Local insurers face sour customers

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Local insurers face sour customers


Korean insurance companies aren’t treating their customers well, according to a report on the global insurance market released on Monday.

Customer satisfaction with Korean insurers is lower than that of Russian and Chinese companies and was the worst of 30 countries surveyed by French consulting firm Capgemini in its World Insurance Report 2016.

The annual report is the industry’s largest customer survey, asking more than 15,500 respondents in 30 countries about their motivation, habits, preferences and behavior as insurance consumers.

The customer satisfaction level improved globally in 2015, but notable differences existed between countries, the report said.

Austrian companies continued to lead in coddling their customers, with 64.9 percent of survey respondents there saying they had a positive experience with their insurers. U.S. and Belgian companies were ranked second and third.

“South Korea and China continued to lag all other countries, with South Korea providing a positive experience to only 33.6 percent of customers and China to 37.3 percent,” the report said.

Although Korea’s insurance market is the world’s eighth largest by premium revenue, survey respondents criticized companies here for making policy sales their overriding focus.

According to Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service, about two-thirds of complaints about financial services are about insurance.

“Many insurance agents are overly focused on selling and pay less attention to customer management afterward,” said a 40-year-old insurance sales manager surnamed Song. “To get positive feedback from customers, agents need to keep in touch with them more often via a variety of communication channels in the digital era.”

The report suggested that insurers increase interactions with customers of all ages, but noted in particular that those born in the 1980s and 1990s are more likely to respond to digital-based customer care.

“Also impacting global insurers is the steady advance of the Internet of Things, a series of breakthrough technologies that may potentially transform the insurance industry in stunning fashion,” Thierry Delaporte, CEO of Capgemini, wrote in the report.

“Looking forward, insurance customers of all ages are expected to gravitate toward greater use of digital channels,” the report said. “In the next 12 months, more than one-quarter of customers plan to purchase or renew their insurance through digital channels.”

BY SONG SU-HYUN [song.suhyun@joongang.co.kr]

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