Needing to claim on an insurance policy isn't a pleasant experience for anyone, not least because it probably means that something less-than-ideal has befallen you. As such, you'll want the process to go as smoothly as possible, but unfortunately, research has found that things don't always go according to plan.
The figures, from Consumer Intelligence, show that more than two out of five motor and home insurance customers have suffered delays or other problems when making claims: 17% had suffered from delays in processing, while 14% had to go back to the provider with extra information after making a claim. A further 11% said that the claim handler was unhelpful, while 10% had a delay in payment and 7% said there was a delay in the assessor coming out.
It isn't all bad news, however, as 84% of customers thought their claims were handled fairly, while just 12% are cited as being dissatisfied with their insurer. In fact, overall, consumers rate their insurer an average of 6.9 out of 10 for claims handling, so even though some people have issues, others are clearly pleased with how things progress.
Furthermore, just 30% switch to a new provider if one of their claims has been rejected, which shows just how loyal customers can be to an insurer. This can be further seen with the finding that 69% of those who had a successful claim chose to stay with their provider at renewal, while among those who switched provider, 18% blamed a price rise, and 12% cited the way the claim was handled.
Ian Hughes, chief executive of Consumer Intelligence, commented on the findings: "Customers tend to only see the value of insurance when they make a claim, and firms clearly need to do more to ensure the experience is better. However, they can take comfort from the fact that the vast majority of customers believe their claims are handled fairly and that satisfaction is generally high considering the criticism companies routinely face. Even when claims are turned down, customers do not instantly leave their insurer, as the research shows."
While it's impossible to know how a claim will be treated until the unfortunate incident occurs, there is a way to improve your chances of having a successful experience – do your research!
If one of your policy contracts is coming to an end, don't automatically renew with your current provider – instead, compare the options thoroughly to see if you could get a better deal, and pay attention to the small print, which will often include their claims procedures. Check to see whether they offer 24/7 claims handling and be on the lookout for reviews and recommendations from past customers, and hopefully, you won't face too many issues should the time come.
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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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