things right than wrong in their relationship with customers,
according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) in its
Customer Impact Survey. Nevertheless, the industry body’s 2008
survey reveals room for improvement in certain areas.
The ABI survey is designed to provide insight into progress
being made by insurers in the implementation of the Customer Impact
Scheme launched in March 2006 with the objective of improving
outcomes for customers. Thirty-two companies and almost 20,000
customers took part in the 2008 survey.
Satisfaction remains high
The ABI’s 2008 survey, which measured customer satisfaction with
and experience of the life insurance, pensions and investment
industry, found that overall satisfaction with the long-term
insurance industry remains high, with 85 percent of consumers
stating that their provider “treats customers fairly”. A solid
result but, disappointingly, unchanged from the 2007 survey.
More encouraging was that the majority of customers, 53 percent,
agreed that the life insurance industry has an excellent
reputation. This was up from 48 percent in the 2007 survey.
Also encouraging was an improved perception of individual
companies. In the 2008 survey, 86 percent of customers strongly
agreed or agreed that their company was easy to do business with,
up from 85 percent in the 2007 survey.
However, work remains to be done in a number of areas, in
particular complaints handling. While the 2008 survey found that
only 3 percent of customers had cause to complain to their
provider, down from 4 percent in the previous survey, only 10
percent said the way the company handled their complaint was
excellent or very good. This was down from 14 percent in the 2007
survey. Of customers who complained, 57 percent felt their
complaint had been handled poorly, up from 50 percent in the 2007
Commenting on the 2008 survey’s findings, the ABI’s director of
life and savings, Maggie Craig, noted: “The industry recognises
that the Customer Impact Scheme is a long-term undertaking and that
it will take time for the full effect of the industry’s work to be