A pillar of the industry for six decades on the “worst” levels of service of insurers
“If you called an insurance company today and someone picked up the phone, that would be an absolute bonus,” said the Victoria-based insurance veteran. “And then they’ll tell you that you have to go online to file a claim. Then when you look online and there is no action, you email them and you are lucky if you get a response.
Even premium queries, he revealed, could take three months to get answered.
The industry source said, “No one seems to have the ability to turn around and say, ‘let’s get past the computer and do something manually.’ We have to talk to the machines because they don’t want to do manual labor. And when he needs a reference, the time it takes is pretty amazing.
“When someone refers to something, that person has to present a business case explaining why, what they can do and how. Then they have to get someone else to sign, and you could do it three or four times and never get a response. Now, as soon as it needs to be referred, they say “no”, they can’t do it, because it’s easier than doing all the work. This is how the industry works today.
So, what happened to the corporate streamlining initiatives and efficiency-oriented businesses? For the brokerage boss, such promises from insurers were just words.
“From a purely level of service perspective – being able to get things done, to provide a service, etc. – it’s appalling, ”he said. “And I can hear the insurance company say that with COVID they couldn’t go anywhere and everything, but for me hiding behind COVID can be a bit of an excuse.”
The business development manager with whom he is in contact at a large insurer, for example, has not seen him for two years. Additionally, the frustrated broker said, the BDM would have to present a business case to justify entering his office.
“The BDMs are under enormous pressure and they have no authority,” the source said. Insurance company. “I worked for insurance companies before I became a broker, and my role was to take care of the intermediaries that we had and you did them a service. You would listen to what they had to say and you would assure them. Now if a customer asks me to insure a tow truck in Australia, we can’t insure it.
“I can go back in history when we had people who had this underwriting authority that you could speak to as the first person. They were the dedicated person who took care of you. Now it is getting harder and harder to get an answer, whereas before you could talk to someone. It seems the only thing we have now are convenience stores. “
He went on to lament that relationships “once meant something,” saying that if insurers now decide to step down, the quality of a partner you have been to them no longer matters.
The industry mainstay said, “If you run this business and your loss ratio is really good, then you should be able to be treated a lot better than the cut and change person who has a high loss ratio. Today it doesn’t matter. They’ll tell you it’s important, but it’s not.
“The managers will tell you that they answer to their shareholders, etc., and that they need to make money. And they might be right, by the way, but the way they treat the people who give them the business is the worst I’ve ever seen.
For the broker, however, all hope is not lost. “While I am not happy with the service, I would be disappointed if it didn’t improve.”