Morning Briefing: Customer-focused insurers receive double benefit says study

Morning Briefing: Customer-focused insurers receive double benefit says study | Insurance Business Canada

Morning Briefing: Customer-focused insurers receive double benefit says study
Customer-focused insurers receive double benefit says study
Insurance companies that deliver a great customer experience reap the rewards from both customers and investors.

That’s the finding of a study by Watermark Consulting which analysed stock market performance of insurers that excel in customer service against those that fall short.

“Leaders far outperformed the industry index, while Laggards trailed it. And the performance gap wasn’t small – over the seven year period examined, Leaders delivered average annual returns that were at least double that of the Laggards,” said Watermark founder Jon Picoult.

He said that it was important that insurers manage to find ways to convert customers from believing that their products are simply commodities to becoming huge fans of the business.

“Insurance providers may publicly tout the importance of customer-centricity, but behind the scenes, many are skeptical that such a strategy pays off,” Picoult noted. “As a result, they continue to cling to archaic business practices that create complexity and confusion, further stoking customer frustration.”

The study highlights that many insurers over-estimate their customer service by ranking it only according to retention rates. It also says that customer service must not just focus on claims handling as most policyholders will not make a claim between renewals.

Attention is also drawn to the correlation between happy, engaged employees and good customer service.
Aviva Canada urges action on alleged fraudsters
A chiropractor, clinic employee and a paralegal are to appear in court on fraud charges following an investigation by Aviva Canada but the insurer says two of the defendants have not been suspended by their professional associations.

The insurer is urging the College of Chiropractors of Ontario to suspend the license of Dr. Edward Hayes; and the Law Society of Upper Canada to take the same action against Anna Kovtanuka.
“It's especially troubling when fraud is committed by health and legal professionals given their important role in the claims process and the trust accorded to them by the public," commented Aviva Canada CEO Greg Somerville. "Insurance fraud strains the pocketbooks of honest customers and that's why we continue to make every effort to stop it."  

The alleged fraud follows video surveillance of the two professionals and clinic employee Michelle Osacenco triggered by an Aviva employee after allegedly being pressured to lie about auto accident injuries. 

Undercover investigators obtained video footage of the three professionals explaining how they could secure insurance payouts even though the investigators said that they were not injured.
45 per cent of the world has no local law for mutuals, co-ops
Almost half of the countries in the world have no local laws allowing mutual or cooperative insurance.

A study by the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) shows that this is the case in 45 per cent of countries; representing 9 per cent of global GDP and 16 per cent of the world’s population.

The report shows that it is in 63 per cent of low income countries, where people need mutuals and co-ops the most that the laws are absent. It means that almost two thirds of those in low income countries have no access to the sector compared to just 6 per cent in high income countries.

ICMIF CEO Shaun Tarbuck said: “We believe that the cooperative and mutual insurance business model is not sufficiently understood by policymakers, regulators or commentators. It is now time for ICMIF and our members to work closely with them and develop a common knowledge and better understanding.”

Things are changing in some parts of the world though; in China, the first three mutual insurers have recently been licensed.