Category Archives: Insights

Increasing care provision would allow more family carers to work, boosting the economy according to report

A report by Cass Business School commissioned by Carers UK states that a fundamental shift’ in the adult care system would not only help to support struggling families, but would also add significant value to the UK gross domestic product (GDP).

Carers UK commissioned the report to examine the challenges families are facing and to give an independent view on how to improve the lives of family carers.

Leslie Mayhew who wrote the report believes that before the government can reform the current care system, they must understand ‘the economic costs of failures in care’.

More than half of the UK’s 6.4 million family carers attempt to juggle the demands of caring for a disabled or elderly relative whilst maintaining a job. According to the report, if external care was provided, these people would be able to work full-time, contributing approximately £47,800 to the GDP each year.

Chief executive of Carers UK, Helena Herklots said: ‘Too often the debate around reform of care for older and disabled people is framed as a drain on public finances. It is time we recognised that helping families to juggle work and care and stimulating a new generation of care services can act as an engine for economic growth.’

Car insurance prices ‘have fallen 10.3% in past year’

A report by Tower Watson and price comparison site Confused.com has found that car insurance premiums dropped an average of 5.1% in the UK over the last quarter, meaning that rates have fallen by a total of 10.3% since September 2011.

The drop is the biggest since the index began five years ago. Duncan Anderson of  Towers Watson, said: ‘Despite this being the fifth successive quarter of flat or falling rates for comprehensive cover, I think the current scale of the annual and quarterly decreases will – and probably should – cause some pause for thought in the insurance industry.’

The survey also found that the largest decrease in rates was seen by young female drivers, suggesting that insurers are attempting to minimise the impact of the future price increases that will affect many women once the new legislation regarding gender pricing comes into effect on December 21st.

“We hear a lot in the media about high insurance premiums, particularly with the price increases scheduled for women drivers, so it is interesting to see that prices have actually fallen over the past 12 months,” comments Dr Geraldine Kaye of GAAPS Actuarial.

Survey looks at UK life and pension choices for new generation of customers.

Research by Cable&Wireless Worldwide has found that 90% of consumers express some dissatisfaction with the methods of communications from UK financial services providers.

Almost half would like more comprehensive websites which include video explanations and calculators, and17% of those asked wanted an instant message service whilst using the site. With younger consumers looking for more interactivity from providers, insurance providers need to respond to accommodate these needs or risk alienating future customers.

Nicola Dicks, director, General Insurance, Life & Pensions at Cable & Wireless Worldwide comments “Running multiple communication channels is simply not good enough if the customer experience is poor and disjointed, that’s why it’s vital for insurance providers to improve existing communication channels before rushing to invest in new ones. To engage with and retain their customers, insurers should be providing the right information and advice at first point of contact, whatever method that is.”

“Whilst at the moment technology leadership is strongest amongst younger customers, communications requirements will continue to shift as generations move through different life stages. Insurers therefore need to make sure they get their communication channels right–or they could find themselves restricted to a diminishing segment. Improving communications infrastructure will have a fundamental role to play in delivering the transformation required.”

Male drivers ‘more likely to use telematics for insurance’

A poll into the use of telematics by drivers has found that more male drivers are willing to have their vehicle monitored for insurance purposes than women.

The survey found that 60% of men would be interested in using a device compared to only 40% of women. This is despite the ruling that insurers will no longer be able to use gender to assess insurance rates, causing women’s insurances prices to rise this December.

Duncan Anderson, global head of property, casualty insurance pricing and product management at Towers Watson said: ‘With the ban on the use of gender in setting insurance prices from December 21, young female drivers could materially benefit from the use of telematics.”

44% of all drivers identified insurance discounts as the most attractive benefit of using a telematic device.

Rating outlook for UK life firms stable, says Fitch

The rating outlook for the UK life assurance sector remains stable, according to a new report by statistical rating organisation Fitch.

Fitch’s latest outlook assumes a weak economic recovery, with modest GDP growth. It is yet to account for shocks to the economy, but can be updated if unexpected events were to occur.

Fitch’s insurance team senior director David Prowse said: “In contrast to several European insurers, most UK life insurers have negligible direct exposure to the sovereign debt of Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain – typically less than 5% of shareholders’ equity.”

Research highlights poor pension knowledge – and advice is more important than ever

The 2012 Workplace Pensions Report has revealed that 52% of all employees have no knowledge of the new auto enrolment legislation which will affect 19 million workers.

The new reform will be implemented in October 2012 and will then be rolled out over the next five years in order to raise awareness.  The Department for Work and Pension will be putting out a national campaign later this month. The new legislation will see all qualifying workers enrolled in a workplace pension saving scheme – unless they opt-out.

The report found that 74% of respondents believed that their employer should provide information about retirement planning. Scottish Widows said the services of an expert adviser “would help increase education and understanding of savings, and help employees plan better for their retirement.”

Interim Gaaps celebrates 10 year anniversary

Interim Gaaps A recruiter specialising in the financial services market has celebrated its 10th anniversary this month (August). Interim GAAPS invited clients and members of staff as well as their pool of interim managers to join in the celebration which was held on Wednesday 1st August at its central London offices.

The founder of the company Dr Geraldine Kaye was one of the first women to qualify as an actuary, and is also MD of its parent company GAAPS International which specialises in actuarial recruitment. She went on to found Interim GAAPS, with the specific aim of providing interim management solutions. Catering exclusively for the financial services market, the company sources a range of candidates in addition to its traditional actuarial base.

The majority of the company’s staff  have a background within financial services, ensuring that they understand the needs of both the candidates and the employers. By using its established network of contacts throughout the industry, Interim GAAPS has helped many financial sector companies with their short term management solutions for the marketing, compliance and solvency sectors amongst others.

“Interim managers can make a vital difference to businesses,” comments Dr Kaye. “By using their experience to guide departments or whole companies through specific periods until a full time manager is appointed, their role is often more important than people realise.”

Chaim Coutts, executive at Interim GAAPS adds, “It was great to see so many familiar faces to join us in celebrating our 10 years in business. I am very proud of what we have accomplished over this period and look forward to the next decade.”

The event took place at Interim GAAPS Bevis Marks office in Central London.