Risk managers have backed a willingness-to-pay index to be extended to reinsurers eventually

Risk managers overwhelmingly support the idea of a willingness-to-pay index for insurers, according to a survey of Airmic members published at the association’s annual conference.

Asked whether they backed the idea, 69% replied yes with just 12% against the initiative.

Incoming chairman Colin Campbell reaffirmed his commitment to the project at the launch of the project today.

“For risk managers, willingness-to-pay is as important, if not more important, than the ability to pay. There are rumours – and that may be all they are – that some companies are better than others in this respect. We seek hard evidence and we expect that our efforts will ultimately help to drive up standards.”

The proposed index will look at various themes including impartiality, policy wordings, speed/timing of payments and evaluation. However Campbell emphasised that the scheme was not designed to be a “name and shame” process, although he did admit that “no doubt some insurers will feel uncomfortable with the index.”

Alan Fleming, incoming executive director of Airmic, added that the index will eventually be extended into the reinsurance arena as well. “Given the importance of this scheme, it is inevitable that the index will be extended eventually to include those organisations that reinsure insurance companies.”

Technical director at Airmic, Paul Hopkin, has completed preliminary work on creating an index although Campbell could not confirm a definite release date. “There is no strict timetable for the release of our findings,” he said. “We aim to have key stage deliverables though throughout the year.”