Perception of insurers is poor among customers

The 48-page Seventh World Insurance Report, published jointly by Capgemini and European think-tank Efma, found that despite strong performance among global insurers, consumer perception of the industry was poor.

The report discovered that, while non-life insurers had benefited from a reasonably stable 2013, with fewer global natural disasters against which to payout, other insurers in areas such as life, annuities, pensions and savings had been increasing their payout ratios.

Yet although providers claimed to be more transparent, the experiences of consumers and their perception of payout rates were poor, the report found.

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It also discovered that, out of 15,000 global policyholders from 30 countries who were questioned about their satisfaction levels, only 32 per cent cited “positive experiences” from their providers.

According to the report, most customers described their interaction with insurers – across all protection policies – as “no better than neutral” and they could be “persuaded to switch provider, given proper incentives”.

The report found that, when broken down according to country, the US was the best at delivering positive customer experiences, at 51 per cent. The UK was ranked average, at 32 per cent, while South Korea, China and Hong Kong clustered around 15 per cent, 16 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.

Top-five % citing positive experience
Netherlands and Austria44
South Africa43
Canada and Australia41
Belgium and Germany40

Source: Capgemini/Efma

Adviser view

Tom Conner, director for London-based advisory firm Drewberry Insurance, said: “You only need to look at the reader comments under any insurance-related article in the consumer press to see there is still the perception that insurers ‘don’t payout’. As the vast majority of payout rates are well over 90 per cent, I’d like to see insurers broadcast these statistics more to try and overturn that entrenched consumer perception that insurers don’t pay claims.”