Building Trust in the Insurance Industry Through Transparency
The concept is simple. In exchange for a premium, an insurance company agrees to compensate a policyholder for a specified loss, damage, illness, or death caused by an unexpected event. So, as an industry that is centered on helping consumers better mitigate risks, why does insurance get such a bad rap? In a word, trust.
Unfortunately, the public’s perception of the insurance industry isn’t all that great. In fact, the level of trust in insurance companies among U.S. consumers surveyed is low, with 38% trusting insurance companies just a little, 26% not very much, and 17% having no trust at all. So, how do insurance companies go about remedying the situation and begin to build trust with consumers?
The truth is, there isn’t a single solution or a quick fix to the problem. However, as insurers expand their digital capabilities, technology will allow them to become more transparent, improving the consumer experience and enabling insurers to begin fostering trust with prospects and policyholders.
Insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all product. Unlike other industries such as retail, the price and coverage for insurance products are based on a number of risk factors. Unfortunately, these variables can make getting a quote or buying a policy online a confusing experience for consumers, because they aren’t sure what to expect from one carrier to the next and why a policy is priced the way it is.
The fact is, if consumers don’t have a clear understanding of the insurance products being offered to them, trust will continue to be an issue. The good news is that today’s digital solutions have provided insurers with a multitude of ways in which to become more transparent, giving consumers clear and concise expectations going into the quoting and purchasing process, and allowing them to feel more confident in their buying decisions. Here are three key examples of how transparency can help build trust.
• Providing easier access to policy documents and information. It may sound simple, but insurers can garner a higher degree of a consumer engagement if they make policy documents, underwriting criteria, and disclosures available online. This includes making content available in both digital and mobile formats. In addition, it’s important to develop content that’s as free of insurance jargon as possible, is easy to understand, and is well-organized.
• Providing a seamless self-serve user experience. Products that don’t require extensive underwriting should provide the consumer with an easy and accessible way in which to get a quote and buy coverage. Today, many consumers prefer to get quotes for, apply for, and secure insurance coverage all on their own — completing the entire transaction online from start to finish. Encountering a cumbersome online experience or having to be referred to an agent or call center after the process can impart distrust because consumers can feel baited.
• Providing flexibility in product customization. Many insurance companies are bundling coverages to make insurance buying easier and more cost-effective. However, being too rigid in the ability to deviate from a set insurance package and price can have the opposite effect, making consumers feel that the insurer is giving them one choice based on what the company thinks they should have. A better way to approach products and services is to be flexible. Instead of a prepackaged deal, give consumers the ability to modify plans according to their own needs. Companies will have a better chance to build trust if they allow consumers more control to customize coverages and adjust pricing to meet their individual needs and budget.
• Safeguarding consumer data. Making premium payments online has become a popular way for policyholders to pay their insurance bills. However, along with convenience are concerns regarding keeping consumer payment data secure. Companies that use online payment processing will find that policyholders will have more trust if the companies are transparent in how they are safeguarding sensitive payment data, such as credit card and banking information.
It’s safe to assume that most consumers would prefer to buy insurance from an insurer that is transparent over one that isn’t. Companies that can successfully incorporate transparency on an enterprise-wide scale will be in a stronger position to build trust with prospects and policyholders to better realize improved growth and retention.
If you’re looking for safer and more secure way in which to transform your payment processing, One Inc can help. Contact us today to learn more.
As the lead writer at One Inc, Patricia is passionate about helping insurance companies successfully overcome modern industry challenges. She offers news, stories, and tips to help insurance professionals improve sales and retention, enjoy greater operations efficiency, and provide the best value possible to your policyholders.