Is your insurance provider ‘good enough’?
Published On December 24, 2013 » 2030 Views» By Times of Zambia » Business, Columns
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Insurance TalkHow good is your insurance provider?

TODAY being one of the celebrated days in a year, most people are with their families celebrating or doing other activities together.

This is also a period when people reflect on how they fared in the year and make resolutions for the coming year.

Given its significance it will be unfair to someone to continue insuring their properties or lives without reviewing the service which they received from their provider.

The unfortunate people who experienced a claim (s) may use that experience to gauge the service they received from their insurer but how about those fortunate many?

In this column today I am glad to share some key aspects or tips one can use to evaluate their service from the insurer or intermediary.

The first tip is on the pricing. Most of the clients first look at the price of insurance before anything else.

While understandable this valuable aspect should not be considered in isolation but should be weighed against coverage provided and the other aspects of an insurer such as their ability to pay claims.

As customer you need to trade carefully with desperate insurers who are willing to compromise the price for the sake of getting business.

Borrowing Chibamba Kanyama’s words ‘they move at the speed of lightning to sell but move like a chameleon to pay claims.’

It is said that cheap is expensive so a balance is indeed vital.

It also important to understand the coverage provided, and request the insurer what else can be provided.

You will be amazed that some benefits or extensions are cheap if not free.

The next tip borders on how the insurer treats you or simply put customer service.

One sure fact is that the customer is the life blood of any business.

No one would like to continue doing business with a service provider who lacks courtesy.

In this time and age service providers cannot afford to treat customers in an unfriendly manner because next door there is a competitor ready to get the customer and service them in a better way.

Production of policy documents in another aspect worth gauging an insurer. A promise made by the insurer is evidenced in the policy documents issued. A customer should not be made to wait more than necessary for the policy documents.

In motor insurance for example, a key document that should be produced instantaneously is a certificate of insurance and if a customer paid by cash, then a receipt should also be produced without fail.

The certificate is a prerequisite to buying road tax.

Other documents could follow later. I have heard customers who have never received policy documents from the time they started insuring.

Well if there is no loss then everything is ok but the reality check comes in when there is a loss.

The basis of settlement or even the major evidence in court will be the copy of the contract which you find in policy documents.

So an insurer who takes longer than necessary to produce such documents disadvantages the client.

This essentially means the customer should be weary of such providers.

The other tip for today is the after-sales service. If you do not suffer loss in during the insurance year do you just meet the insurer once every year i.e. at the time of renewal only?

 

Every client who feel treated in a special way by an insurer is likely to remain a loyal customer which is enhances renewal retention. ‘It is cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one,’ so they say.

In this regard if an insurer simply receives the premium and does to check on the customer in the course of the year then, it is difficult to make that customer feel special.

Comments: webster_tj@hotmail.com or webster@picz.co.zm or on face book search for Insurance Talk-Zambia page or call/text 0977857055

 

(The author is a chartered insurer with over eight years industry experience)

 

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