Improved communication and better understanding of short term insurance products could improve client satisfaction levels in the short-term insurance industry, said Darryl Grater, Head of Claims of Discovery Insure at the inaugural Discovery Insure Financial Advisers Summit in Sandton on 17 June 2014.
“Consumers don’t always understand their policies,” said Grater. More consumers complained about their insurer, but the short-term insurance ombudsman usually found in favour of the insurance company.
Short-term insurance companies are highly dependent on third party service providers, as it does not make sense for them to have their own tow trucks,panel beaters car rental fleets. As a result, on some occasions service provider capacity could come under strain. After severe hail storms, panel beaters could be booked months in advance. Similarly, vehicle parts could be delayed for months on end. Both situations were out of the control of the insurer, but resulted in considerable frustration for the client.
Grater said Discovery Insure aimed to improve client satisfaction levels through stringent performance criteria for service providers, including satisfaction scores, complaint ratios, service provider staff training, and empowerment measures.
Motor vehicle assessment company NetAssess, one of Discovery Insure’s service providers, investigates every complaint received and boasted a rigorous procurement controls, said CEO Peter Rogers. In addition, built-in checks on minimum and maximum prices for parts, paint and labour minimised the incidence of assessing and panel-beater fraud.
“We’ll never be able to get it 100% right but we do try. When there is a complaint, we don’t want the client to have to go back two or three times,” he said.
However, backlogs could result as there were not always enough manufacturer-approved repair shops. There are limited agent-approved -approved repairers in Gauteng. This could result in lengthy lead times for clients.
NetAssess would soon be launching Work in Progress, a new platform which would allow insurance brokers to opt in for alerts at each stage of the vehicle repair process, so that they could keep their clients up to date, said Rogers.
About Discovery Limited
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. Founded in 1992 by the current Group Chief Executive Officer Adrian Gore, Discovery was guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Underpinning this core purpose is the belief that through innovation Discovery can be a powerful market disruptor.
The company, with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, has expanded its operations globally and currently serves over seven million clients across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and Singapore. Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution for individuals and corporates. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds 5.5 million lives in five markets.
Discovery is an authorised financial services provider. It trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange under the code “DSY”.
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About Discovery Insure
· Discovery Insure was launched in May 2011.
· This pioneering product was created by leveraging the behavioural expertise developed in the Vitality programme with the latest telematics technology.
· The unique Vitalitydrive programme encourages and rewards better driving behaviour and ensuring that vehicles are roadworthy.
· At the heart of Vitalitydrive is the DQ-Track telematics device that measures and reports crucial aspects of driving behaviour.
· Drivers on the higher driver status have 34% fewer claims than average or poor drivers (as measured by Vitalitydrive).
· Vitalitydrive provides up to 50% fuel rewards on clients’ monthly BP fuel spend.
· Young adults between 18 and 25 can receive further discounts of up to 25% on their motor premiums.
· Discovery Insure offers comprehensive vehicle, personal and household cover.
· Discovery Insure was voted second in the Short-term Insurance (Consumer Category) at the 2013 Sunday Times Top Brands Awards.