Settlement and mis-selling are the biggest issues
05 Feb, 2014 03:03 PM
Others include difficulty of online renewals and missing documents, says a Drizzlin Media analysis.

It is the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (Irda) agenda to make insurance processes more transparent and customer centric. Various steps taken in this direction in the recent past have been for improved product design and changes in sales practices.

The online medium has been gaining traction. This can be seen in the number of searches made using the keyword “insurance”.

In a month, 27,000-plus searches are made on Google in India on the keyword “insurance”. Over 18,000 searches are made around life insurance and health insurance, and slightly under 15,000 searches for car insurance. As the Internet’s role increases in insurance distribution and consumption, social media platforms are becoming an important avenue for consumer complaints.

An analysis by Drizzlin Media India Pvt. Ltd, a social media marketing company, looks at types of complaints and the life insurance companies against whom the complaints have been made.

A total of 346 complaints were collected between 1 April and 31 August 2013 pertaining to seven insurance brands—Aviva India, Bajaj Allianz, HDFC Life, LIC, Max Life, Reliance Life and SBI Life. These insurers were selected on the basis of their size and active online presence. The complaints were gathered from five different online customer redressal forums, and then put into three segments: first premiums (new customers who have just bought a policy); renewals (customers who pay premiums for existing policies); and settlements (customers with maturing policies or those who have made claims).

More than half the complaints were in the settlement category, 53%, followed by 34% regarding renewals and 13% about first premiums.
Looking at the subject of the complaints, the biggest trouble spot was mis-selling. Policy termination is also a big issue followed by those on premiums. Other common complaints were about the ease of online renewals and missing documents.

Among the life insurance brands, Reliance Life had the highest number of complaints—111, or 32% of the total number. LIC and HDFC Life had 88 and 57, respectively, complaints against them. The least number of complaints, 18 each, were against Aviva Life and Max Life.

Vociferous medium

One of the three key questions of the research was how people initially complain. It was found that people prefer to complain over phone, email or social media rather than face-to-face. The question what people complain about elaborated the various types of issues that customers might face. Who people initially complain to highlighted whether they interact with agents, customer service or both when facing a difficulty. The answer to this was mostly both.

The calculations were done based on the total number of complaints in that particular segment for a brand by the total number of complaints against the brand in the whole survey. Customers of Reliance Life with issues regarding initial premiums, for instance, were most likely to use distance communication to complain compared with other brands in the study.
Source : Live Mint

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