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18 May 2013
More transparency and better relationships with customers are key to improving insurers’ reputations among the public, CGU’s GM Broker and Agent Mark Searles has told an industry conference.
He says recent moves by CGU – such as asking customers how often and in what way they want to be contacted after a claim and helping them explore options for professional counselling – have been met positively.
“They’re simple responses to deliver, but the feedback we received shows our customers really responded to it,” he told the Council of Queensland Insurance Brokers convention last week.
“They see that despite the large numbers [and] the legalised policy forms, on the other end of the phone is another person who actually wants to help them.”
Mr Searles cited research earlier this year for CGU’s parent company IAG, in which 61% of respondents agreed their insurer would meet any claim fairly and reasonably but only 28% believed their insurer was fair and reasonable.
Not surprisingly, respondents to the study were more likely to consider their insurer fair and reasonable if they had recently had a claim accepted.
Mr Searles says rumours circulating in a community following a disaster are difficult to combat and misinformation is behind a lot of insurer distrust.
“For an industry so heavily scrutinised and so heavy criticised, we seem to do very little to rebuke untrue claims when they’re made,” he said.
He says the standard flood definition and key facts sheets will go some way to improving transparency but “we need to be more of an open book to our customers and potential customers”.
“We need to show them the good insurance can do within their community. Build up a pool of goodwill so that when the negatives get dragged up again, there will be some balance.”
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