PMD
5 minute read
3 Oct 2018
9:58 am

How do car insurance companies respond to online complaints?

PMD

Anyone wanting to insure a car with a reputable car insurance company will obviously want to know how well such a company is treating its customers.

Your car needs to be insured and you are looking for a reputable car insurance company in South Africa. One of the quality criteria to look out for is to establish how a car insurance company responds to online complaints. Let’s investigate further.

DISCLAIMER

Because car insurance can be quite complex, we would like to urge readers to regard this article as only information. If you would like to purchase a car insurance product, it is advisable to seek the professional guidance of a certified, financial advisor or doing thorough research before you commit.

MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE COMPLAINTS ARE THE MOST

The 2016 annual report by the South African Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance showed that most of the complaints consisted of car insurance claims. Of the R100 million returned to consumers, R59.2 million was given back to motorists as car insurance claims. The Ombudsman revealed in the 2017 report that car insurance claims were the most at 49%.

HOW DO CAR INSURANCE COMPLAINTS EVOLVE?

Complaints by the insured could be about a rejected claim. The insured first needs to follow the normal complaint channels of the car insurance company. This is definitely the fastest way to address complaints. However, if there is no solution in sight, the insured can take his or her complaint to the South African Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance. He can also send the complaint to a social media platform

MOTORISTS LOOK OUT FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES WITH MINIMAL COMPLAINTS

Anyone wanting to insure a car with a reputable car insurance company will obviously want to know how well such a company is treating its customers. One of the indicators of a high quality car insurance company would be if customer complaints were minimal, but also how they are responded to.

TIPS TO DEAL WITH CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS

Some complaints may be justified, whilst others not. The real issue is that you have a customer at the end of the company telephone line, who may well be quite frustrated for one reason or other. The critical factor is how you respond to the complaint.

THE CUSTOMER REQUIRES YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION

Yes, “This is possible in an ideal world,” you may say to yourself. “After all, I’ve been handling so many calls and this is just another one.” When a client calls in, his or her situation is unique. Listen carefully to what is being said, and acknowledge that you understand. This will also diffuse any tension that there may be.

THE TONE OF VOICE – IS IT UNDERSTANDING AND COURTEOUS?

The tone of a consultant’s voice is most important to a customer calling in, as that is all a customer has to go on. It’s quite off-putting if the consultant comes across with ‘yet-another-call’ attitude, or if the consultant appears irritated. Courteous and calm responses also help to diffuse a frustrated customer.

PROVIDE FEEDBACK

It is great for the consultant to provide feedback after all has been said by the customer. Not only does this action ensure that the consultant has clearly understood the complaint, but it also conveys to the customer the impression that the insurer cares.

MAKING NOTES DURING A CALL

Calls are usually recorded, but nonetheless, it is good for a consultant and customer to write down some points, so that they can be referred to in any future correspondence.

PROMISING THE CUSTOMER A FOLLOW-UP WITHIN A REASONABLY SHORT TIME

One of the most frustrating things we all experience these days in life, is that there is usually no come-back to a promise made. In a professional context, the consultant needs to report back to the customer within a promised time and date. The worst thing is not to do so.

TRANSPARENCY OF THE INSURER

It is quite amazing, in life in general, that people rarely apologise. And yet, that very word will go a long way to diffuse any tense situation. Customers will have more respect for a consultant who admits an error than one who does not wish to accept responsibility where due.

THE CUSTOMER MAY NOT ALWAYS BE RIGHT

It may be that the customer had forgotten about some exclusion in his or her policy, and, as a result, became upset when the claim was rejected. This is where a courteous explanation will go a long way. The consultant should ask the customer to provide some feedback on what was said, so that both parties are on the same page. In future, that particular customer may well complain less because so much more is known about the policy.

THE INSURER LEARNS FROM ALL THE COMPLAINTS

Overall evaluations of complaints received by a car insurance company on an ongoing basis, could identify a particular area of the insurance process that requires some improvement. Addressing that process of the company could minimize future complaints.

THE POSITIVE SIDE – COMPLAINTS ARE FEEDBACK FROM CUSTOMERS

Although handling of customer complaints may not be pleasant at times, there is a positive aspect to it. The consultant is hearing first-hand what exactly is frustrating the customer concerning a certain issue. This may guide the insurance company to see how the insurance process can be improved, where and when applicable. Perhaps consultants selling policies to customers need to explain in even greater detail about exclusions and limitations, so that there are no misunderstandings at claim time. These type of adjustments, if necessary, should minimize complaints.

PMD OFFERS YOU AFFORDABLE CAR INSURANCE

PMD treats all complaints via their well-established procedure, and takes them seriously. In fact, it has a ‘Treat the Customer Fairly’ policy. Why not buy affordable car insurance with PMD, using their Online Insurance Purchase Platform? It’s easy and quick to complete, at a time and place that suits you. You don’t have to talk to anyone, unless you want to via our call-back facility. You can access more information from our audio and video materials.