Monday, 16 May 2016
Highlights, challenges, opportunities and successes
Fixed fees, virtual courts plus new ways to address issues regarding sales, complaints and compliance are just some of the ‘what-if’ scenarios we have been investigating. A professional organisation can counter the negatives and turn them into positives despite the energies expended on seemingly unceasing consultations and compliance. The latest FCA requirement is for transparency and engagement on renewal letters, showing last year’s renewal premium plus a reminder for loyal customers to shop around.
ARAG continues to strive for exemplary service and in addition to accolades from the industry has just received commendation as an ‘outstanding’ place to work in a study of UK businesses published in the Sunday Times.
ARAG keeps on scoring, despite the goalposts being moved on a regular basis. As we get ever-closer to our tenth anniversary in September we intend to maintain our focus, using innovation to meet regulatory changes. We have been heavily involved in consultation with government over a variety of issues facing the legal world, the sales journey for consumers, transparency, recovery of fees and so on. Whatever the timescale, more fixed fees are on the horizon and we have a number of projects in progress looking at the various options.
Currently we are also advising on the start-up of a new ARAG operation in Canada where the legal system and culture is broadly similar to that of the UK, and at home we have introduced some novel approaches to the ATE system in terms of efficiencies and underwriting.
Our partners need to know that they are also working alongside a solid business, so I am delighted to say that our provisional results for 2015 show a significant increase in premium under management to counter the negative eff ects of the post-LASPOA trading environment. We will once again be returning a substantial dividend to our parent company.
Another significant change is that a founding member of the ARAG UK team, Head of Claims Paul Upton, is moving on to the sun and sea of the Algarve. Paul must be credited with formulating and shaping the claims strategy that has put the customer at the heart of our organisation. His departure can also be viewed as an opportunity to develop some fresh ideas and he will remain with us on a consultancy basis.
On a final note from me, it is perhaps an appropriate time to draw attention to the evolution of the ARAG logo; this, from Summer 2016, will no longer feature the crossed swords. Nevertheless, ARAG UK is very much an industry voice and we continue to maintain the right of access to justice for all our policyholders.