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May 2021

UK: Barriers for insurance professionals to help vulnerable clients

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Apr 2021

Insurance professionals face several barriers when they try to support customers in vulnerable circumstances, according to a new survey by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
An online poll of 165 CII members showed the biggest barrier professionals face when trying to assist consumers in vulnerable circumstances was being able to openly discuss the nature of the individual’s vulnerability with them.
The CII survey found that almost one in five insurance professionals struggle to identify the customer’s vulnerability.
In the survey conducted in February 2021 three out of 10 insurance professionals said they found it hard to understand the needs of consumers in vulnerable circumstances.
Being able to assess the cognition was identified as the biggest barrier to assisting clients in vulnerable circumstances by 15% of the insurance professionals.
The CII asked members on how they assist clients with vulnerability as this remains an 
important focus for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of UK. The FCA is likely to finalise guidance on how firms should treat vulnerable customers very soon.
CII chief membership officer and chair of the financial vulnerability task force Keith Richards said, “It is vital that as insurance professionals we all develop a heightened awareness of the indicators of vulnerability and have the knowledge, skills and processes in place to enable appropriate and professional safeguarding and support.
“Most of us will be vulnerable at some stage in our lives.
It is vitally important that we increase our conscious awareness and understand the complexities and uniqueness of customers in vulnerable circumstances and how it impacts on them if we are to support them in the most appropriate way.” M 
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