a.s.r. makes considerable efforts to ensure that customers are financially self-reliant. This is consistent with its core values. a.s.r. aims to minimise the number of customer cancellations caused by payment arrears and problems. It also works to prevent situations in which customers face cost-increasing measures. The aim in all cases is to avoid default.
a.s.r. has implemented the Protocol on payment arrears (Protocol bij betalingsachterstanden) of the Verbond van Verzekeraars. Within a.s.r., this is a criterion for dealing with customers. A working group shares relevant market information and exchanges examples of successful business practices. This results in better coordination of customer processes and enables a.s.r. to provide a better customer service. In November 2022 a declaration of intent entitled Saving debt arrangements together (Samen schuldregelingen redden)' was concluded with the NVVK (Dutch debt counselling organisation) by the Verbond van Verzekeraars. It contained guidelines for ensuring that people who are no longer able to meet their repayments (due to high energy costs) can still qualify to use their debt arrangements.
For some years, a.s.r. has been one of a group of companies who are members of the Schuldeiserscoalitie (creditors' coalition), which works proactively to find solutions for customers with payment arrears. Through its membership of this coalition, a.s.r. shares experiences and learns from the experience of companies in other sectors.
a.s.r. has concluded a membership agreement with the Dutch Debt Relief Route (Nederlandse Schuldhulproute; NSR). The NSR is working on a central debt assistance route through various activities. One of these is Geldfit, a national initiative focusing on effective referral to other financial support organisations at a local level. Customers gain reliable insight into their financial situation through a simple online test. This anonymous test offers them targeted help in getting or keeping their finances in order, from debt prevention to debt assistance. The various a.s.r. business units can refer customers to Geldfit if necessary. To date, some 1,800 a.s.r. customers have been referred to Geldfit.
In order to give customers as much help as possible in preventing or resolving repayment problems, employees are trained in recognising financial problems at customers and referring them for advice. These measures are part of the special protocols for collection procedures, aimed at reducing the number of situations in which customers face cost-increasing measures. a.s.r. keeps a watchful eye on the customer's situation.
In order to reach customers with debt problems more quickly and give them effective assistance, a.s.r. has joined the Dutch Debt Relief Route (Nederlandse Schuldhulproute; NSR). This partnership between companies, municipalities, (debt relief) interventions and other partners is designed to make everyone in the Netherlands financially healthy. a.s.r. feels it is important for people to have financial continuity in their lives and to be capable of taking responsible risks and making carefully considered financial choices. a.s.r. wants through various means to prevent people from falling into debt and to help those in debt regain their financial equilibrium, e.g. through the 'Ik denk vooruit’ platform, the projects run by the a.s.r. Foundation and a social fund for a.s.r. employees.
A new way to help customers retain or restore their finances is the NSR. If a.s.r. suspects that a customer is experiencing payment problems, it can refer them to this organisation. This is done via a link on a.s.r.’s website, or by including a link or a QR code in letters or emails to the customer. It can also be done by means of a 'mentored referral’ by phone, whereby the customer (retail or commercial) can even be directly connected to the NSR. The NSR has the tools to help people become aware of their financial situation and organisations with nationwide coverage that can help them to rectify their finances.