renewal premium was because of[...]
Will financial inclusion be even more difficult to deliver than in the past?
There are structural changes underway in the UK insurance market that seem to point to financial inclusion becoming even more[...]
Why fairness will be central to the insurance response. Financial inclusion pt2
The chief executive of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority said back in October 2013 that fairness would be the dominant[...]
What right do we have to insurance? Financial Inclusion pt1
What right do we have to insurance? A recent report from the UK’s Financial Inclusion Commission concluded that: “every adult[...]
How good are you at ethics? Are you sure? Is it enough?
Insurance is full of good people. Yet when you add up the cumulative impact of all those occasions when policies[...]
What lay behind the FCA’s decision on the fare-dodging banker?
The director of a UK investment firm has had his career in financial services terminated after being caught fare dodging.[...]
Signals that conflicts of interest send out about your firm
A conflict of interest is not a stand-alone ethical risk. To borrow a phrase, it has friends, and not very[...]
A new era of accountability for senior insurance managers
The prudential regulator for UK insurance firms is consulting on regulatory changes that it hopes will herald a new era[...]
Ethical nudges and their role in tackling insurance fraud
It's common now when taking out an insurance policy or reporting a claim, to be greeted with a warning about[...]
Why pensions need more than just good governance – pt3
There are two significant sources of ethical risk associated with pensions: how you design them, and how you distribute them.[...]
8 reasons why ethics initiatives sometimes lose momentum
It's not uncommon to come across a corporate initiative on ethics that has lost its momentum. People often talk about[...]
Four lessons insurance firms should learn from the Wonga affair
Big data could revolutionise a firm’s understanding of its customers. Yet it could also blind the firm to common sense[...]
Who is responsible for rebuilding trust in insurance?
The public does not trust the insurance sector. Indeed, it trusts it even less than retail banks. That’s the stark[...]
What’s the point of ethics training? And 3 things to make it work.
Some of you will be starting to build your business plan for next year and if ethics falls within your[...]
Fresh thinking on conflicts of interest for small firms: pt2
In the first of this pair of posts about how small firms might think differently about conflicts of interest, I[...]
Fresh ways for small firms to think about conflicts of interest: pt1
Small firms often feel under pressure from ethical issues like conflicts of interest. They lack the resources of their larger[...]
Pensions and annuities pt1: will insurers rise to the ethical challenges facing this market?
The pensions and annuities market in the UK is huge. It is also complex and undergoing considerable change, or to[...]
Should whistleblowers be rewarded? Here’s the FCA’s strategy on this.
Should whistleblowers be incentivised with monetary rewards? The UK Government challenged its regulator of financial services to seriously consider introducing[...]
How a risk wheel could improve policyholder choice
The UK financial services regulator and the trade body for the UK insurance industry are negotiating a set of rules[...]
Why data is the key regulatory challenge in financial services
Data is the key challenge facing the regulation of UK financial services. So said a representative of the Prudential Regulatory[...]
The 3 most popular issues on the Ethics and Insurance blog
This is the 200th post on the ethics and insurance blog, so if you don’t mind, I’ll take a quick[...]
The fear of retaliation: a new milestone in whistleblowing
Regulators of the US financial services market have successfully concluded their first case involving whistleblower retaliation, against a firm who improperly[...]
3 ethical responsibilities that insurance firms are being ‘put on notice’ about
Two events from last week hold particular significance for the ethical responsibilities of the UK insurance sector. They signal a[...]
How good are your firm’s whistleblowing arrangements?
Insurance firms in the UK should allocate some time during 2014 to look over their whistleblowing arrangements, for whistleblowing is[...]
11 principles for building ethics into your use of big data
In last week’s post, I explained why insurance firms need to integrate privacy protection into the big data dimension to[...]
The ethics of big data – a critical window of opportunity for insurance firms
Insurance has always relied on data. And with the mainstreaming now of revolutionary techniques for how data can be acquired,[...]
Insurance firms should start preparing for two waves of whistleblowing reform
The UK financial services sector has a poor record on whistleblowing. Over the next few years, firms will be put[...]
Insurers warned of a step change in regulator’s expectations of ethical conduct
Recent research has exposed a worrying gap between UK insurers and their regulator around expectations of ethical conduct in the[...]
Where do insurance firms go wrong with conflicts of interest?
Where do insurance firms go wrong with conflicts of interest? Their track record has not been good. Two problems stand[...]
Should a new professional body for banking interest insurers? Absolutely!
In recent years, UK insurance firms have been eager to reassure key audiences that when it came to ethics and[...]
Tone from the top is not enough. How everyone can show ethical leadership
The Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation held a round table yesterday to debate this question: “are consumers getting[...]
Please don’t talk about data misuse! …and other ambiguous terms.
The language we use when talking about an ethical situation is important. Words can sometimes convey more than their simple[...]
Wanted: a renewal of ethical leadership from the UK insurance sector
I believe one of the biggest challenges facing the UK insurance sector lies in the amount of ethical leadership that[...]
The challenge that brokers face in their code of conduct reviews.
2014 has seen the lau
Are those who do the mis-selling victims or villains?
Should we see the sales advisors involved in the mis-selling of protection policies at Lloyds Banking Group as victims or as villains?
3 big ethical questions that motor claims directors need to answer
3 ‘distinctly ethical’ questions stand out from the provisional findings of the Competition Commission’s investigation into the UK private motor insurance.
Leadership on Ethics – 6 steps for making real progress
Ethical leadership doesn’t just happen – you need to build knowledge and skills around it. Here are six steps to help you make real progress.
Ethical leadership requires more than just ‘tone from the top’
How can ethical leadership start to make a lasting difference in at firm? Here are three ingredients to making it happen, starting with tone from the middle.
Three warning signs that a firm is struggling with its ethical ‘tone from the top’
Delivering an ethical 'tone from the top' can be a challenge at times for some business leaders. So what are some warning signs to look out for?
What every UK insurer should adopt as an ethical objective for 2014
The regulator expects every UK insurer to understand how its ethical culture is influencing 'why we do what we do'. There's a lot to be leant.
Whistleblowing and the vital contribution of wider loyalties
A recent report shows just how important it is to get whistleblowing procedures right. One dimension to remember is the vital role played by wider loyalties
Insurance and Innovation – Part 2 – why ethics is a vital ingredient
If a firm's corporate culture doesn't emphasise the importance of ethical behaviours, then their capacity for innovation will be diminished. Here's why.
Ethics, Insurance and innovation – Part 1 – why change seems inevitable
With insurers under a lot of pressure to reform their claims operations, could the ethical culture at a firm contribute towards its capacity for innovation?
Ethics and Underwriting – Part 4 – will client information be the next great challenge?
The way in which client information is obtained, and then used and protected, raises some of the most fundamental ethical questions for insurers
What are UK insurers telling us about their ethical performance?
I review four ethics metrics in the public domain and look at what this might tell us about the sector's handle on ethical cultures
7 reasons why assessing ethical risks is a ‘must do’ for firms
So, you've decided to set ethical objectives for your firm, but what do you focus them on? Here are 7 reasons why an assessment of ethical risks is the best starting point.
Having a business objective for ethics says a lot about your firm’s ethical culture
A recent study indicated that most insurers fail to set a business objective for ethics, yet to do so is a key indicator of a firm's ethical culture.
Should insurers be more transparent about their lobbying?
Insurers have to disclose their political donations, but not their payments to those who lobby Government on their behalf. This is fairly typical of UK plcs, except that...
World’s Most Ethical
Ethisphere's list of the World's Most Ethical Companies includes seven with strong insurance connections. Are insurers reluctant to put their efforts on ethics up for scrutiny? That would be a pity, for if it's worth investing in, it's worth reaping a return from it as well.
Reflecting on landmines
The launch of a new landmine charity is to be applauded, but its supporters from the insurance and broking community need to reflect on any association they may have with companies who manufacture ordnance of similar indiscriminatory effect, cluster bombs being the most obvious example.