Home Insurers May Need to Do More to Connect with Customers

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  • Home insurance companies have probably been forced to continually increase consumers’ rates, and while the reasons for this trend are very legitimate, the reaction from homeowners is likely to be a little less than accepting. For this reason, it can be extremely important to for insurance agents to remain engaged with their clients and help them to better understand why rate increases may sometimes be required, and what they can do to reduce liabilities going forward. However, new research suggests that insurers in many fields just might not do a good enough job in this area.

    Today, only 14 percent of global customers say they are very satisfied with the amount and quality of contact being made with them by their insurers, according to the EY 2014 Global Consumer Insurance Survey. Meanwhile, 44 percent of those polled said that they haven’t had any contact with their insurer at all in the last 18 months. And just 65 percent of respondents in North America say that they trust their insurers.

    Other issues that could linger
    Meanwhile, when it comes to why people switch home insurers, 54 percent of those in North America noted that price was the biggest driver, while 24 percent said that they wanted to change their benefits or coverage. Another 14 percent switched based on recommendations from a friend or even broker, and the same number responded similarly about policies that didn’t meet up with their current life situations. Finally, 13 percent said they didn’t like the level of service they received, or changed providers as a result of some research they did on their own.

    When rate increases do occasionally take place, insurance agents will likely need to be there to explain to consumers the how and why of the matter. While they’re not likely to be happy having to pay more for their coverage, they may at least walk away with a better understanding of the situation and what they might be able to do to help themselves going forward. The fact of the matter is, consumers’ concerns about costs and finding discounts for their coverage are often trumped by their ability to receive high-quality customer service when the need arises, so agents who focus on striking a prudent balance between these two issues will likely have the most success.