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November 2017 update

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Monday 27th November 2017 | By ma-admin

November 2017 update

The end of another busy year

This is our last newsletter for 2017 and it seems unbelievable that we are nearly at the end of 2017. It has been quite a year for us – we launched Scoper and HIRE Desktop, Virtus has taken off, we held another successful Charity Golf Day and Dinner (raising £12,500 for the Oxford Transplant Foundation and the Oxford Young Adult Clinic), launched NHCC and we have been nominated for several awards. Phew! We are looking forward to 2018 and are excited about what the new year will bring. Watch this space!

I Love Claims Focus Group

On 14th November we took part in and sponsored the latest I Love Claims Focus Group.  The theme this time was “Customer service in insurance – What do we need to be better?”

Recently published market research surveys tell us that banks are outperforming insurers in customer service and customers expect various tools of communication including apps etc. and don’t believe that insurers can lead the way in this area.  The Focus Group considered how the insurance industry can recognise and identify how to move forward and where the drive to do so would come from. It also debated what customer service in the claims world should look like, how we can offer more than just a claims service and how we can assist vulnerable customers.

It was an interesting day for everyone who attended and we will bring you the results and findings from this Focus Group later.

Advent calendar

This December we are running an online advent calendar competition. Everyone who takes part will be entered into a daily prize draw to win a rather nice bottle of wine, so make sure you check out the calendar every day.

All you have to do is go to the advent calendar at from 1st December and each day there will be a fun Christmas multiple choice question for you to answer. Test your knowledge about MA Group and its senior staff and discover some fun facts about Christmas in the world of property insurance. Everyone who answers a question will be put into the prize draw for that day. Good luck and enjoy!

Staff news

As many of you know, Melissa Bridges will soon be off on maternity leave to have her second child. We wish her well and look forward to seeing all the baby photos.

Poppy Wakefield has joined MA Assist as National Account Manager and will be holding the fort while Melissa is away. Poppy has previously worked for the MA Group in various roles, and so has a good knowledge and understanding of the group and its clients. Welcome back Poppy.

Supporting Pledge video

We have made a video about our Supporting Pledge which you can view at

The video explains all about our Supporting Pledge for vulnerable customers and how MA Assist and our contractor Frank Rogers helped a vulnerable older lady called Margaret during a recent insurance claim.

At MA Group we believe that anyone can be vulnerable when making a property claim, even though they may not feel vulnerable. A property claim is often a stressful process that involves a lot of inconvenience and uncertainty. The long and complicated supply chains can make it unnecessarily stressful and inconvenient and we find that many home owners simply do not understand the process and the roles of all the parties involved. So we approach every claim with the assumption that the customer is vulnerable. To find out more click here.

Putting our money where our mouth is

We have recently issued a new opinion piece which you can read at It follows on from the three part series that we issued in 2015 on the challenges facing the industry in relation to Schedules of Rates (SoRs) and Scoping. In Part 1 of this series we discussed the issues that the property insurance industry faces with the plethora of Schedules of Rates (SoRs) it has created.  In Part 2 we turned our attention to the challenges that the claim validation scoping and surveying models are creating and what this means for the future of our industry. We also considered the impact of the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 and how it affects the industry. And in Part 3 we looked at the feedback we had for Parts 1 and 2 and talked about how the future should look.

Since then the debate has continued (recently there was a lot of debate on social media about SoRs) and the MA Group has introduced new products and services designed to address the issues we raised in 2015. All of our investments in new products, technology and services have been carried out with the Primary Authority advice in mind as well as the feedback we have received from customers through our NPS and detractors process. We have invested in:

  • MA Assist Price Book (with help from The National Schedule of Rates) – to address the issues around SoRs.
  • Scoper – technology that enables the surveyor to deliver a great service that complies with consumer rights laws.
  • Virtus Validations – an independent surveying and validation business with the customer at the heart of the claims process.
  • HIRE – a self-service tool for those customers who wish to engage with their insurer through a website or app when making a claim.
  • HIRE Desktop – a desktop validation tool that can be used by non-technical claims handlers to efficiently process a claim or cash settlement in a fair and responsive way, especially during surge.

Monthly updates

Every month I send out these updates to clients, suppliers and staff, so I hope you have found this interesting and informative. We won’t be sending out an update in December, but normal service will be resumed in January. I would like t wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous and Happy New Year.

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