Consumer Intelligence: Insurers proving to be poor communicators

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New research from Consumer Intelligence has revealed that people are more likely to have heard from fast food companies and their gym than their insurance company.

The supermarket sector came out on top for communication, despite facing huge challenges with supply chains and delivery services. Eighty-four percent of the 1,013 respondents who are responsible for buying groceries say they have heard from their supermarket in recent times.

Insurers ranked last with only 35%, with mortgage providers the second perceived worst communicators at 47%. Fast food companies scored and gyms scored 62% and 56%, respectively.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently wrote to insurance chief executive officers in an effort to ensure the sector is doing everything it can to support its customers when many are now vulnerable because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The FCA also warned customers’ behaviours would change because of it, such as having to keep work items at home and expected that claims wouldn’t be rejected because for reasons out of their control.

As part of the response, the UK government has announced that mortgage providers will be offering payment holidays to customers facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. But when Consumer Intelligence asked homeowners whether their mortgage provider had been in touch with them about the matter, only 47% say they have been contacted. 

The poll also revealed that 39% of people due to renew their insurance in the coming month were worried about not being able to afford the premium. Half of them had already discussed their concern with their insurance provider, with reports of the response ranging from “dreadful” to “good” and “proactive”.

Consumer Intelligence chief executive officer Ian Hughes commented: “In a crisis, communication is key. At this point in time, consumers need information and clarity from their service providers, and they need empathy. Many will face financial hardship in the coming weeks and months, and people are worrying about how they are going to survive. It is imperative that all sectors maintain open lines of communication to provide peace of mind for their customers at this very difficult time. Consumers have long memories.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk