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Customer satisfaction dips

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Overall satisfaction with life insurers has declined marginally to 66.2% from 67.5% last year, according to the annual Roy Morgan Single Source survey of more than 50,000 consumers.

The survey found 219,000 people changed their life insurance policies in the past year, while at least 751,000 were looking to do so.

For policyholders who were “extremely likely” to renew with their current insurer, the satisfaction rating was 74%. Among policyholders unlikely to renew, only 30% were satisfied with their current insurer.

By individual insurer, the biggest improvers were AIA Australia (up 6.6 points to 73.2% satisfaction), Insuranceline (up 5.4 to 79.2%) and Allianz (up two to 75.2%).

Major brands that showed declines were Asteron (down 12.2 points to 65.9%), Zurich (down 9.9 to 60.9%), CommInsure (down 4.2 to 64.2%) and OnePath (down 3.7 to 63.4%).

AMP recorded 65.1% customer satisfaction – down one point and below the market average of 66.2%. MLC scored 66.9%, down 0.6 points.

Roy Morgan Industry Communications Director Norman Morris says the channel used to buy cover is a factor in satisfaction levels.

“The most frequent method… is directly from an insurance company, which has been steady at about 40% for the past five years,” he said.

“At this stage, purchasing online is relatively small and has shown only a marginal upward trend during recent years. The other major purchasing channel is the use of financial advisers, which now account for about 20% of the market.”

Mr Morris says the use of third parties to buy life cover can take the customer relationship away from the insurer, giving it less control over satisfaction and retention levels.