Insurance, overall, has a poor reputation. Whether people perceive that they pay large premiums and get nothing back from them, or that greedy insurers do their best to avoid claims or minimise payments wherever possible. I would suggest that this reputation is well deserved when it comes to insurance providers in the social care sector. Insurance premium have been high in comparison to other sectors, cover has not been generous and providers have not been known to be generous or fast in their insurance settlements.
So why is this? There are many reasons, but the overarching one is a lack of understanding from the insurance market. This lack of understanding has led to a lack of support for the sector. As we all know a lack of competition does not drive forward innovation and drive down costs. The industry is growing at a phenomenal rate and yet the market has not been responding.
So how to bring about change? The only way for the industry to shift is for experts to influence from the inside. When I joined the industry 20 years ago my background was as a carer. To this day I am an advocate for this individual and arrange care for family members. I soon merged my interests of insurance and social care and specialised in helping care providers with their insurance needs. I then discovered the lack of choice and product. Since then I have dedicated my career to influencing change for the benefit of my clients – launching more competitive insurance schemes, introducing innovative covers and bringing new insurers to the sector. Whilst I am proud of my achievements, there is still much more to do and I need the help of the sector to do it.
So what can you do to help influence change in the market? There are a few things that people in the care sector can do to improve the market. Examples include:
• Reward the right providers – there are well known insurance providers that offer insurance that doesn’t meet all of the needs of providers. I often hear providers say that they would meet the shortfall themselves in the event of a claim. This goes against the whole idea of purchasing insurance and is not rewarding the insurers doing the right job (and therefore motivating their long term involvement).
• Share your ideas and frustrations – innovation most often comes from those that are disappointed in the products on the market not meeting their needs. Without you sharing your ideas on improvements we can never
• Talk to your colleagues – had a good experience with insurance? Tell someone else about it! Recommend the best. Let’s lead the charge for positivity in the market and drive change together.
Glenn Trafford is a Risk Manager with InsureWithCare, a specialist provider of insurance and risk management solutions to care providers.