DAS Insurance: comprehension

How do DAS make sure millions of letters are understandable?


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DAS asked us if we can use behavioural interventions so they could prove to the Financial Conduct Authority that they had the customers’ interests at heart.


Scientific proof – via robust test – that DAS ‘welcome letter’ describes the product better than ever. We:



Awareness is not a major problem for legal expenses insurance (they’re being bought at a fast rate so knowing they exist is not the problem).

After weeks of work back-and-forth finding a way to implement robust behavioural change in a short space of time, we proposed a comprehension test for re-writes of DAS’ Welcome letter to prove efficacy, as the trade regulator (the Financial Conduct Authority) had done extensive work on ‘framing’ (well done, that’s important) but had not looked at the underlying base comprehension of products first.

So our challenge became: increasing the comprehension and recall of LEI product to increase customer understanding.

Experimental methodology

A standard DAS LEI ‘Welcome Letter’ is a piece of communication that’s familiar to consumers, and the structure and layout is controllable for our needs; The project uses this as the basis, and the control.

Over two experiments, seven LEI Welcome Letters that describe the same product are written in different psychologically-informed styles:

All are tested for comprehension and recall. Participants take a 10min online test. First, reading one of the letters, and secondly answering questions such as a Cloze comprehension test, and Factor self-report questions (see below). Nearly 900 participants recruited of all ages (~+90 per letter – enough to get statistically significant results). Letter reading was time-limited.


We end up with 91 carefully crafted words, written, tested, and proven as effective in transferring understanding as the original 261 words.

We increased comprehension of the DAS legal expenses welcome letter (ANOVA score of 6.9 versus 6.83) at the same time as we decreased the original 261-word letter to 91 words (core content, excluding the greyed out copy that’s common to all) while retaining the reading-ease above the Flesch-Kincaid threshold (of 45).

In short, for the reader of the letter we:

Winning the only Gold awarded at the 2015 Nudge Awards.

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Revamp, redesign

Now (2016) DAS have revamped all their comms and web properties to reflect the learning from our test, in everything from the webpage descriptions to phone scripts and downloads.

Legal expenses insurance is a market with turnover of in excess of 500,000 policies per month in the UK – Over 6 million people per year – every year – will be able to make a better-informed purchase decision.

Millions more customers taking millions fewer seconds and much less cognitive effort understanding their legal expenses insurance.

I think everyone agrees, that’s a good thing.


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