When disaster strikes what do SMEs need from their broker?
One in five SMEs have been impacted by natural disasters in the last three years, with over half affected by bushfires. With the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, now is a good time to ask how informed SMEs are about the risk of disaster, how confident do they feel about their insurance coverage for it and how satisfied are they with their claims experience?
Vero’s SME Insurance Index Claims and Natural Disaster bonus chapter sheds a light on some crucial insights.
In terms of overall natural disaster insurance experience, a large group (34%) of those impacted were dissatisfied. The main reasons for this include lack of clarity and duration of the process.
Broker clients tend to be more satisfied than those claiming direct. However, satisfaction levels for natural disaster claims are significantly lower than for general claims, across the board.
There’s a significant opportunity to improve customer satisfaction and increase business, with only a third of broker clients say that their broker has discussed the risks and potential impact of natural disasters with them. But a large majority of these SMEs found these discussions helpful.
Most broker clients believe that brokers have a role to play in helping them to prepare for natural disasters. For example, by advising on correct amounts and types of covers and providing risk assessments. Even those without a broker can see the value of a broker in preparing for natural disasters.
Broker clients who have had a good claims experience are far more likely to say that brokers support them during difficult times and will have more positive perceptions of brokers overall. Guiding a client effectively through the claims process in the event of a disaster can turn a client into an advocate.
Furthermore, those who are satisfied with their claims experience tend to be more positive about insurance in general. They are more willing to pay for better advice and service and are less price-driven and grudging about insurance costs.
Vero’s SME Insurance Index Claims and Natural Disaster bonus chapter shows that this is an area in which brokers can and should be demonstrating their value and increasing customer satisfaction. Or, to quote Sarah Lyons, CEO of Gallagher Australia “Claims is where you make or break relationships. SMEs look to brokers for support and guidance”.
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Source: The SME Insurance Index report research was conducted by BrandMatters. See www.brandmatters.com.au
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