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Baigrie condemns providers’ “petty theft” of customers

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  • 08/03/2013
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Baigrie condemns providers’ “petty theft” of customers
Insurers were both praised and damned in this year’s speech by Lifesearch chairman Tom Baigrie.

Speaking to the assembled management of the markets most prominent providers at the Lifesearch Awards, Baigrie praised the industry on a smooth transition over gender but made a forceful point on insurer’s retention strategies damaging advisers.

He said: “You provider leaders may have come up with a different G-day plan each and every one, and made our lives a near impossible jigsaw.

“But never mind the pain of being a true independent, in the end we had choice and you handled it all pretty damn near faultlessly and what could have generated 1,000 complaints at LifeSearch generated about 10.”

He went on to say pricing currently seems to be; “as a market should be. I like it that you are either unable or unwilling to re-start up the price war, long may that courage last.

“It does consumers no good when their insurance is so under priced that neither distributors nor manufacturers have the funds to effectively market the need for their products.”

However he went on to castigate the sector for poor customer retention and poor adviser relations.

He said: “Offer loyalty discounts perhaps, or other incentives like PruProtect do with increasing effectiveness.

“Or allow us to put policies in trust easily, not with 1970’s style documents, envelopes, stamps and ink; for trusts cut churn.

“And how about all of you doing what the best of you do, telling us electronically as soon as you learn that a DD is going south, rather than telling us about a lapse when you claw back three months or more later.

“And how about making reinstatement easy and attractive? In some cases your rules make rebroking always better for the client, and we hate it and so should you. Listen to the F&TRC Protection Forum and change your rules and cut your (and our) churn.

“And what about respecting our relationship and reputation, by telling us when our customers call you to change something about their policy because they see your name on their bank statements, rather than stealing them off us by asking them if they want to deal with us at the same time as offering them a deal there and then direct?

“They’re our customers we sent to you. You should not hide behind systems deficits or worse still TCF, in pretending to police our relationship with our customers when finding fault with us, profits you.

“We are coming after this institutional petty theft!”

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