What drives a positive claim experience and how does it impact new business?

Last year, the Global L&H Claims Team launched a research with support from Swiss Re's Behavioural Research Unit and Professor Ivo Vlaev from the University of Warwick, to understand the drivers of positive claiming experiences, and how these experiences can impact a company's ability to write new business.

What makes a claim experience better?

The first step entailed a comprehensive scoping review across relevant insurance literature. Swiss Re experts then enriched the initial findings with a set of recommendations, which leveraged insights from brainstorming sessions previously held with the Claims team. The work group collated and identified potentially relevant factors along the claim journey and conducted a first claimants survey to test how claimants experienced these factors and what impact they had.  

The survey encompassed claimants across different markets; it then focused on specific ones (Critical illness and Income protection) and specific countries (UK, China and Australia). In total 182 individuals completed the survey in China, 163 in the UK and 162 in Australia. The team compiled and analysed the complete data set, and then drilled down into the segment of claimants whose claims had been declined. Usually these claimants tend to have a more negative experience.

A key finding of the study is that the claim experience can be improved by focusing on the following main factors:

  • Empathy
  • Trust
  • Social influence
  • Signposting
Surprisingly, to deliver a better claim experience it's not about addressing the "usual suspects" like providing more detailed information. Insurers need to focus on basic human psychological needs for empathy, trust and social influence.
Ivo Vlaev, Professor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Which factors can be leveraged to improve new business?

The next phase of the study focused on determining which attributes of the claim process for Critical Illness Insurance and Income Protection Insurance could be leveraged to improve claims Net Promoter Score (NPS) and whether good claims experiences would have an impact on new business, i.e. repeat purchases. This new survey tested the correlation between more favourable responses and higher NPS ratings or larger repeat purchase intention.

Empathy, fairness and social influence were the factors with the largest and most consistent positive effect on NPS and repeat purchase intention among the 207 respondents in China, 212 in the UK and 181 in Australia who took part in this survey. This means, by modifying these factors, insurers can enhance their levels of customer advocacy and repeat purchase intention, which in turn can lead to improved new business results.

Despite big data and automation, understanding human behaviour remains key.
Chloé Michel, Behavioural Research Manager, Swiss Re Institute

What do these findings mean for our clients?

With our clients and their customers at the heart, we have developed the expertise to implement Customer Claim Experience (CCX) interventions leveraging Behavioural Economics, Experience Design and other Customer Experience techniques to help our clients enhance their claims journeys and improve business results. The research findings mentioned above have already been integrated into our value proposition, and we are ready to support our clients with reviewing and optimizing their own Claims journeys.

We know what drives great customer claim experience and how to help you achieve that.
Jos Cobben, Head Life & Health Business Management Client Service Delivery, Swiss Re

If you would like to know more about the positive claiming experience research and our Customer Claim Experience offering, please contact Jos Cobben, Head of L&H Business Management Client Service Delivery or Cécile Däppen, L&H Global Claims Customer Experience Manager.

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