Article date: 25 August 2009
The credit crunch has resulted in an increase in the number of customers lapsing or reducing their insurance cover, according to brokers responding to Aviva’s recession survey.*
In response, Aviva has produced a practical guide to the recession to provide brokers with valuable hints and tips on how to weather the recession and lessen its impact on customers.
“In order to mitigate the effects of the recession, brokers must get closer to their customers and understand the challenges they are facing, paying particular attention to customers with businesses in sectors under most stress such as the automotive industry, construction and retail,” warns Janice Deakin, corporate sales director at Aviva.
“With customers increasing their propensity to switch, and a higher demand for voluntary excesses and/or reduced cover, brokers with the greatest customer knowledge will be best placed to adapt services and products to meet clients’ changing needs. The stronger the relationship with insurers, the more likely a broker is to hang on to his customer.
“There are a number of likely impacts as a result of the downturn in the economy. Fraud, which according to the ABI, now costs the UK market £1.9bn, is continuing to grow and we expect to see an increase in arson and theft claims, as well as an overall rise in genuine claims as businesses are less likely to absorb smaller claims,” says Deakin.
“Unoccupied buildings will also present a threat to customers. Buildings under construction or renovation may become mothballed, parts of buildings being unused are at greater risk of flooding and there is potential damage from arson or malicious damage.
“Brokers must encourage customers to put risk reduction procedures in place, such as increased property security, and conduct regular site inspections as situations can change rapidly.
“They should also make sure a customer has adequate sums insured, including Business Interruption cover, and ensure they have an up to date business continuity plan in place.
“But it is not all doom and gloom – some sectors have been fairly resilient, with some even enjoying new growth. In difficult times, people still like to treat themselves so businesses associated with UK tourism, takeaway outlets – even chocolate-making – are succeeding, despite the economic climate!”
A copy of "Your Practical Guide to Recession" can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information, please contact:
Jo Rosenberg at Staniforth on 0161 919 8014 /07973 143215 or Sally Leeman at Aviva’s UK Insurance press office on 01603 684225/ 07789 270677.
Notes to editors:
* Online survey carried out by Aviva May 2009. 92% of 250 brokers questioned said they had seen an increase in the number of customers lapsing their insurance and 85% said they had seen an increase in the numbers of customers reducing their insurance.
Aviva, the international savings, investments and insurance group, is the world’s fifth largest insurance group, serving 50 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
In the UK, Aviva is a leading provider of life, pensions, investment, general insurance and health products to more than 20 million customers. We also provide roadside assistance through RAC. Products are distributed through a number of channels including IFAs, brokers, corporate partners and direct to customers via the internet.
Aviva's UK Insurance business has a market share of around 15%, making it the largest general insurer in the UK. The business is focused on insurance for individuals and small businesses.
Aviva's life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 12% and a top three position in its key markets of savings, protection, and annuities.
Aviva’s news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.