Do today’s customers expect more from insurance companies?

COVID-19 has shaken up the perception of the industry

Do today’s customers expect more from insurance companies?

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

Customers’ service expectations of their insurance companies are increasing, according to a new report published by specialist insurer Beazley. In addition to financial protection, customers expect their insurance companies to provide them with more risk insight, risk management-related services, and flexible coverage that better meets their businesses’ needs.

The study polled 1,000 senior executives and insurance buyers in the US and UK from across 10 different industry sectors and culled additional insights from interviews with a panel of risk and insurance industry experts.

Beazley found that homogenized policies and reliable claims service are no longer enough to satisfy customers; businesses expect insurers to demonstrate a solid understanding of their operations and the risks they face, and to add value through risk management tools, insights, services and flexible coverage.

Forty-eight per cent (48%) of those surveyed said their trust in insurance has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, only 54% believed that insurance was meeting their businesses’ challenges very well.

Among the reports key findings:

  • A quarter of business leaders struggle to understand what coverage they need
  • 19% find it hard to get insurance tailored to their sector or specialist business
  • 44% don’t think their insurers understand their business

The top three demands businesses have of their insurance partners are:

  • A deep understanding of risk by sector and size
  • Specialist risk advisory services as part of the policy
  • Comprehensive, straightforward cover

The top five buying factors for insurance are:

  • A policy designed for the customer’s specific type of business
  • A long-term insurer partnership
  • The cost of insurance
  • Fast, responsive claims service
  • Ease of understanding cover

“While it is encouraging that trust in insurance has increased since the start of the pandemic, it is a concern that only about half of our survey’s respondents feel that the insurance industry is meeting their needs very well,” said Lou Ann Layton, Beazley’s head of broker relations and marketing. “Our report highlights that it is time for a service rethink. No longer can the industry take a one-size-fits-all approach; instead, clients want a more nuanced, tailored and responsive service.

“To deliver what they want till require us to strengthen our relationships and improve communication with clients. Only by listening to them and demonstrating our expertise and insight into how they can better manage their specific, sector-based risks can we build our reputation as trusted risk partners delivering a valued service.”

“This report provides detailed insights into how our industry can work with and better support clients at a time of significant change,” said Bethany Greenwood, head of cyber and executive risk and interim co-chief underwriting officer at Beazley. “Digital technology is more and more entrenched in insurance operations and distribution, unleashing huge potential for service improvement and efficiency. As insurance providers, how we harness claims and risk insight data will be critical in improving the services and solutions we develop for clients.

“There will always be a place for cost-effective standard coverage,” Greenwood said. “However, where our industry will add value in the future will be through a service based on a combination of technological and human factors.”

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