Australians are among the least trusting on insurance companies in the world, placing their trustworthiness well below that of banks.
Ernst & Young (EY) recently released the results of its Global Consumer Insurance Survey, polling both direct and intermediated insurance clients, finding just 53% of them trust insurers, compared to the global average of 70%.
EY Insurance Strategy and Customer Advisory Lead Walter Poetscher says Australian insurers are facing an uphill battle on trust.
“This becomes even more important when you consider that some of the newer, less-traditional market participants come from sectors like supermarkets and banking which score much higher levels of trust among consumers (78% and 71% respectively),” he says.
“The insurance industry needs to rebuild trust among its customer base, or run the risk of losing market share to newer competitors and disruptors.”
The survey found most insurers are still placing price as the most important factor in insurance, topping the list for almost two-thirds of respondents. Being easy to deal with and having clear communications also ranked highly.
Poetscher says the insurance industry needs to rethink how it communicates with customers in order to build better loyalty.
“Our survey found that interactions between insurers and consumers are currently occurring so rarely that any one point of contact can significantly shift the perception of insurers and brokers in the consumer’s mind,” he says.
“Insurance providers ought to be ensuring that all their customers receive the attention and information they are asking for, regardless if they are served directly or through a distribution partner.
“With the rise of digital, insurers are increasingly better placed to do this – so the race is on to see who can do this most effectively and quickly.”