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April 2017 update

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Thursday 27th April 2017 | By ma-admin

April 2017 update

Spring news

This spring we bring good news on some award nominations for MA Group. We have also announced Supplier of Q1 2017 and we have published our latest opinion piece on vulnerable customers. We also bring news of the latest developments at TrustMark.

TrustMark update

TrustMark continues to go from strength to strength with its latest initiative with Trading Standards. MA Assist is an Approved Scheme Operator for TrustMark and worked with Northamptonshire Council Trading Standards in 2015 to develop Primary Authority advice on consumer rights. So we are thrilled to see that TrustMark has now developed a Trading Standards Approved scheme – an accreditation that tells potential customers that the tradesperson not only complies with TrustMark’s Government-endorsed Standards for quality of workmanship, but they also understand fair trading practices and have in place all the correct documentation and insurances.

For the first time local authorities across the country can work together to deliver this scheme.  It will give tradespeople further credibility that they are reputable and have a solid trading history, whilst giving their customer the reassurance and confidence that they have been thoroughly checked by both Trading Standards and TrustMark and have been approved to use this accreditation.

To join the scheme, firms will need to be TrustMark registered and then they will be able to apply to TrustMark to complete the necessary checks in order to gain the approved accreditation.  TrustMark will carry out the DBS Checks and Trading Standards will do the Intelligence Checks.  Subject to passing these safeguards, the firm will then be accredited with trading standards approved status.  For those firms who attain the Trading Standards approval, they will also get additional business support with exclusive access to assured advice on consumer law, including unfair contract terms, cancellations rights and drafting invoices.   The scheme is currently being piloted by TrustMark Ambassadors across different key trades and will be rolled out on a national level during 2017.

We hope this will be of interest to all of our TrustMark accredited suppliers. For further information or to sign up to the Trading Standards Approved scheme, visit or email or telephone 0333 555 0352.

Shortlisted for awards

We are delighted to be short listed as finalists in the Modern Claims Awards and the Insurance Times Claims Excellence Awards.

In the Modern Claims Awards MA Group has been shortlisted for the Supporting the Industry Award and Innovation of the Year Award for our Truly Customer Focused service. Andy Dakin from Virtus Validations has been short listed for the Rising Star Award. The winners were announced on 27th April at the Awards Dinner in Leeds, and unfortunately we didn’t win.

For the Insurance Times Claims Excellence Awards MA Group has been short listed for Customer Care Initiative of the Year, again for our Truly Customer Focused service.

We have to do a presentation at the end of April and then the winners are announced at the Awards Dinner on 18th May in London. So fingers and toes are crossed here at MA Group, and we hope to bring you some good news for at least one of these awards in the next newsletter. Wish us luck!

Supplier of Q1 2017

Supplier of the first quarter this year is Cipher UK. Cipher UK have had a new team in place for a few months now, and they are really starting to make an impact on the business. With investment in new systems and a new, experienced and well-qualified team, Cipher UK is moving quickly up the rankings of the MA Assist supply chain.

The Cipher UK team has worked hard with the MA Assist network team to develop their services and improve their performance on the network. We have had some great feedback from customers and so wanted to recognise Cipher UK’s hard work and effort. Well done Cipher UK.

Vulnerable customers

In March 2017 Insurance Age launched its Insurance Cares campaign. Endorsed by the CII, this campaign has been designed as a platform for brokers and insurers to share knowledge and practical experiences about how they have helped customers that need extra assistance. It aims to find ways of identifying vulnerable customers and determining what more needs to be done to support and protect vulnerable customers. Regulators are increasingly focusing on the treatment of vulnerable customers and the FOS considers vulnerability in its evaluations of situations. So it is clearly in the interests of everyone that the insurance industry – insurers, loss adjusters, surveyors, third party providers and outsourced claims handlers – gets better at dealing with vulnerable customers.

Our latest discussion paper looks at how the property claims industry is looking after vulnerable customers, what the MA Group is doing to help and where we think improvements can be made.

You can read the whole article on the MA Assist website. MA Group and its suppliers consistently achieve NPS scores of 70% or more. We can deliver a great service no matter which stage of the claim we are involved in, and have many years of experience in dealing with vulnerable customers. If you would like to know more about how we can help please get in touch.

Fundraising efforts

Our fund-raising continues for the Oxford Transplant Foundation. This month we held an Easter Egg raffle and a sweep stake on the Grand National raising another £155 for this great cause, bringing the total raised in the office to £400.

There are only six weeks to go until the Cateran Yomp. Patrick Howard, Geof Loe and Dan Ashton hope to raise £2,000 by walking 54 miles in less than 24 hours in the Cairngorms. They are training hard and need your support to keep them going. Please go to to make a donation. Any donation will be most welcome, no matter how small.

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