Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Paul Asplin's new web page

A new Paul Asplin web page is here! - Paul Asplin

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

People being mis-sold PPI

More than two million people have been mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) over the last five years, Which? has claimed.

This will bring PPI insurance marketing and sales under increased pressure, with a suspected one in three consumers unlikely to be able to make a claim.

Personal finance campaigner at Which?, Doug Taylor, remarked that he is "amazed"at the scale of the problem.

He said: "We've always known that people were being mis-sold PPI, but we were still amazed to discover the scale of it.

"It appears that salespeople are chasing their commissions, their bosses are chasing profits - where's the sense of responsibility to the customer."

Consumers may fall foul of exclusions found in policies and could potentially tarnish the reputation of the insurance marketing and sales sectors.

Insurance marketing competition

Increased insurance marketing competition is improving the offering for consumers, according to

Firms' insurance marketing campaigns are under more pressure to raise the "standards" of policies to keep up with the competition.

Head of research at, Peter Gerrard, notes that competition is particularly rife in motor insurance marketing.

He said: "They are having to be more reactive and more competitive and bring their premiums down, and the result is increased competition.

"So what might be a really cheap policy may still offer some really good benefits. It is a case of looking around, looking at what is excluded and at what you need."

According to the AA British Insurance Premium Index for the first quarter of 2008, buildings cover has remained at an average of £209 since the beginning of the year while contents insurance has risen by one per cent to £129.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

What professional qualifications have you achieved in your lifetime and how have they played a role in your career?

Paul Asplin writes...

At a relatively early age I became an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute (ACII) as I felt that this was important to gain an understanding of the general insurance market and to demonstrate that I had achieved a certain level of professionalism. I believe that both of these objectives were fully achieved and subsequently I became a Chartered Insurer.

In the thirty years that you’ve been involved with DAS and developing the UK legal expenses market what have been the major milestones?

Paul Asplin writes...

The breakthrough for legal expenses insurance in the UK came in the introduction of the ULR scheme, which we developed at DAS. The Government then helped us out by introducing new employment laws (they’ve never stopped) which fuelled the demand for commercial cover, and then they created the market for ATE insurance. By decade, the major milestones have been: 1970’s – DAS established, the vision begins. 1980’s – the add-on ULR scheme is invented. 1990’s – demand for commercial employment cover soars. 2000’s – ATE invented.

How much further growth do you think there is (in the legal expenses market) in the next 10 to 20 years?

Paul Asplin writes...

DAS UK is still achieving strong rates of growth – our premium income after commission rose by 20% in 2007. Although it will be difficult to maintain such rapid growth year on year, we still believe that there is a long way to go before the legal expenses insurance market is saturated. Certain sectors in particular still offer major opportunities and these include commercial legal protection for businesses and of course the After the Event market, although this will ultimately depend upon the Government. There are other specialist sectors in the market which are emerging as strong growth areas and taking everything into account I see continued and significant growth for the market for the foreseeable future.

What were the qualities that you needed to rise through your career to your current position?

Paul Asplin writes...

For me, the key qualities in progressing my career have been a strong belief in the need for legal expenses insurance (particularly the social role that it has to play), unwavering enthusiasm for the success of the business and the people who work in it and in a rapidly changing and fast moving market place, the ability to keep ahead of developments and judge what is likely to happen well before it actually does. In particular, there is an overwhelming need to be fully informed of developments within and outside of the company and to really understand this specialist sector of the market.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of running a UK business that is a subsidiary of a Europe i.e. German parent?

Paul Asplin answers...

The key advantage of being part of a large European insurance group is that the experience of writing legal expenses insurance – which is very long established on the continent – is readily available, coupled with the financial strength of one of the World’s leading insurance groups.

Describe the potential impact on access to justice and after the event insurance from the ministry of justice considerations?

Paul Asplin answers...

The Government created the need for After the Event (ATE) insurance by removing Legal Aid in most personal injury cases. Unfortunately, the legislation that introduced conditional fees and ATE was not well prepared and it has therefore taken ATE Underwriters over 10 years to establish a stable and sustainable market, through a series of test cases in court. The Ministry of Justice are now suggesting that ATE cover may not be necessary in “simple” cases, but this completely ignores the basic principles of insurance in that the many pay for the misfortune of the few. If in future it is only possible to ensure high risk cases, then it is almost inevitable that the market for ATE insurance will collapse leaving the Government with a choice of reintroducing Legal Aid, at the expense of the tax payer, or accepting that genuine claimants will be denied access to justice.

What is the importance of legal insurance?

Paul Asplin Answers...

Legal Expenses Insurance provides an essential means of accessing justice, often in circumstances where a genuine claimant would be unable to pursue or defend their legal rights due to the costs of employing a lawyer or the risk of becoming liable for the other party’s costs. Legal expense insurance therefore fulfils an essential social and economic role in society.