Wednesday, 7 April 2021
Identifying a customer as vulnerable is not only vitally important to ensure they are treated in a fair and equal way, but it can also impact customers cover and the way an insurer will deal with them.
Within the network, we have recently been made aware of a case where had the customer not been identified as vulnerable and subsequent action taken, a complaint and policy cancellation would have been made by the customer.
Whilst we have removed any names and details, we hope that the following will highlight the importance of identifying vulnerable customers and the difference identifying them can make. We must all be aware of the factors that can make a customer vulnerable.
An Appointed Representative of the network was recently contacted by one of their customers. The insured customer had been notified that the level of commercial cover for their office was going to be reduced, due to continued unoccupancy. The customer was unhappy with this decision, felt that they had been treated unfairly and wanted their case further reviewed with the insurer.
Upon communicating with the customer further, the broker learnt the customer had been shielding since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, making it very hard if not impossible to go into the office. With this information, the broker identified the customer as vulnerable.
The insurer of the policy was notified that the customer was vulnerable, alongside some further information about the office for which the cover was due to be downgraded. After receiving this further information, the insurer reconsidered their stance on the policy and subsequently, the level of cover was not reduced. Because of these actions, a complaint was not made, the policy was not cancelled, and the vulnerable customer was treated fairly.
This is just one example of how important it is to be able to recognise a customer as vulnerable.
For more information about identifying vulnerable customers and ensuring they are treated fairly, please see the FCA guidance here
For TEn ARs, if you have any questions or concerns regarding vulnerable customers, please do not hesitate to contact your BIDM who will be more than happy to assist.
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