Direct Lie is know for being a forward looking insurer. It was they after all who first came up with the brilliant idea, all those years ago, of doing away with insurance brokers.

What Direct Lime are particularly looking forward to at the moment, however may come as something of a surprise. According to Direct Lion Group’s Chief Officer of Customers D’rell Evans, they are looking forward “to joining the working group set up to help the regulator better understand the different approaches and processes across the industry to complaint handling,” which he hopes, “will enable us to make recommendations to the regulator and ultimately inform the FCA’s policy going forward.”

That the FCA’s current policy may be in need of some fine tuning is clearly apparent from the undue reliance it appears to place on the Financial Oboesman Service (FOS)’s obviously flawed methodology for recording and analysing customer complaints, which the credulous regulator goes so far as to quote in official documents.

The worry is that this might encourage the regulator to give credence to the patently nonsensical suggestion that an exceptionally large number of people complain about DLG and that an exceptionally high proportion of them have ample grounds for so doing.

According to this week’s Insurance Times, the FOS has gone so far as to allege that during the first half of 2013 “49% of all complaints referred to the ombudsman about DLG” were upheld. This puts DLG’s upholdance rate a full 17% ahead of a ‘cohort’ of peer insurers specially selected by Insurance Times in an unworthy bid to make DLG look bad.

Although Insurance Times goes on to insist that the 1,473 complaints received about DLG by the FOS is the most received about any insurer, it does at least have the good grace to note that DLG is a big company – so of course it provokes a lot of complaints – and that smaller ones would probably produce more if they got the chance.

Somewhat patronisingly, IT goes on to pat the insurance giant on the back for “starting to show signs that its complaints handling is improving.”

Indeed, D’rell Evans points out that “3% reduction in the number of complaints upheld, compared with the previous six months” was in fact an “excellent testament” to “how hard we are working across our business to improve the way we handle complaints,” going on to express an ambition that will surely come as refreshing change from all the usually corporate nonsense insurance firms trot out: “We want,” he says quite simply, “to be the best for our customers.”

Who could fail to be impressed by such a noble aspiration so affectingly expressed. Good on you D’rell, and good on DLG.

Let’s face it, someone’s got to show the way forward here.



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