A satisfied customer is a loyal customer, right? Wrong. Just-released results from a survey conducted by Accenture reveal that many consumers who have submitted a claim in the last two years are quite ready to switch insurers — even those who were satisfied by the way their claims were handled.
More specifically, Accenture found that 86 percent of P&C insurance customers who have submitted a claim in the last two years were satisfied with the way those claims were handled. Despite this, 41 percent of this same group said they are either likely or very likely to switch carriers in the next 12 months.
Surprisingly, among those insurance customers who had not filed a claim in the last two years, only 22 percent said they were likely to switch insurers in the next year — about half compared with those who had recently filed claims. In other words, the more recently a customer has filed a claim, the more likely they are to switch carriers, even when the claim was processed to their satisfaction, Accenture finds.
“A satisfied customer will not necessarily remain loyal,” says Michael Costonis, a managing director in Accenture’s insurance industry practice and global head of its claims services. “The survey results clearly show that delivering average claims-satisfaction levels is not enough.”
The Accenture survey, conducted this past May, reached nearly 7,900 auto- and home-insurance customers in 14 countries, including the United States, Canada and the U.K. Forty percent of the respondents said they’ve filed a claim within the last two years. Accenture’s main business is offering management consulting, and technology and outsourcing services.
While privacy remains an important concern among consumers, more than 75 percent of those surveyed by Accenture said they’d be willing to share personal information in exchange for certain benefits, especially lower premiums. A smaller group, just under 60 percent, said they’d exchange personal information for faster claims settlements. But when asked whether they’d exchange personal information for recommendations that could help them better manage risk and avoid losses, the willing came to only 28 percent.
When asked what type of personal information they’d be willing to share, more than 55 percent of auto-insurance customers in the survey said the condition of their cars. This was followed by their auto’s location as shown on a GPS, cited by nearly 40 percent. Among home-insurance customers, nearly 80 percent of respondents indicated they’d be willing to share is data collected by their smoke, carbon monoxide, humidity or motion detectors.
“Insurers that are able to use this information to help customers manage risks and reduce the number of claims will not only lower claims costs, but may also gain a customer-loyalty advantage,” says Thomas Meyer, managing director of Accenture’s insurance industry practice in Europe, Africa and Latin America.
Speed of settlement is important, too. Ninety-five percent of survey respondents called it a key expectation.
And when customer expectations aren’t met, there’s always Twitter, Facebook and other social-media sites. Nearly 30 percent of the survey respondents said they would post a negative review of an insurer on social media . . . and almost 45 percent said they would read them.
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