Many brokers are unhappy with insurers’ current claims service, communication and approach to complex risks, the inaugural Insurance News Broker Opinion Survey has found.
The survey was completed anonymously by more than 200 intermediaries, and the full results will be published in the upcoming edition of Insurance News magazine.
Most comments provided were harsh, although there is an understanding of the challenges insurers are facing as they continue to work through hundreds of thousands of catastrophe claims. And some respondents make clear that performance varies greatly between insurers.
When asked to rate insurer claims service in the wake of recent natural catastrophes, 40.38% say it is poor, 41.31% average, 8.45% good, 8.45% very good and just 1.41% say it is excellent.
This improves when brokers rate insurers’ claims service more generally, with 27.23% rating it as poor, 46.01% average, 15.96% good, 10.33% very good and 0.47% excellent.
“Many claims and big workloads, but not enough repairers or materials,” one broker says.
“Unfortunately insurers have added to their burden by questioning everything and using inexperienced, unsupported staff to do it.”
In terms of communication, 30.53% rate insurer communication as poor, 45.07% average, 15.96% good, 7.98% very good and 0.47% excellent.
“It’s so difficult at times to speak to an underwriter,” one broker writes. “Also I’m noticing a trend of insurers removing phone details from email signatures and other documents. That’s quite concerning.”
The harshest criticism is saved for insurers’ appetite for complex risks, with 68.08% of our broker respondents rating it as poor, 25.82% average, 4.23% good and 1.88% very good.
“Is there not an option for pathetic?” asks one broker. “They have developed a ‘keep what I have and get a 10% increase on renewals’ approach – hardly inspiring underwriting.”
Brokers say most insurers are focusing on “vanilla” risks and declining anything that doesn’t fit into pre-ordained parameters.
“Certain insurers are always willing to look at risks and try their best. However, most insurers request you put the quote down via the portals and if they don’t fit, they don’t want it.”
Insurer systems received a relatively positive rating, with only 14.55% of respondents saying they are poor, 47.42 average, 22.54% good, 15.02% very good and 0.47% excellent.
Some are considered “intuitive and easy to use”, whereas others are “outdated” and “re-keying is an enormous task”.
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