If you don’t offer an exceptional claims experience, don’t expect your policyholders to stick around in the hopes that you’ll improve. After a claim, many policyholders reconsider their insurance options. In fact, Accenture’s Claims Customer Survey found that 65% of dissatisfied claimants said they were likely or very likely to switch insurers in the next 12 months, compared to 39% of satisfied claimants and 22% of policyholders without a claim.
You need to keep claimants happy. To do that, you need to focus on the five key elements of an exceptional claims experience.
#1: Speed Tops the List
From the policyholder’s perspective, claims are a disruption to normal life. They want the claim settled, and they want it settled fast. According to Accenture, speed is the most important element of the claims process, with 95% of respondents saying speed was either important or extremely important.
#2: Transparency Comes in a Close Second
After speed, transparency may be the second most important element of an exceptional claims experience. The Accenture study found that 94% of respondents said transparency of the claims process was either important or extremely important.
This shouldn’t be too surprising. A report from IBM found that 42% of insurance customers don’t fully trust their insurer. When a claim occurs, trust between the insurance customer and the insurance company is put to the test. If claimants are kept out of the loop regarding the claims process, they might start to worry the insurance company is hiding something. If the claim settlement is less than expected, this suspicion may be confirmed in their eyes. Transparency can help keep the claims process from becoming adversarial in nature.
#3: Convenience Matters, Too
Claims are already a hassle. Naturally, policyholders want the inconvenience to be kept to a minimum.
A Nationwide Agency Forward survey looked at commercial claims experiences and found that small business owners prioritize ease of insurance claims along with speed of settlement. Of the 17% of claimants who were dissatisfied with the claims process, 25% said it was too difficult and 22% said it require a lot of work.
The good news is that new technology can make claims easier than ever for everyone involved. Digital tools that allow for virtual claims handling and tracking are critical ways to increase convenience.
#4: Proactive Communication Is Essential
Good communication goes hand in hand with some of the other critical factors on this list, namely transparency and convenience. It can also play a role in expectations for speed.
Think about this question: How long should a claim take? It depends, right? A simple claim might be handled in less than a day. A more complex claim might take weeks. You understand this. Your customers can understand it, too, but only if you communicate with them.
A J.D. Power U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study found time-to-settle satisfaction ratings were 1.9 points lower when insurers missed customer timing expectations, even if the time required to settle was relatively short. On the other hand, claimants gave their experience above-average ratings when the claim took a long time, as long as their timing expectations were managed properly.
The takeaway? If you say a claim will take seven days and it takes seven days, claimants may be content with the timing. If you say a claim will take two days and it takes seven days, claimants may be angry, confused and generally dissatisfied.
#5: Options Are Important
What’s the best communication channel? When should claims be virtual? If you ask 10 different claimants, you’ll probably get 10 different responses.
Some claimants will want virtual claim options whenever possible. Others may feel uncomfortable with the technology. Some people will want to discuss the claim over the phone. Others will prefer to communicate via email or text.
Modern consumers are used to having many different options. Insurers that don’t provide options during the claims process – or worse, insurers that don’t provide the specific options that a particular claimant wants – may see low satisfaction levels.
Accenture found that 80% of respondents said it was important or extremely important for insurers to provide multiple channels for communication, such as phone, email, app, etc.
Are You Delivering an Exceptional Claims Experience?
The claims experience is one of the most scrutinized processes in insurance. This fact makes it critical to offer an exceptional claims experience that puts the client first. Insurers that are digitally mature are poised to win market share. At Insuresoft, we have a highly curated ecosystem of partners to enhance the customer experience from beginning to end.
Want to see how Insuresoft can help you deliver an exceptional claims experience?
Contact us to learn more.