Nearly half of all customers that have had a successful claim with an insurer will look elsewhere for their insurance needs in the future, according to a major new survey by Accenture.
Of the 8,000 home and car insurance customers surveyed in 14 countries, 86% said that they were satisfied with their claims experience in the past two years but 41% of those admitted that they are still likely or very likely to change insurers in the next 12 months.
Only 14% of customers that had submitted a claim to an insurer were unsatisfied with the way their claim was handled but a staggering 83% of these respondents are already planning to change insurance providers or already have.
Michael Costonis, managing director of Accenture
’s Insurance practice for North America, said a satisfied customer is not necessarily a loyal customer.
“While a customer who is dissatisfied with the way his or her claim was handled is almost certain to defect, a satisfied customer will not necessarily remain loyal."
“The survey results clearly show that delivering average claims satisfaction levels is not enough. The bar has been raised and in order to clear it, insurers need to provide a differentiated claims experience that not only delivers on service but maintains the appropriate discipline as well," Costonis added.
"Customers dissatisfied with how a claim is handled are not only likely to switch insurers; they are also likely to share their unhappy experience via social media. Insurers need to rethink their claims operating models, organisational structures and even their corporate cultures to get in sync with today's demanding and digitally connected customers."
The most important aspects to ensuring loyalty from customers comes from transparency during the claims process and speed of settlement – both cited by 94% of respondents as key areas of interaction.
The survey also notes that customers that have submitted a claim in the past two years are almost twice as likely to switch insurers in the next 12 months compared to those that have not submitted a claim: 41% compared with 22%.
Some 77% of those surveyed would be willing to share personal information with their providers in return for cheaper insurance premiums. Similarly, 59% would share the same information for a quicker claims settlement and 28% for personalised advice that could help them manage risk and avoid unnecessary losses.
With the advent of GPS and video technology to aid the insurance industry, this news is of particular note as 39% of respondents agreed to the former while 35% agreed to the latter.
"Customers are willing to share information, and insurers that are able to use this information to help customers manage risks and reduce the number of claims will not only lower claims costs but may gain an advantage in terms of customer loyalty," said Thomas Meyer, managing director of Accenture
's Insurance Industry practice in Europe, Africa and Latin America.