I have recently had several clients pulled their insurance from their long time insurance company and placed it with a different company. Both clients were very dissatisfied with the service they received for the payment of their cars and their medical bills. By the way, that makes these first party claims, which means nothing to most people, but in English, it means that insurance companies should treat you better than if it was a third party claim. In other words this was their own insurance company screwing them.
In these situations, the insurer subsequently called to ask what they could do to keep the business. The clients told them that the poor customer service was the reason for the cancellations. So, if the insurers want to know what to do to keep their current clients, here are a few ideas:
- Start treating people with respect.
- Hire adjusters with a college degree. No disrespect to those without a college degree, but handling insurance claims requires a certain skill set that people learn in college. A lot of the skill needed is dealing with diverse people. You learn that in college.
- Pay claims timely.
- Don't nickel and dime your insureds on their claims. If you owe $2,500, pay $2,500 not $2,450.
- Make fair and reasonable offers on total losses. Pay the fair market value of the car, not what some company tells you it is worth.
- Get rid of your complex phone systems. It shouldn't take me entering 25 digits to get to someone. Seriously, try calling USAA on a claim and tell me what you want to do when you are done. I would rip out my hair - if it wasn't so short to begin with!
- Start writing letters in plain English. People want to understand what you are saying. Four pages to say "We are investigating your claim" is overkill.
- Don't ask what you can do AFTER someone leaves. Be proactive in keeping your customers happy.
- Stop forcing your insureds to be sued because you don't want to settle a claim.
- Stop hiding your tactics. In this day and age, there is enough information available that people see what you are doing. Don't hide it. Just be honest with people.
Now, I know some of these will never happen. Heck, most of these will never happen. But, some of these are common sense ideas. It would be nice to see insurers go back to trying to keep their own customers happy, at least.