Covéa Insurance becomes most decorated member of the Institute of Customer Service

15 December 2021

Insurance firm is now the only Institute of Customer Service member to hold three simultaneous ServiceMark Distinctions.

Covéa Insurance has become the first and only member of the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) to hold three simultaneous ServiceMark Accreditations with Distinction, the highest level of accreditation the Institute offers. 

This news is the result of an independent audit just completed by the ICS which renewed Covéa’s accreditation with Distinction for Personal Lines and awarded the firm with the same top accreditation for its Protection operation.  When added to the company’s existing Distinction for Commercial Lines, Covéa Insurance becomes the most decorated member of the ICS, which has around 400 member organisations spanning all industry sectors.

Vicki Heslop, Covéa Insurance Director of Customer Experience, expressed her delight, saying: 

It’s so fantastic to get this independent recognition for the amazing work that our people are doing at an incredibly challenging time, when so many people have had to adapt to new ways of working.  It is true testament to everyone’s commitment to ensuring we always keep the customer at the heart of what we do.

She continued: 

“As the experience we’re providing to our customers continues to evolve and improve, it’s imperative we understand both what we’re doing well and also what we can improve. Benchmarking our services through the ICS’ independent assessments means we can do just so that as we continue making our customers’ experience the best it can be.” 

ServiceMark Accreditation with Distinction is the highest recognition given by The Institute. The accreditation is valid for three years, subject to a further two mid-term ServCheck and Business Benchmarking surveys. 

The process of acquiring ICS accreditation is rigorous. Assessors use surveys from both customers and employees and conduct detailed analysis of written documentation together with observations of working practices to help understand the company’s customer ethos and culture. 

Speaking about the new Protection accreditation, the assessor commented: 

“Covéa Protection team take pride in delivering excellent service to their customers and have the customer truly at the heart of their business strategy. Senior leadership team also recognise that this can only be achieved by having engaged, enthusiastic, committed employees and support this by creating a caring and nurturing environment for their people.” 

In re-awarding the company’s Personal Lines Distinction three years after it was first achieved, the assessor remarked that there was no complacency: 

Customers and delivering excellent service continues to be the focus in Covéa Personal Lines. And having achieved a Distinction level three years ago, there is certainly no complacency. Throughout the assessment I saw genuine passion, dedication, and pride in delivering high standards of customer care and real excitement about continuing to drive improvements even further.” 

Leading on customer service strategy 

Vicki Heslop was promoted to become Covéa Insurance Director of Customer Experience in August 2021.  In this new role, Vicki is responsible for driving the strategy, planning and execution of Covéa Insurance’s overall customer experience goals across every function of the business, linking to the insurer’s overall ambition to be the UK’s most trusted insurer. 

Adrian Furness, CEO at Covéa Insurance, commented: 

Vicki has played a pivotal role at Covéa Insurance for a number of years, developing our claims and service proposition.  In this newly created role, she will have increased focus and accountability for further driving our customer experience strategy. 

“We’re absolutely delighted with this latest achievement, and I’m so proud of all our people and their genuine passion for doing a great job, for driving improvements and for delivering the best possible outcomes for our customers.”




About Covéa Insurance

Covea Insurance Plc is the UK underwriting business of leading French mutual insurance group Covéa, who are number 1 for property and liability insurance in France, generating over 16.6 billion Euros in premiums in 2020.   

Covéa Insurance looks after the insurance needs of 2.2 million policyholders; delivering financial reassurance through its Standard & Poor’s ‘AA- stable’ rating, as a guaranteed subsidiary of Covéa. 

The company offers motor, household, protection, pet, mid and high net worth insurance and a range of commercial insurance products, through a range of distribution channels.

Employing around 2,000 people, Covéa Insurance has a strong people and service ethos. It holds ServiceMark accreditation with Distinction for its Personal Lines operation and its Commercial & HNW Claims teams, as well as Chartered Insurer status for its Commercial business. Covéa Insurance is signatory to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter and the insurance Inclusivity Pledge and has been named one of the top 75 employers in West Yorkshire & the Humber.

Recently, Covéa Insurance won the General Insurer of the Year award at the British Insurance Awards 2021. It was named as the Best Place to Work in Digital (Large Organisations) at the Digital Technology Leaders Awards and as the Best Employer at the Yorkshire Financial Awards. They were also recipients of the Best Insurer title at the British Claims Awards, High Net Worth Product of the Year Award at the Insurance Times Awards, the Staff Empowerment Award at the Diversity & Inclusion in Insurance Awards.

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