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Modern Claims Awards 2024: S&G Response in Conversation with Hannah Gurga


Modern Claims Awards 2024: S&G Response in Conversation with Hannah Gurga

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Ahead of the Modern Claims Awards 2024, Andy Whatmough – Managing Director of headline sponsor, S&G Response – sat down with Hannah Gurga, Director General at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), to discuss current ABI activities, the forthcoming ABI Conference, and the intricacies of her role as Chair Judge back in 2023.


Q. Hi Hannah! It’s great to sit down and speak with you as a former Chair Judge of the Modern Claims Awards!

Let’s start by talking about the forthcoming ABI Conference. What can we expect from 2024’s event? What are the key topics/themes of the conference this year, and what speakers have been confirmed so far?

A. I am excited about the 2024 Conference and the opportunity it brings to showcase the excellent work that our industry is doing. This year we’re holding our flagship event at the QEII Centre in the heart of Westminster.

We have a fantastic line up of keynote speakers including Businesswoman, Broadcaster and Author Mary Portas OBE, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Bim Afolami MP, the Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury Tulip Siddiq MP, stand-up comedian Richard Herring, and broadcasters Steph McGovern and Robert Peston.

I’m also looking forward to chairing a session on the Mansion House reforms for pensions. This is one of a number of breakout sessions which will cover key issues including Artificial Intelligence, the role of data in health insurance, empowering customers to make good decisions, Consumer Duty and Financial Inclusion.

As many in our sector will recognise, this is our flagship event, and this year we’re going even bigger and better. It will be a great opportunity for people to network with key industry figures, learning more about the work that we are doing and discussing how we planning to address the big challenges ahead.


Q. How is the ABI helping SME’s in 2024?

A. You may have already seen that last September, the ABI launched a Cyber Safety Tool for SMEs. This is designed to help businesses protect themselves from the growing risk of cybercrime.

The Tool asks a small number of questions to the business owner in order to assess potential cyber security weaknesses, and produces a bespoke set of recommendations to fix any identified flaws. We’re offering the Tool for any interested party to white-label, in order to disseminate good cyber practice to as many SMEs as possible.

We’re really pleased with the reach of the Tool so far, with over 10,000 SMEs engaging with it, and over the course of 2024 we will continue to push this out further to ensure that it can benefit as many businesses as possible.


Q. What about assistance for the ABI’s members as the cost-of-living crisis persists? What measures have the ABI put in place to support?

A. Economic factors that drove up inflation and created a cost-of-living crisis have also impacted the cost of settling claims, and therefore premium prices.

This has been difficult for members to navigate. They’re stuck between pricing prudently to reflect rising costs, and customer dissatisfaction with price rises, which impacts our industry’s reputation.

To help, we’ve produced consumer materials across our channels to better explain how insurance works – including on-site FAQs and digital ads such as our ‘Dad Comes Home’ animation. At the same time, we’ve been using our collected industry data to explain to the media why the cost of claims has risen, and how this is impacting premiums.

We also have further plans to help, which we will be announcing at our Conference.


Q. How will the ABI support their members in light of new industry regulations, ie. the new Consumer Duty?

A. We have already been proactively supporting our members in the context of new industry regulations, in particular the Consumer Duty.

Over the last year, we have supported members up to and during the implementation of the FCA’s Consumer Duty by liaising closely with the regulators, hosting workshops, and maintaining a regular forum for members to exchange information and validate their own approaches.

This engagement is continuing through 2024, as the practical working of Consumer Duty continues to take shape.


Q. As a former Chair Judge at the Modern Claims Awards, what did you find most illuminating about this process, and how did you get the most out of the role?

A. It was an honour to be Chair Judge at the Modern Claims Awards! What I enjoyed most throughout this process was learning more about the incredible achievements of people within our sector. While we may see the headline outcomes, it was a privilege to have the opportunity to get a greater insight into the individuals and teams who have been driving these successes.

There were some remarkable achievements, and I loved playing a part in making sure that those who are doing outstanding work for our sector receive the recognition that they deserve.


Q. What advice do you have for the 2024 winners and shortlisted firms, and what do you think should be their key priorities in the year ahead?

A. I think that my advice to the winners and those shortlisted is to take pride and encouragement from it. Winning awards is not the driving factor for the incredible contributions that they are making, but it demonstrates that we as a sector recognise and appreciate their work. They should embrace that, but also see it as inspiration for future achievements.


The ABI’s flagship Annual Conference is being held at the QEII Centre in the heart of Westminster on 27th February 2024.