Insurers need to pay claims faster, according to reviews

Insurers need to pay claims faster, according to consumer reviews

Analysis of hundreds of reviews left on the Insurance Watch website over the last 12 months has revealed that consumers want more communication, innovation and faster payment of claims from their insurers.

The reviews were provided by current Life insurance, TPD, Trauma and Income Protection insurance policyholders.

The biggest number of complaints related to the treatment of claims. Unsurprisingly there were some scathing reviews from those whose claims had been declined. However, there were also other reviewers with successful claims who 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,” said Wally Ripper, Managing Director of Insurance Watch. “Insurers would therefore do well to listen to this feedback about their claims processes.”

There was also praise for those insurers who provided a good claims experience. Greg from SA wrote about his claim with ClearView: “The process was made easy and efficient and was processed in a super quick time frame. This made a difficult and emotional experience so much more bearable”.

Other positive reviews focused on:

· Clear and regular communication

· Speaking to a “real” person who was helpful and friendly

· Being able to access policy details online

· Well priced cover

· Comprehensive features

· Easy to understand documentation

What reviewers disliked were large premium increases, long waits on the phone, not being called back and being bounced from consultant to consultant. “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,” said Wally Ripper.

Insurer initiatives offering “extra” benefits were well received. The AIA Vitality health and well-being program which rewards policyholders for keeping fit, won accolades from customers such as Sanchia from Queensland who wrote: “getting points for being healthy and then rewarded with vouchers and discounts has improved my health hugely over the past few months”. Sandy from Queensland also praised the medical review service offered by MLC: “I liked the Best Doctors perk with the policy, I used this service and they were terrific.”

The overall top three life insurance companies in 2018 as rated by the Insurance Watch customer reviews were:

1st – ClearView

2nd – AIA

3rd – OnePath

“The message for insurers is that they shouldn’t take policyholders for granted,” said Wally Ripper. “Today’s consumers expect more than just a renewal notice each year. And at claim time they want fair and fast payment.”

Insurance Watch customer reviews and star ratings can be found at: https://www.insurancewatch.com.au/life-insurance-company-reviews.html

/Public Release.