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Retaining Insurance clients after a claim can face a few obstacles. From natural disasters to cyber attacks to professional mistakes. There can be plenty of issues that cause clients to make an insurance claim. When that happens, clients essentially put their insurance policies to the test. Now they find out whether the policy they purchased will protect them the way that they hoped.
Ideally, the claims process goes smoothly and rates don’t jump to exorbitant levels. This leaves clients satisfied and wanting to renew their policies over the following years. Getting to this point, however, isn’t always easy. Some clients might be confused about how to submit claims. Or they might experience issues like waiting a long time to receive insurance payouts. Meanwhile, their businesses might struggle to get back to where they were before the incident occurred.
Yet insurance agents can take steps to help. From creating a better customer experience related to the claims process. To helping clients prepare for future risks, insurance agents can increase the likelihood of retaining clients. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what agents can do regarding how to retain insurance clients after a claim.
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Focus on Customer Experience
No one wants to have to go through an insurance claim. Insurance agents can at least make the process less painful. Focus on customer experience before, during, and after a claim. Insurance agents can help clients feel taken care of and encourage them to remain clients. Rather than switching to a competitor. Agents can express empathy for their clients who are dealing with difficult situations, and they can also provide practical resources.
In particular, insurance agents can improve customer experience by focusing on areas like the following:
Simplify the Claims Process
Client can be under a lot of stress when they make an insurance claim. So, they don’t want to deal with a complicated claims process.
That means insurance agents should walk clients through the claims process before an incident occurs. Perhaps during the onboarding process. You can also periodically check in with clients to see if they have any questions. That way, clients can be in a better position to quickly navigate the claims process, instead of trying to learn what to do following a difficult event.
Insurance agents should also make it easy for clients to get in touch regarding the claims process. Whether that’s before, during or after the event. Yet nearly one-third of small business insurance customers “say they had to exert a great deal of effort to interact with their agent,” finds a J.D. Power survey.
That said, agents don’t have to rely solely on things like communicating with clients one by one via the phone. Some clients want to be able to get in touch directly with their insurance agents. It can also be helpful to offer more automated options for times when clients want to quickly manage the claims process on their own.
So, agents can turn to technology that can automate more of the claims process to increase efficiency and ease-of-use for customers. But it’s not just about using technology to streamline the initial claim submission. Insurers should also see if there are ways to link different parties involved in the claims process so that clients can quickly get back up to speed.
For example, IBM points to the benefits of fully automated claims in commercial auto insurance, where “improving operational efficiencies and connecting businesses (repair shops, rental cars, tow trucks, etc.) from end-to-end is one of the most viable ways to gain profitability and streamline the experience for customers.”
With a more streamlined process, clients can get the resources they need, like a rental car, so that their operations don’t have to become overly interrupted until the claim gets resolved and repairs get made.
Explain Policy Changes
If a claim causes policy rates or coverage inclusions to change, then insurance agents should make sure they explain these differences to clients. You want to solve how to retain insurance clients after a claim. It’s important that they’re not caught off guard by higher rates or major policy differences.
Instead, insurance agents can proactively explain policy changes and ideally offer suggestions like bundling policies to unlock discounts. Doing so can improve customer experience. That way, when renewal discussions come around, clients will appreciate that you took the time earlier to explain policy changes and made helpful suggestions.
Help Clients Prepare for Future Needs
After an insurance claim, insurance agents can improve client retention by helping clients prepare for future needs. For example, working with clients to improve risk management can reduce likelihood of needing to make future claims. As a result, both clients and their insurers can come out ahead.
So, insurers can consult with clients on risk issues and provide resources to help reduce risk. For example, insurance agents can make suggestions based on what other clients have done to prepare for disasters or connect clients with other professionals in their networks who can help with risk management.
Insurers can also help clients prepare for future needs in terms of reviewing policies to make sure they have sufficient coverage. Maybe something wasn’t covered in the most recent claim,. Or a larger disaster could have exposed clients to damage that wouldn’t have been covered. Clients likely want to make sure they’re covered next time. So, insurance agents can make suggestions for different types of policies that provide more comprehensive coverage. This could yield better client retention along with larger policy renewals.
Part of helping clients prepare for future needs and to improve client retention is value. Insurance agents should focus on demonstrating value, rather than offering the same services that everyone else does.
Deloitte notes that insurers can stay in touch with clients on more of an ongoing basis to add value. Instead of just communicating with clients during major events like claims or renewal dates.
“Supplementing policies with risk management e-newsletters, texts offering safety tips or storm alerts, sharing case studies of successful loss-control initiatives, along with ongoing digital marketing of self-service options and their benefits could keep insurance front of mind and provide additional benefits throughout a policy year,” says Deloitte.
By providing more value to clients, you can encourage them to stick with your agency, even after going through tough times that led to a claim. Especially if rates go up, you want to demonstrate that clients are still getting their money’s worth. Having more peace of mind, finding ways to reduce risk, and providing clients with networking opportunities (e.g., if you host an event) are all ways that clients can come to appreciate your services more and feel like their policies are worth it.
Overall, dealing with insurance claims doesn’t have to mean that your relationship with clients takes a turn for the worse. Instead, these incidents can also serve as opportunities to demonstrate your value and encourage clients to renew with you. Especially if you offer a strong customer experience, where clients understand details like how to make a claim and how a claim affects their rates. Then you can improve how clients think about your agency and increase your retention rates.