Our inaugural Customer Experience Report has named LV= as the best insurer for customer experience with a rating of 74% for 2021.
Hastings, Budget, and Covéa, have also been recognised as top performers, with all four providers winning Insurance DataLab Gold Awards.
Despite the strong performance of this top four, our analysis shows that insurers and brokers still have some way to go to rebuild the trust of their policyholders, and despite some improvements in areas such as transparency, more needs to be done.
Based on our own proprietary formula, devised specifically for this report, the research rated 25 personal lines providers across a number of metrics covering the key elements of customer experience – transparency, customer trust, happiness and satisfaction, quality of cover, claims and complaints handling.
The research found that the overall market customer experience score fell to 63% for 2021, down from 67% for 2020 as the industry struggled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The average complaints handling rating fell by 14 percentage points over the year to just 56% as the number of complaints referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service climbed by a third, with the aggregate upheld rate – the proportion of claims upheld in favour of the customer – staying stubbornly high at 25%.
But of most concern for the industry should be that it was rated lowest for the levels of trust customers have in their insurance provider, scoring less than any other metric analysed.
The average trust rating for the market, based on data from consumer group Fairer Finance, stood at 51% for 2021. While this is still two percentage points higher than the 49% achieved for 2020, it is still low for an industry that is built upon the promise to put things right should the worst happen.
To rebuild this trust, providers must work with their customers to improve understanding of what is and isn’t covered under their policies in order to better meet expectations and deliver an all-round customer experience that meets policyholders’ needs.
This is particularly important given the FCA’s recent push on Fair Value, which means that delivering excellent customer service is more important for insurance companies to focus on than ever before.
Insurers and brokers must also better understand where they are in most need of improvement, and our research report (available to download in abridged form for free here) aims to help providers do just that.
Not only does the report provide a summary of how the market has performed overall, but there is also a detailed breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the 25 providers in the rankings.