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About Me

40 years in insurance and 20 years specialising in conduct and customer service. Find out more about me. 

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See the courses I have designed and try a free taster. Courses cover a variety of insurance conduct topics.

Conduct Comment

News views and articles from Conduct Matters Ltd.

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  • Why my clock stopped

    Why my clock stopped

    16th February 2021

    Last week my clock stopped. I had bought it a few years ago and it was ideal for my yoga studio (yes I teach yoga as well as run Conduct Matters) so I was very frustrated.  I was annoyed and told my husband I would have to look for a new one. Then he pointed out that maybe it just needed a new battery. He was right my clock just needed a little boost, some new energy and now it's back to full health.  I had made the assumption that because it wasn't working the problem was terminal. I am seeing this all around at the moment. The impact of Covid-19 is really bringing us down. People are losing their jobs and those still in work are finding it hard going, often working longer hours and/or juggling round home schooling. It feels so draining that we can feel as if we are sinking deeper and deeper into a hole. But I have realised that just like my clock we can all find something to give us a boost. Whether it's a zoom call with the family, an online yoga class or a walk in...

  • When is a complaint a complaint?

    When is a complaint a complaint?

    22nd December 2020

    Do you struggle to identify a complaint? The FCA rules are fairly clear and essentially takes the same approach as many other industries with the essential element being an “expression of dissatisfaction”. I remember training a motor claims team in complaint recognition where (at the start...

  • It's December so time to panic buy

    It's December so time to panic buy

    14th December 2020

    It’s that time of year again isn’t it? We start to think about what we are supposed to have ready for Christmas and then run out to get everything. The temptation is to buy what we see and then end up with loads of stuff we don’t need and probably don’t even like! As a family, we opt for a...

  • The four most important things to do when dealing with complaints

    The four most important things to do when dealing with complaints

    30th November 2020

    Complaints handling rules look complex. There are rules on eligibility, timeliness, escalation, and the structure of your response. But really there are only four essentials every complaint handler needs to do (plus of course all the regulatory requirements regarding timeliness and...

  • The janitor who helped put a man on the moon

    The janitor who helped put a man on the moon

    16th November 2020

    Do you know what the purpose of your job is? I mean really know? Not just that you are there to answer the phones or produce management information. It’s a tricky question for many. We each usually have a job description and go through an annual review process where performance is measured...

  • Writing policies and settling claims – some lessons for all of us from the recent BI court case

    Writing policies and settling claims – some lessons for all of us from the recent BI court case

    30th October 2020

    Earlier this year, the FCA and some insurers went to court for a decision on whether the business interruption cover provided by these insurers protected their customers from Covid-19  losses. Much has been written about the decision (subject to appeal at the time of writing) but I...

  • Co-working - the new normal

    Co-working - the new normal

    21st October 2020

    One element of running my own business that I love is the flexibility of where I choose to work. I have a home office, sometimes I work in my kitchen or (in the summer) in the garden. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, I would often join other local business owners to work together in a local café. ...

  • The importance of understanding your customer experience

    The importance of understanding your customer experience

    6th October 2020

    When you design products do you think about it from the perspective of your customers?  It's not just a regulatory requirement but it's also a commercial necessity. If you understand your customers then it's easier to find them, connect to them and provide them with a service that delights...

  • Getting the most from the 15 hours required learning

    Getting the most from the 15 hours required learning

    14th September 2020

    How are you doing with the new(ish) Insurance Distribution Directive requirements documented by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to complete at least 15 hours of training each year? Have you been struggling to find courses that interest you. Is it becoming a tick box exercise?  It...

  • What goes into creating courses?

    What goes into creating courses?

    10th September 2020

    It can take about 200 hours to develop an insurance e-learning course, sometimes up to 700 hours for the more technical and in-depth courses. This is part of the reason why I decided to help small businesses with their conduct and customer service training.  Small and medium-sized firms...

  • Wedding worries and honeymoon blues

    Wedding worries and honeymoon blues

    1st September 2020

    Your wedding day is often said to be the happiest day of your life. Well it's been a struggle for engaged couples wanting to get married this year.  There are around 250,000 weddings in the UK each year (according to the Office of National Statistics) and most of those are during the summer...

  • Why does conduct matter?

    Why does conduct matter?

    24th August 2020

    Do you ever wonder why good conduct matters? It's not just about regulation. It's something I look at in my elearning courses and so I thought it was worth sharing my thoughts. ReputationSo much is shared on the internet. If people are unhappy, they talk about it on Twitter and post bad reviews....

  • Taking the frustration out of claims and complaints

    Taking the frustration out of claims and complaints

    10th August 2020

    Does this look like a familiar letter to you? Sadly, many travel insurers will have received these letters. Creating even more work and unhappy customers. Dear [undisclosed insurer], I have tried to contact you on numerous occasions, to try and make a claim on my insurance. I was due to go and...

  • Out of office until 2021?

    Out of office until 2021?

    3rd August 2020

    Many of my friends working in insurance are having conversations with their employers about when they will be returning to their offices. Most aren't in a hurry to get back to the daily grind of a 2 hour commute and a rushed sandwich at the desk lunch hour. Returning home to dinner and then...

  • Millions of vulnerable customers need our support

    Millions of vulnerable customers need our support

    14th July 2020

    Did you know there are millions of people in the UK who are vulnerable?  Between March 2018 and April 2019 the Trussell Trust gave out more than 1.6million emergency food parcels. This was a 19% increase on the previous year and over half a million of those went to children.  Does...

  • Post lockdown and the art of being flexible

    Post lockdown and the art of being flexible

    13th July 2020

    I remember leaving university, armed with a steadfast conviction that I didn’t want to pursue a career in law. Numbers were never my thing, so that ruled out Accountancy too. But the insurance industry looked interesting! As a potential career for life, it appealed to my unusually risk averse 21...

  • NEWS: Compliance consultant and conduct e-learning provider Conduct Matters expands its team

    NEWS: Compliance consultant and conduct e-learning provider Conduct Matters expands its team

    13th July 2020

    Insurance Conduct e-learning and business support company, Conduct Matters, today announced it is expanding its team and will be joined by Christine Lewis. Christine has 21 years insurance dispute resolution expertise at the Insurance Ombudsman Bureau and at the Financial Ombudsman Service. She is...

  • What does the future of insurance look like?

    What does the future of insurance look like?

    22nd June 2020

    I think we are all starting to wonder about the future of insurance. In recent years it has evolved to a point where there is less face-to-face contact and more automation.  People often buy cover direct without thinking about whether the cover is best for them. So many people rely on the...

  • How can we avoid the 11 hour queue?

    How can we avoid the 11 hour queue?

    8th June 2020

    Call centre challenges which insurance companies, large and small, faced during the early weeks of the pandemic are still being felt today. Some have dealt with the situation making sure staff and customers have been valued and listened to, some have really struggled. “I have spent 11 hours...

  • Ever wondered how much time and money stress testing could save your business?

    Ever wondered how much time and money stress testing could save your business?

    18th May 2020

    When I train people on designing services, I often find they don’t understand what is meant by “stress testing”. Well, we are seeing a great example of the value of stress testing in our daily lives right now! Put simply stress testing means looking at how you will continue to provide service...

  • NEWS: Conduct Matters invest in courses to help small firms learn from COVID-19 pandemic experience

    NEWS: Conduct Matters invest in courses to help small firms learn from COVID-19 pandemic experience

    13th May 2020

    Conduct Matters, has injected immediate additional investment into the development of conduct and customer service e-learning courses this spring. The move is hoped to help small and medium-sized insurance firms stay compliant in turbulent times but also embrace learnings from the pandemic. The...

  • Overseeing your service outsourcers

    Overseeing your service outsourcers

    5th May 2020

    One of the most commonly asked questions I get is ‘how should I oversee the conduct elements of my service outsourcers?’ This is a great question and one I want to look at now for a moment.  Whether they sell your policies or provide services, such as claims or complaints, you need to...

  • Time to pause

    Time to pause

    26th April 2020

    I’m a big fan of teaching people to fish rather than serving the answer on a plate. For that reason, I love helping people with their learning. It’s so great when students start asking questions and digging into how and why we do what we do. I love the idea of a blended learning approach, this...

  • The power of language

    The power of language

    16th April 2020

    For many years I have heard people say "I am sorry if you feel that way".  It is often used by complaint handlers and is justified by the fact the individual does not want to accept responsibility, believing a simple “sorry” would be considered an admission of guilt and treated...

  • Will we remember what they did while we were watching?

    Will we remember what they did while we were watching?

    26th March 2020

    When we talk about what is a good culture one phrase often comes up “what we do when no-one is watching”. It’s all very well to be seen to do the right thing but is that what you would do if you thought you could get away with behaving unethically. Sadly, the world is littered with people who...

  • Overdrafts - the biggest shake-up for a generation

    Overdrafts - the biggest shake-up for a generation

    28th January 2020

    Fairness and equality feels like a logical and simple thing we should all want. However, we live in a society where some people get a worse deal than others because their vulnerability makes it harder for them to cope with financial knocks. I am reminded of this by the social media uproar this...

  • Creating the perfect workplace

    Creating the perfect workplace

    12th November 2019

    So, what’s the most important issue for your company to get right to be successful? Is it good governance (lots of helpful policies and procedures)? Maybe, it’s keeping costs low or making sure you use state of the art top notch computer systems? Most of us will say it’s fair treatment of...

  • It can happen to us all - the LPA struggle

    It can happen to us all - the LPA struggle

    29th August 2019

    I recently posted that July 2019 is the 40th anniversary of when I started working in insurance. I still remember shyly walking in the doors of Eagle Star Sutton and setting to work as an underwriting assistant in the “all-in” department – where we issued and managed commercial and personal...

  • Healthy culture – it’s not just about processes and rules

    Healthy culture – it’s not just about processes and rules

    30th June 2019

    I work with many different clients who find many elements of compliance and specifically the fair treatment of their customers is directly linked to their culture. Culture is such a huge issue for our industry and it’s a struggle for many firms. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) 2019/20...

  • Blame the insurer

    Blame the insurer

    25th April 2019

    There is a trader in my town who has been selling fruit and veg from a stall on our high street. He has been there for some 25 years and is part of the character of the town. It has recently been announced that he has to move into a shop unit. This has really saddened me – the stall is...

  • Carphone Warehouse FCA fine

    Carphone Warehouse FCA fine

    20th March 2019

    My husband is not that keen on shopping, but he finds the experience especially challenging when we go out to buy something where there is the risk of someone trying to sell us add-on insurance cover. Add-on insurance is a policy purchased as a secondary part of a main transaction....

  • Are your customers happy?

    Are your customers happy?

    21st February 2019

    We talk a lot about how best to treat our customers fairly and ensure we meet their reasonable needs and expectations. However, it is very tempting to design products and services that meet our own expectations of what we think our customers need.  There has been plenty of research into the...

  • Are you ready for IDD training requirements?

    Are you ready for IDD training requirements?

    4th October 2018

    The Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) came into effect on 1 October 2018 replacing the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD).  The key aim of the new directive is to enhance consumer protection when buying insurance and to support competition between insurance distributors by creating a...

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