Further work needs to be done to increase the speed of the processing of life insurance claims, according to a number of consumer reviews collated by an online insurance comparison and information website.
Drawing on more than 750 reviews of ten major insurers provided by consumers, Insurance Watch claimed that consumers wanted faster payment of claims as well as more communication about the claims process.
Insurance Watch Managing Director, Wally Ripper said the reviews, on which the analysis was based, were provided by current Term, TPD, Trauma and Income Protection insurance policyholders, with the leading cause of complaints within the reviews related to the treatment of claims.
According to Insurance Watch, the most critical reviews came from policy holders whose claim had been declined but even those with successful claims were critical of long payment delays and the volume of documentation required by insurers.
“The Royal Commission emphasized the need for life insurance companies to meet community standards and expectations,” Ripper said, adding “Insurers would therefore do well to listen to this feedback about their claims processes”.
The reviews also found that consumers disliked large premium increases, lengthy wait times when contacting an insurer by phone, and being passed between multiple insurance company representatives, with Ripper adding, “The reviews reveal that if a consumer receives poor customer service from an insurer, they are likely to assume they will also have a poor claims experience”.
“The message for insurers is that they shouldn’t take policyholders for granted. Today’s consumers expect more than just a renewal notice each year. And at claim time they want fair and fast payment,” he added.
Areas in which some insurers received positive reviews included:
Clear and regular communication
- Being able to access policy details online
- Well priced cover
- Comprehensive features
- Easy to understand documentation
- Benefits offered through health and wellness program
Based on the reviews, Insurance Watch said the top three life insurance companies for 2018 were: