Insurance industry failing ‘customers’

The insurance industry has become rigid and unwilling to adapt or change, with a lack of sufficient focus on the customer experience, Vidyesh Khanolkar has warned.

The vice-president of Majesco, an insurance technology and core system software solutions provider, said the industry was not listening hard enough to customers, according to its research.

“Insurers need to make substantive improvements in customer service, make it easier for customers to access documents and customer support, bring new products to market and improve the ease with which administrative tasks are done online,” he said.

According to online research, conducted on its behalf by Redshift Research in May, one in three respondents said providers were failing on minimum level service expectations.

A ‘family’ product – combining numerous products in a single policy – was favoured by 42 per cent, with 30 per cent unsure but not ruling it out.

This highlighted a viable opportunity for an entrant to grab the market share as the industry was not geared to provide this, the report stated.

Price was a significant factor, according to 80 per cent. However in higher-income categories the importance of price fell to 60-75 per cent, while the importance of quality of service showed a reverse trend.

Adviser View

Robert Harvey, protection specialist at Brighton-based Drewberry Insurance, said: “The industry has been sluggish in improving customer experience. There is big room for improvement.

“There is room for providers to use technology to do this, rather than the old-school methods, and an online portal would certainly empower customers as it would give them more control and access. This would be a massive improvement and would be a great opportunity for providers to engage more efficiently and effectively with customers.”