Customer feedback says premium givebacks have helped – insurer

Customer feedback says premium givebacks have helped – insurer | Insurance Business

Customer feedback says premium givebacks have helped – insurer

Southern Cross Health Society says its $50 million giveback, which was announced in April, received an overwhelmingly positive response from its members, who say the additional financial aid has been genuinely helpful.

CEO Nick Astwick noted Southern Cross’s collective ownership structure, and says the average member stays with Southern Cross for about 15 years – significantly longer than the customer retention rate for other health insurers. He says this model has fostered a sense of “loyalty and affinity” with members, who have responded positively to Southern Cross’s large giveback pledge.

Read more: Southern Cross pledges to return $50 million back to members

“We got a lot of feedback from our members that the giveback has actually helped them,” Astwick told Insurance Business.

“At Southern Cross Health Society, our members are our owners, and we have a very strong and deep relationship with that membership. The average tenure of our membership is 15 years, which is longer than any other health insurer.

“We’re in the business of loyalty and affinity with that customer group, and so the feedback we’ve received has been about us making good decisions, and doing the right thing by the membership.”

Despite the significant chunk of savings made through April, Astwick says that as long as New Zealand stays at Alert Level 1, another giveback of a similar scale is unlikely – especially since the private health system was able to resume as early as Alert Level 3.

“We’re not anticipating any further givebacks if we stay at Level 1,” he commented.

Read more: Southern Cross announces financial support for struggling members

“As we’ve said before, claims levels have come back very fast. We were trying to get the private health system open because we wanted our members to be able to get access to that, and over Level 3, that did open up very quickly.”

“There’s no intention at this stage to make an additional pledge, but we’ve paid that $50 million giveback out to our members now,” he concluded. “The feedback we’re getting is that our pledge was quite meaningful and extremely well timed.”