Is your insurer killing you slowly with poor service?

How often are clients overly impressed with the ease and speed with which they can find insurance  – only to be bitterly disappointed when it comes to the processing of their insurance claims. I have been amazed at reading one such a complaint sent to the car insurance blog by a frustrated insured vehicle owner!

We have on numerous occasions referred to the importance of good service and the need for those seeking insurance to focus not only on price – but also on the reputation of the insurer when it comes to good service.

We wish, having gained the permission of the client who shared his complaint, to also share his recorded experience with our visitors. [We are referring to the insurer as “XYZ”]

Bad Car Insurance Consumer Experience

Good Day

I Am a Customer of “……..XYZ Insurance”. I Took their Prime Total Loss Protection Cover. I unfortunately had an accident on the 20th January 2012. I then followed all procedure when a person has an accident. I Spoke to a gentlemen at XYZ who told me what to do to lodge a claim after my accident.( I am not going to bore you with the whole email I wrote to the claims department on the day of the accident detailing the accident)

I want to just detail day-to-day accounts that I Had with XYZ Insurance since my Accident.

Monday 23 January 2012

I made a Phone Call to the XYZ Claims Number and I spoke to the Gentlemen by The Name of Botshelo….. Explained the Whole Accident Story.(To my Surprise he had already Received an email that I had sent to their claims department on the day of the accident). He was a very Helpful chap and explained to me what was going to happen, he sent me forms to fill about the Accident and sent me an E-mail Documenting all the required documents for my Claim. He also informed me about my car Towing Charges etc.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

I Make an Effort to get all the required documents (Accident Report, Registration papers, Proof of Service the worx) to make sure that I can speed up the processing of my Claim. I Speak to Botshelo on the phone again to let him know that I have sent through all the Documents that he requested. He Confirms receipt and then tells me that the Car will be sent to the Assessors and I must allow for 48hrs to know what the assessors report will say. I also receive a confirmation Message

Thursday 26 January 2012

I Receive a Phone Call From Botshelo ….. informing me that the assessors have Written off my car. I am Saddened, he tells me of the next Step: in his Words “I Am going to compile the file and send it to the Main Investigator Mr Hugo … for further Investigation. He will be giving you a call to conduct an interview with you in due Course.

Friday 27 January 2012

Botshelo calls me to confirm that he has sent the File through to Hugo for Investigation and I must expect his Call. I thank him dearly for his speedy response and he says from now on I must liaise with Hugo Directly.

Monday 30 January 2012

I Call The Claims department and I am Told Hugo is not in the Office for the Whole week by Caroline ….(Consultant) she informs me that she is not sure when he will be back. I Inquire if there isn’t someone to assist me and I am told he is the only person dealing with my file as a result they won’t be able to assist! I decide to be patient(I Suppose a week of Waiting is not Bad enough)

Monday 6 February 2012

I Call XYZ looking For Hugo. He is nowhere to be found! I get the Same Response from Consultant named Raditjhaba.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

I Call XYZ looking For Hugo. He is nowhere to be found! I get the Same Response from Consultant named Mpho.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

I Call XYZ looking For Hugo. He is nowhere to be found! I get the Same Response from Consultant named Mellissa. I Throw a Tantrum and I eventually Get put through to a gentlemen who I suppose works closer with Hugo. He consoles me and says that if I have sent through the documents Hugo must have received them. He tells me Hugo is out investigating cases and he will attend to me when he gets back on Monday 13 February 2012 (apparently he was in Durban)

Monday 13 February 2012

I Finally Get Hold of Hugo: he sounds very disorganised, he asks me for the same Documents that Botshelo said I should send. He has no idea where my file is and he requests these documents again in an Email. He also explains that he will be conducting an interview with me once he has received the docs! I remain calm and send him the documents again(You must remember I am hoping that the less rampant I become the quicker will my claim be Processed)

Tuesday 14 February 2012

I Call in to try and confirm receipt of my email to Hugo and Hugo is Nowhere to be Found! I call countless times for the Day and left messages for Hugo and he Never Got Back To me!

Wednesday 15 February 2012

I Call in to try and confirm receipt of my email to Hugo and Hugo is Nowhere to be Found! I call countless times for the Day and left messages for Hugo and he Never Got Back To me!

Thursday 16 February 2012

I Call in to try and confirm receipt of my email to Hugo and Hugo is Nowhere to be Found! I call countless times for the Day and left messages for Hugo and he Never Got Back To me!

Friday 17 February 2012

I am told Hugo is Not in The Office and he will be Back on Monday by Raditjhaba. This is after I called over 6 times and told Hugo is on the line and he will get back to me!

Monday 20 February 2012

I Call in and luckily Get Hold of Hugo, I tell him of my Frustrations and he tells me that he has been busy but confirms receipt of my Email. He says he is still compiling “Documents” and he Will call me Back later for an Interview, I Asked him What Interview he tells me just questions about the accident.

HUGO NEVER CALLED THE WHOLE DAY! I called back around 3pm and I was told he is not in the office!

Monday 20 February 2012

HUGO NEVER CALLED THE WHOLE DAY! I Called about 4 Times and all the Consultants were doing was to read me out comments he made on the System! some comments read out to me were “…Called Barons Woodmead to Confirm service…” This will go on until Friday 24 February 2012.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

HUGO NEVER CALLED THE WHOLE DAY! I Called about 4 Times and all the Consultants were doing was to read me out comments he made on the System! some comments read out to me were “…Called Barons Woodmead to Confirm service…” I Eventually got hold of him and insisted we do an interview there and Then! Sounding disorganised as usual he conducted the interview and informed me that he will investigate further and let me know once all is Done!

Wednesday 22 February 2012

No Word From Hugo!

Thursday 23 February 2012

No Word From Hugo!

Friday 24 February 2012

No Word From Hugo! I decide to call in and he tells me that he is still busy with the file but he is almost finished.

Monday 27 February 2012

No Word From Hugo or My Insurer!

Tuesday 28 February 2012

No Word From Hugo or My Insurer!

Wednesday 29 February 2012

Annoyed I Demand to Speak to Hugo. He is in the office(Still sounding disorganised he tells me he will call me back) I refuse to Hang up but he Assures me that he will be completing my File! HE Never Does, The Whole Day! I am angry, but at the same time patient because I want my claim to be sorted out! I eventually speak to a gentlemen(forgot his name) he takes it upon him to make sure that he investigates.

The Gentlemen calls me back and tells me that he has personally spoken to Hugo and Hugo confirms that he has completed the file and sent the Motivation letter to Linda(I Suppose she is the Manager)

Thursday 1 March 2012

No Word From Hugo or My Insurer!

Friday 2 March 2012

No Word From Hugo or My Insurer! Countless phone calls bear no Fruit! I am dejected and Angry beyond Words!

Monday 5 March 2012

No Word From Hugo or My Insurer! Countless phone calls bear no Fruit! I am dejected and Angry beyond Words! I Call and Demand to speak to Hugo! I Get Hold of him and he tells me my File is with Linda and The Committee She Tells me I must Give it at least 4 Working Days before I can get feedback! He assures me that as soon as the decision is taken he will personally Call me!

Its Friday 9 March 16H30 and there is Still no Word from Either Hugo, Linda or anyone at Prime Meredian! I am way beyond frustrated now as I have lost all hope of getting feedback from them!

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Good News I Get a Call from Linda … informing me that my Claim was approved with the Insurer and they will be paying the Trade value of the car seeing that the vehicle was written off: I Am Told R81 000 will be paid. Linda Tells me that she will be sending me an agreement of loss to me. And my Bank that is financing the Vehicle.

Thursday 8 March 2012

I call my Bank and I inform them of the outcome. Then i call Linda to try and speed up sending the letter, She tells me she will send, she is still busy, she will send the letter as soon as she can

Friday 9 March 2012

Same Story from Linda, no Letter received, Linda is constantly in meetings.

Monday 12 March 2012

Same Story from Linda, no Letter received, Linda is constantly in meetings. I am sent from pillar to post again, no one wants to send the letter

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Same Story from Linda, no Letter received, Linda is constantly in meetings. I am sent from pillar to post again, no one wants to send the letter

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Same Story from Linda, no Letter received, Linda is constantly in meetings. I am sent from pillar to post again, no one wants to send the letter

Thursday 15 March 2012

Same Story from Linda, no Letter received, Linda is constantly in meetings. I am sent from pillar to post again, no one wants to send the letter

Friday 16 March 2012

I Get a call From Linda saying She Made a mistake, My claim is not approved, She says they have found evidence that I wasn’t driving my Car on the date of the Accident, I am MAAAD beyond words! They tell me all sorts of nonsense about not being the driver and not on the scene etc. She Sends me a letter saying that i am not going to get my Claim paid out!

I have never seen such ridicule in my Life!

Here are Some of my Frustrations:

I signed for Car hire option when I took the Policy (I understood the Terms and conditions) I Have Exhausted all my Funds as I have to hire the car from my own pocket and then claim back for reimbursement after the claim process is completed! 7 weeks of Car Renting is way more costly and unaffordable for me! It is because of their delays in turnaround times that I am currently walking and taking a Taxi!

I So Wish This Email can land on the hands of someone that can assist me to get my Claim sorted out once and For all.

Thanks

Mpho
Data Analyst


Conclusion:

This is one of the important reasons why we have an Ombudsman for the Short Term Insurance Industry. No client deserves such poor service delivery once he has signed on the dotted line. This client should take this matter to the Ombudsman as he as clearly has tried his best to find clarity to close this matter.

We would also like to focus on:

“What exactly is good service from your car insurance company?”

It is important to consider which level of service can be regarded as quality service. Quality service is not necessarily reliant on the best possible outcome for the client – but most definitely will require a fair process with a “human touch”.
Not every claim is a legitimate claim – and the best car insurance service is not necessarily provided by the company who pays out the most claims.
We would like to submit that the following would be characteristics of quality service in the car insurance industry:
  • Accessibility
Can you easily get hold of your insurer / broker when you need them – or do you have to make endless numbers of calls and are sent from A to Z before you are assisted?
  • Transparency
Are you well informed and are the necessary procedures to follow well explained to you? Is there perhaps a company website where you can gain further clarity or gain information about your cover or claims via FAQ’s?
  • Knowledge and Professionalism
Quality service can only be provided if the insurance provider has well trained staff capable of answering the questions raised correctly. A client who finds out during the delivery of service that he has been incorrectly advised will not be a satisfied client.
  • Courtesy & Friendliness
Quality service does not need the best packing of the most beautifully branded documentation or client cards. Most often what is needed is basic human courtesy and friendly conversation. This is especially important for direct insurers where the client does not see the consultant and have the “face to face” experience. The consultant might have to do a bit extra to put the client at ease through his assistance and friendly attitude.
  • Patience & Compassion
An aspect often neglected is the ability to respond with patience. The consultant / broker needs to remind himself that the client who has lost his vehicle or who has just been in an accident might be traumatized and in severe distress. Quality service will require that such a person is treated with patience and with the necessary compassion. This might require that a bit more time be spent in conversation with the client to put his mind at ease that his best interest are cared for and his concerns will be addressed.
The above are just some of the characteristics of quality service in the car insurance industry. When considering where to purchase your car insurance – take the time to enquire not only about price , but also service delivery!!

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