The Society of Claims Professionals -- one year on
Launched in January 2019 as a key component of delivering the CII strategic manifesto, the Society of Claims Professionals (SOCP) is a professional community serving the needs of the insurance claims sector.
Previously known as the Claims Faculty, the new society is a step change in the way we provide value to our members, supporting them at every stage of their career. This is all aligned with the broader objectives of the CII -- to encourage the highest professional standards, promote increased public trust in insurance and secure the best outcomes for customers.
Representing almost 10,000 individuals, the society is a forum for learning, guidance, insight and ideas. An experienced advisory board of senior market practitioners helps ensure the content we provide to our members is relevant and practical.
Good practice guidance sits at the heart of what we do for our members. These written guides provide a concise and accessible summary of a topic or issue in the market and conclude with recommendations that members can implement to improve internal processes and customer outcomes.
Perhaps of most note is the considerable body of work we have produced on customer vulnerability. The claims sector is often judged on how we treat our most vulnerable customers and it is vital we can identify vulnerability in its many different forms, offering the appropriate support and assistance to those in need. As well as broad guidance on the basic principles of fair treatment of vulnerable customers, we have also produced content on more specific issues -- for example, our dementia-friendly guide for insurers, written in association with the Alzheimer's Society.
Closely allied to this is our work on how we treat and support those within the profession who have particular needs. The corporate environment can often be a challenging and stressful place and, like many professions, we must strive to do more to provide an inclusive and supportive environment. The SOCP has approached these challenges from a number of different angles during the past 12 months -- including considering how we achieve inclusive workplaces for disabled people, how we deal with stress at work and how to identify and sensitively deal with mental health issues among our colleagues and peers.
Our good practice guidance is augmented by the selection of digital content we produce for our members. We know the way individuals consume content is changing and we have placed great emphasis on providing learning in different formats. April 2019 saw the launch of the new-look SOCP website, with an emphasis on simplicity, mobile accessibility and optimising the user journey. Members can now choose from webinars, podcasts, video guides and lectures -- giving them the opportunity to learn when, where and how
The SOCP has also delivered a comprehensive programme of stakeholder engagement, including bilateral meetings and roundtables with relevant regulators, trade bodies and professional associations. Through this programme, we are able to amplify key messages from the society, as well as identify cross-cutting issues and opportunities for future collaboration. This initiative will form a key component of our strategy to go beyond our membership in 2020, as we look to effect positive change in the insurance claims sector.
The New Generation Claims Programme has continued its record of producing high-quality research and insight, as 2019 saw the publication of the Riot Claims Guide. Supported by the Home Office, the Met Police and the Association of British Insurers, this landmark guide sets out core procedures and technical guidance for handling compensation claims against local policing bodies for riots damage.
As we begin a new decade, we will continue to expand the society's output. Our work on customer vulnerability will continue to grow and we look forward to taking the high-level guidance of the Financial Conduct Authority's consultation and helping our members translate this to good culture and behaviour in their organisations.
We will also do more to address some of the negative perceptions of claims that some members of the public have. Research shows that those who have made a claim tend to have a more positive view of the claims function than those who do not, which suggests a disconnect between expectation and reality. We must highlight examples of good practice in the sector, but also ensure that we are calling out bad practice wherever we see it.
In addition, our members and the claims sector will face a host of broader issues. From rapidly changing customer expectations and the ever-increasing impact of technology and automation, through to continuing political instability and the hardening market, we will make sure our members are provided with the insight and guidance they need to navigate a challenging business environment.
To find out more, visit www.socp.org.uk or follow the society on Twitter: @ClaimsSociety
GOOD PRACTICE GUIDES
Published by the SOCP so far include:Published by the SOCP so far include:
- Disputed claims
- Dementia-friendly for insurers
- Vulnerable customers
- Regulating CMCs
- Escape of water
- Ghost broking
Matthew Hall is strategy and operations manager of the CII