Marketing posts

These posts are all about the ethics of insurance marketing. It's a big subject and you'll find a wide range of posts providing you with guidance, insight and challenge.

Three ethical concerns about embedded insurance
Embedded insurance is a form of hyper-personalisation that is attracting a lot of attention in insurance circles just now. It also raises some significant ethical concerns.
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.
Nudging, ethics and modern insurance design
Nudging is a concept at the heart of much 'new thinking' about insurance. Yet it's a complex thing and insurers need to take care when using it in the design of new products and services.
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.
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.
The radical new approach to tackling insurance mis-selling
Mis-selling has been a perennial problem for the insurance market. In the last couple of years, the UK regulator's approach has changed, radically. Intermediaries and representatives should prepare for a new regulatory experience.
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.
Conflicts of Interest – the vital step from recognising to reporting
Conflicts of interest are a feature of most insurance markets. And a vital step in managing them is helping people move from recognising to reporting them. Yet that isn’t as easy as most might think.
Will the ‘best interests of the customer’ sink some sector business models?
Is the oft heard call from within the sector to be more customer centric about to be put to the test? Some sector business models will struggle to pass, and change could be painful.
How do you feel about insurers tracking and analysing your emotions?
Insurers are using data and analytics to track and predict our emotions. Yet using it in underwriting and claims decisions raises some significant ethical issues. Here's why.
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?
A checklist for conflicts of interest in insurance firms
Are conflicts of interest in insurance being taken seriously enough? It’s a question that needs to be addressed, given recent headlines. So what should insurance firms check for when it comes to being better at conflicts of interest? Here are nine suggestions.
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.
Ethical storm ahead – insuring people with experience of mental illness
The sector’s approach to insuring people with mental illness is under scrutiny. So what are the ethical dimensions that insurers need to grasp? And looking forward, what market developments could make this situation even more ethically charged?
Ethics in Insurance: the challenges ahead in 2018
2018 looks like it will be an eventful time for ethics in insurance. Here are 11 areas where insurers will find the big ethical challenges.
6 Reasons why Marketing is a Significant Harm Function
As insurance becomes digitised, so marketers are making decisions with the potential for ever widening impacts. Does this make them a significant harm function?
Automating the emotions that drive marketing and sales
The automated systems now being used in financial planning introduce a uniquely disruptive ethical risk through their use of artificial emotional intelligence
Ethical awareness for underwriters pt1: the tangible / abstract divide
Insurers are being urged to improve how they represent ‘the voice of the customer’ in the design and roll out[...]
If I could wave an ethical magic wand over just one part of insurance, I would point it…
If I could wave a magic wand and transform, in ethical terms, just one cog in the lifecycle of an[...]
Essential reading for everyone in insurance marketing
The role that marketing now plays in insurance firms is changing. It is no longer just about how products are communicated. So what are the key ethical issues that insurance marketers need to understand and manage?
5 approaches to engagement on ethics
An ethics project is better if informed by insight from the people it is seeking to influence. Here are 5 ways in which ethics engagement can take place.
Why corporate social responsibility is failing to build trust in UK insurers
Two thirds of people will repeatedly buy from companies that are socially responsible. So said a leading figure in the[...]
Pre-approved insurance – what are the implications?
How might consumers react to recent signs of insurance being offered on a pre-approved basis? Is there a sense that[...]
Manufactured vulnerability – how might insurers respond?
Manufactured vulnerability is an ethical risk that marketing and compliance people in insurance firms need to have on their radars.[...]
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[...]
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[...]
Consent: part of the changing landscape of insurance regulation
Consent is a term rarely mentioned in insurance circles, yet it lies at the heart of every policy sold by[...]
The Ethics of Flexible Commissions
The UK regulator is said to be ‘incredibly interested’ in the flexible commission arrangements that exist between some commercial insurers[...]
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[...]
Price comparison websites: consumers need more than what it says on the tin
‘Does exactly what it says on the tin’ is a phrase often used to praise a close alignment between what[...]
Conflicts of interest: a challenge for more than just insurance brokers
Conflicts of interest have been in the ‘insurance news’ a lot recently, chiefly because of the UK regulator’s review of[...]
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?
How to avoid crashing your ethics metrics in 2014
As many of us approach a new business year, make sure the metrics you're going to be using for ethics deliver the insight your firm needs.
Conflicts of interest – are you ready for 2014? It’ll be busy!
Conflicts of interest look to be the big ethical risk for insurance firms in 2014. How are your firm's being handled? Here are 8 steps to get you started.
Will Conflicts of Interest be the Achilles’ Heel of Life Insurers?
Incentives and suitability are two ethical issues that life insurers share with a recent judgment and colossal fine in the US. Here's why the life market needs to act.
Ethics training: rounding off 2013 and planning for 2014
People working in the UK insurance sector are wanting more training on ethics and the ethical issues that matter most to their work. How can firms respond?
The UK life market needs urgent action to address ethical culture
FCA’s damning report into life market practices shows the need for stronger leadership on ethics from senior directors, particularly around ethical culture
An Inconvenient Truth coming out of FCA Thematic Reviews
Is the FCA's use of thematic reviews taking control of the setting of best practice standards within the insurance and financial planning sectors? And if so, should those sectors accept this?
The ethical minefield that is anonymised data
The way in which insurers handle anonymised data can raise all sorts of ethical questions, with implications for policyholders, underwriters and regulators
Getting serious about assessing your firm’s ethical risks
A structured approach to assessing ethical risk that recognises market, firm and employee driven issues will help you focus more on underlying causes.
Pitfalls to avoid when measuring ethics
Measuring ethics is tricky, but necessary. Here are some of the pitfalls that measuring ethics can encounter, during the design, implementation and use phases.
The fundamentals of an ethical information economy: thoughts about the future
Jaron Lanier's book raises some innovative questions that insurers should absorb when thinking about the long term implications of big data
How insurance history could have been different if ethics had been measured
Four examples of how insurance history might have been different if ethics had been measured. Time now for your firm to adopt some?
Ethical Dilemmas – challenging, interesting, important
It may be tempting to ‘learn as you go’ when next faced with an ethical dilemma to resolve. Here are three reasons why some preparation is worthwhile.
Ethics at the heart of reforms to financial advice in Singapore
Regulatory reform of financial advice in Singapore is expected to see more ethics training for advisers, as well as ethics KPIs for their managers.
Just how Ethical is Contribution?
How ethical is it for an insurer to seek a contribution from other insurers on risk for the same claim? There’s more to it than meets the eye.
Privacy and Consent: some examples for a proactive insurer
Insurers need to challenge engrained thinking about consent to reflect the new regulatory and reputational landscape. Here are some examples for a proactive insurer to get started with.
Privacy and Consent – pt5 – Time for a New Mindset?
Consent is fundamental to how markets work, but can be a challenge for sectors like insurance. Will new EU regulations force the sector into a new mindset about customers' information?
Privacy, identification and the challenges insurers face
Identification could be the key privacy issue that insurers need to understand and take on board, for it raises challenges at the heart of how underwriting works.
Privacy, identification and the need to know: who decides?
As many firms accumulate data about us to build a competitive advantage, the question of their right to know versus our right to privacy comes to the fore.
Privacy and Identification – pt4 – we all like to put our best side forward
Identification is one of the key privacy issues that insurers need to attend to. It is however perhaps the most difficult one for them to get right. Here's why.
Privacy and Secondary Use pt2: referral fees and slippery slopes
Secondary use has been a problematic ethical issue for insurers, causing the motor market to be labelled as dysfunctional. It creates a tension for insurers that needs to be resolved in order for trust to be rebuilt.
Privacy and Secondary Use : pt1 : Context, consent and control
It's with secondary use that the UK insurance market has had most privacy problems in the last year or two. The first of two posts explaining why.
Insurance and the Privacy Controversy
Over the next 5 years, I believe tensions between the insurance industry and the general public around privacy issues will grow to be as controversial as the misselling of payment protection insurance is today. This is the first of a series of posts exploring privacy and insurance.
Are insurers and financial planners facing a ‘ napster moment’?
Does the UK insurance and financial services sectors face a ‘napster moment’ around how they engage with customers? In other words, a point at which someone from outside the industry comes in and reinvents how things are done.
Telematics – pt3 – fairness
If insurers become the lead provider of telematics technology, then spin-off services could produce all sorts of unintended consequences, particularly around the public's view of fairness.
Revolutionary Insurance
Big data could herald an entirely new way of thinking about the relationship between insurer and customer. It will have transparency at its heart and rely on new ways of behaving with customers. Ethics and insurance will never be more reliant upon each other than they need to be in this new world of insurance.
Assumptions about flood
Are insurers living up to their side of the agreement on providing flood insurance? The use of assumptions in household insurance websites put it into doubt. It may even amount to flood de-risking.
Dangerous add-ons
Those selling insurance add-ons need to remember the lessons from payment protection insurance. This policy has its opt-out so hidden that it deserves investigation by the regulator.
Assumptions and Transparency
The transparency of price comparison websites has come under renewed scrutiny. The way in which their assumptions are often pitched is raising questions about who's interests are being put first. The new Act makes addressing such concerns more important than ever.
Executive responsibilies
There are clear lessons for insurers from LBG's bonus clawback in relation to PPI misselling
Some fine ‘ethicswash’
A bank may be regretting an attempt to talk up its ethical track record. They should instead have focussed on the ethical challenges being tackled. So if you were an insurer, what ethical challenges would you be talking about?
More on Homeserve
Homeserve are outsourcing their complaint handling. Hopefully this will involve pro-actively contacting those who could have been mis-sold one of their policies. Let's hope they're learning from this saga.
Contacting mis-sold customers
Homeserve is expecting to lose about 5% of its customers as a result of mis-selling problems in its household insurance[...]