Home insurance Updated:
Do you have a home insurance policy? Do you think there's room for improvement? If so, you're not alone. According to a survey from Consumer Intelligence, the home insurance industry "needs a revolution" with the majority of consumers wanting change – and it's clear, simple and affordable policies that are on their wishlist.
The survey asked how respondents would improve the service offered by insurers, and the figures show that improving policy documents topped the list. Some 33% of consumers want the wording to be clearer – in other words, get rid of the jargon – with the primary complaint being that policies are difficult to understand, with 15% thinking insurers hide items in the small print.
Next up is customer service, with improvements in this area being favoured by 18%. Key complaints here were to do with non-UK call centres and a failure to treat customers as individuals, while rewarding loyalty is something that few insurers seem to take seriously.
Quotes and pricing is an area where lots of consumers see room for improvement, with it being a key issue for 12% of respondents. Complaints in this area focussed on pricing tricks, particularly related to insurers not giving the best price at the start – 35% believe insurers offer an initial price which can then be reduced through haggling, meaning those too polite to haggle could well end up losing out.
Ian Hughes of Consumer Intelligence commented on the findings:
"Consumers want clear, simple insurance written in plain English with no weasel words, sold in a simple and fair way with the best cover and best prices going to the most loyal customers.
"Meeting the challenge of the consumer to be clear, fair and loyal requires a revolution on an industrial scale. Policyholders would rather build and maintain a relationship with one insurer that works on both sides to avoid the hassle of switching."
So, just what could insurers do to make the process better for customers? Well, a few ideas from the research include insurers providing a comparison of their policy against others to help consumers weigh up what's on offer, while some respondents suggested that all insurers should offer the same application process and insurance policy coverage.
In terms of pricing, consumers suggested that discounts should be more widely available to those who hold more than one insurance policy with the same insurer, while others suggested premium discounts for those that keep their home well maintained or work from home.
A final suggestion was the introduction of basic, affordable home and contents insurance policies (ideally priced around £75 per year) to help low income families have at least a minimum level of cover, after additional figures highlighted the worrying number of people that don't have a suitable policy in place – the Association of British Insurers estimates that one in four households have no contents insurance whatsoever.
This is something that needs to change, because this type of insurance really is a necessity. Time will tell whether any of the respondents' ideas get taken on board, but even if they don't it's still important to be protected – a revolution is still some way off, and in the meantime you'll need to make sure you're properly covered. It could provide valuable financial assistance in the long-run which means finding a suitable policy is vital, so make sure to compare the options and you'll have the cover you need at a price you can afford.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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