Plain Language Standard

Clarity is the heart of the matter

Image, long road in the Australian outback surrounded by bush

Long roads can read to beautiful destinations.

Australia’s Budget Direct Insurance is always looking for ways to set itself apart from the competition. In 2017 the company identified the opportunity to improve the overall customer experience, by creating the easiest-to-understand Home and Contents Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) in the marketplace.

After a highly worthwhile journey — that took a little longer than expected — the new PDS was published this week. And it became the world’s first document carrying the heart with a tick — not just the prestigious WriteMark, but the ultimate WriteMark Plus.

Clarity is the heart of the matter WriteMark

Australia’s Budget Direct: proud to be the first recipients of the WriteMark Plus.

What is the WriteMark Plus?

When a document or website holds the WriteMark, customers know that the writing meets a very high standard of clarity. Experts have evaluated the writing against rigorous criteria, emphasising the needs of the audience. The WriteMark Plus includes testing the document with the intended audience.

Each journey begins with a single step

By mid-2018, Budget Direct had spent 12 months gathering information about the challenge ahead:

  • analysing PDSs available to consumers
  • running workshops with the business
  • analysing their current document
  • considering potential regulatory reforms.

Struggling to find good examples to follow, they extended their search. They saw that Tower in New Zealand had won an award in the Plain Language Awards. They phoned us to ask who did our type of work in Australia. ‘We do,’ we told them. Two of our consultants travelled to Brisbane to talk about Budget Direct’s vision for the document and how we could help.

The road is long, and good things take time

The project involved a lot more than a simple rewrite. For the change to be permanent, Write and the project team at Budget Direct needed to bring the rest of the organisation along with them.

Legal and compliance teams had to be satisfied that the changes reduced risk rather than introducing it. Systems and processes had to change with the new content. Every piece of content needed to be tracked through each stage of writing, review, editing, and testing.

Fortunately, Budget Direct took the time they needed to deliver the best result.

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations

After lots of hard work, the Budget Direct PDS for the Home and Contents Policy is at last ready to take its place in the market. It’s now easy to read, understand, and act on. Insurance customers have endorsed the change. And the policy carries the WriteMark Plus to confirm all that care has paid off.

Budget Direct told us at the start of the project that success is when customers say, ‘Wow! I didn’t know insurance could be this easy.’

‘Write made it easy. Customers now have a quality PDS that’s easy to read and understand. Our consultants love it because they can now have more informative conversations and deliver greater value to our customers.’

That was Write’s goal. That’s why we’re proud to have given Budget Direct a document with heart.

Check out Gusto, the wonderful designers who worked on the document.
Explore the design in Gusto’s portfolio of recent work

And you can view the whole document at the WriteMark holders page.

September 13th, 2019

Posted In: WriteMark Plus

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,