The Protection Distributors Group, (PDG) has announced a new charter and chairperson for 2018-2019.
In the past two years, PDG, has made market wide changes with its Funeral Payment Pledge campaign. The campaign addressed the issue of families who were not able to pay for funerals because of delays paying death claims due to probate.
PDG asked insurers to commit to advancing payments to families to at least cover funeral costs. Insurers including AIG, Aegon, Aviva, Royal London and LV= had all introduced these early payments because of the campaign.
Zurich, British Friendly and Old Mutual who already offered similar payments have supported the initiative.
PDG has now launched a campaign to improve outcomes for claimants. The ‘PDG Claims Charter’ aims to improve basic levels of Best Practice undertaken by insurers. This will be done by making sure insurers meet certain requirements.
The requirements which need to be met include:
- Dedicated claims team available, with a phone-based claims process for claimants to submit and manage their claim throughout, supported by digital documentation. Paperwork only used where there are no digital alternatives possible or where claimant requests
- No potential claimant can be turned away by anyone not on the claims team.
- Claimants to have named point of contact, with regular updates to claimants at least every two weeks, unless otherwise agreed, to keep them informed of progress.
- Intermediaries are notified of all claims when made to ensure records can be updated and no potential distress caused to clients and families through the intermediary not knowing about a claim.
- Proactively offers the PDG’s Funeral Payment Pledge and/or advances payments to speed-up life cover claims where there is no trust in place, or where other factors could delay payment being made
- Once claim is approved, claimants to receive payment within 72 hours (ignoring external factors out of insurer control such as probate)
Emma Thomson, chairperson for PDG, said: “The PDG has based the Charter on the experiences of its members helping their own clients with claims and we are delighted that Zurich are the first firm to sign up to the Charter, both delivering the required standards and exceeding them. We hope to see a number of other insurers signing up to the charter shortly.”
The group is now seeking new adviser members who have a real passion for Protection and share a drive to help more consumers take out cover. Members meet quarterly and pay an annual fee of £600 a year.