Consumers Generally Worried About the Insurance Industry

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  • Over the last several years, consumers have routinely seen their premiums for both auto and home insurance rise somewhat sharply, and that’s a trend that shows little sign of letting up any time soon. And it is therefore unsurprising that, when asked about some of their biggest concerns, Americans regularly cite insurance and the insurance industry as something that gives them pause where their finances are concerned. As a consequence, it might be vital for insurance agents to make sure people are completely aware of what they’re paying for – and why – when it comes to any type of coverage they may have.

    For yet another year, Massachusetts residents listed insurance as their biggest issue in 2014, according to data compiled by a number of consumer services offices including the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and Attorney General. That outstripped concerns related to banking, telecommunications, cable services, and lemon laws.

    “The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation empowers consumers by providing information and giving consumers the tools they need to make market-driven decisions,” said John Chapman undersecretary for that watchdog agency. “You can only make an informed decision if you have access to the right resources and assistance.”

    Where else did insurance come up?
    Meanwhile, insurance companies were also the No. 2 issue cited by consumers who submitted complaints with the Massachusetts Better Business Bureau, the report said. In all, the BBB handled more than 856,000 complaints, and 156 million inquiries from consumers, and insurers ranked behind only banks as the things Americans were generally most concerned about. Behind that top two were new car dealers, business services, and collections agencies. Neither the attorney general’s office nor the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which were also listed in the report, listed insurance issues among the top five complaints with which they dealt last year.

    The more insurance agents can do to assuage consumers’ worries about the affordability and usefulness of their home or auto insurance policies overall, the better off both sides of the situation are likely to be. For consumers, increased education allows them to rest a little easier with the knowledge of what they’re actually paying for. Meanwhile, that kind of communication can also be helpful for agents because good relationships with consumers typically leads to better customer satisfaction ratings, and higher rates of retention for their clients overall.