Auto insurers are failing to increase customer satisfaction. That’s the takeaway from J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. After four years of improvement, customer satisfaction remained flat – despite the fact that auto insurers returned more than $18 billion in auto insurance premiums during 2020.
If giving back more than $18 billion isn’t enough to boost customer satisfaction, what is?
The study points to communication problems. Many customers didn’t even realize they were getting premium refunds.
Communication is key, certainly. Another major issue is speed, especially when money is involved. Whether insurance customers are making premium payments, receiving refunds, or getting claims payouts, insurance transactions tend to center around payments.
Insurance Customers Need Funds ASAP
When the pandemic struck, it caught many people off guard and unprepared. Stay-at-home orders forced businesses to close. Overnight, many people found themselves without the steady paychecks they depended on. They also found themselves stuck at home, not driving, and wondering why they were paying for auto insurance.
Auto insurers responded with refunds. That sounds good, but according to U.S. PIRG, there were problems. In addition to concerns about the amount of the refunds, there were also issues with how and when the refunds were provided. According to the report, “A good response should be timely. The relief should not only help customers in the future, but also when the pandemic began.”
People needed money immediately – not weeks or months later. It was true for millions of people during the pandemic, but it’s also true for individuals trying to get funds from a claim. According to Accenture, 95% of claimants say the speed of settlement is important or extremely important.
For the customer, the claim isn’t truly settled until the funds have cleared. If you want satisfied customers, you need to process payments fast.
Premium Payments Should Be Easy and Fast, Too
Insurance customers can be impatient when they’re waiting for money, but what about when they’re trying to make a payment? Once again, speed, convenience and communication matter.
The most common interaction between an insurance customer and the insurance company is the monthly premium payment. It shouldn’t be a hassle. People want easy, convenient options – and with the rise of digital banking and in-app payments, they expect these options to be available.
Delays Can Change the Dynamic
Sometimes, a payment delay might occur because the insurance company has not processed the payment yet. However, delays can stem from other causes, as well. If checks are being mailed, the delivery time is an issue. Other delays can occur based on the policies of the bank involved.
Easy Solution for Payment and Communication Woes
Online payment options can eliminate the need for paper checks and delays associated with them. These payment methods can be used for premium collection as well as claim and refund disbursement. Digital payment platforms also provide text communication features that allow you to instantly communicate a variety of messages, reminders and updates to insureds. Digital payment platforms are affordable, easy to use and simple to set up.