Property/casualty insurers should feel pretty good about themselves after seeing glowing numbers in the latest customer satisfaction report. In fact, J.D. Powers says claimant satisfaction is at an all-time high — and this comes after a couple of years of heavy homeowner disaster claims.
High customer satisfaction is good for business. It promotes goodwill and creates loyalty. Customer satisfaction helps reduce the consumer complaints received by insurance departments, lessening the burden on regulators.
Satisfied customers also can help to reduce the perceived need for claimants to run out and hire an attorney at the first sign of a loss.
And there’s one more reason insurers should continue to work hard to keep customers satisfied: It can help reduce fraud.
When consumers feel they’re treated fairly, they're less likely to be tolerant of fraud. Research by the Coalition strongly suggests a correlation between satisfied claimants and their attitudes about fraud. After a loss and a good claim experience, policyholders are more likely to look down on friends, family members and co-workers who are considering a scam.
Exerting such peer pressure can be the strongest deterrent to fraud, according to researchers.
Insurers have plenty of reasons to continue to keep claimants satisfied. Let’s hope it’s a trend that will lead to even higher levels of satisfaction in the future, and lower levels of fraud.
Dennis Jay is executive director of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.