The past 12 months have been heaped in uncertainty and this has meant that many consumers are changing the way that they buy products and services, including insurance. From the impact of COVID-19 to the consequences of extreme weather there have been many situations in recent times where insurance policies have come under scrutiny and been put to the test. If recent reports are accurate then falling levels of trust in the insurance sector mean that some serious refocusing needs to take place within the industry when it comes to the way that users are being served.
A changing insurance landscape
Change has been a constant factor in recent times and that has led to the need for certainty. In an insurance context it’s now vital that users know what they are buying - and that the policy in place is going to provide the cover that they need, when they need it. One key recommendation that recently emerged from an industry webinar was the need to clarify the language of policies so that they are as simple to understand as possible, without being dumbed down. “Fair and reasonable” is the standard that must be met by the language of a policy, especially as this is how it will be judged by an ombudsman if a user makes a complaint. So, for example, burying exclusions deep in policy wording isn’t likely to meet this standard or give users the insight they require to know what they’re buying - or to trust the business they are buying from.
Proactive, personalised action will be key
It’s going to be essential for insurance organisations to be more proactive now when it comes to ensuring that users know what they’re buying, rather than simply putting the policy in black and white and hoping the user will do the rest. For many, this will mean highlighting the parts of the policy where there might be a comprehension gap. The buying journey is the ideal place to do this, whether that is simply playing a video of the most common areas of misunderstanding with that particular policy or personalising the action to the individual user. Rather than trying to get customers on board in any way possible, insurers will need to be more focused on ensuring that users are signing up to something that they fully understand. Increasingly, this is going to require insurers to be more proactive about the way services are structured, to rewrite decades old policy documents to make them easier to understand and to invest in value-added extras that can help to unlock new levels of customer engagement through solutions such as risk management or pre-emptive protection.
For many insurers the starting point for rebuilding trust with users is going to be rewriting policy documents so that they don’t present such an obstacle to understanding. This might be an expensive and time consuming task but it will make everything that comes after much easier to implement and provide opportunities for ensuring that users know what they’re buying - and that they appreciate the value and protection this provides.