The rise in insurance complaints highlights the industry’s stubborn malaise
Recently, the Consumer Rights and Interests Protection Bureau of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission announced the insurance consumption complaints in the fourth quarter of 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the banking and insurance regulatory system received and forwarded 26,688 complaints about insurance consumption involving insurance companies, up 22.82 percent year on year, the circular showed. Among them, the proportion of complaints involving property insurance companies and personal insurance companies was roughly the same. Among the companies with more complaints, there were some well-known insurance companies such as PICC Property Insurance, Pacific Property Insurance and Ping An Life Insurance.
In the field of property insurance, claims dispute complaints have been high. And in claims disputes, accounting for the largest share of property insurance, auto insurance has been the most complained of disaster areas. For example, the identification of insurance liability is unreasonable, the amount of fixed loss is disputed, and the limitation of claims is slow. More consumers ridicule, insurance when you are “sweet”, claims survey when it is not welcomed by the “cow lady”.
The comprehensive reform of auto insurance launched last year, including raising insurance liability, merging additional insurance types and lowering premiums, has laid a solid foundation for the sound development of auto insurance. However, in the long run, the large number of complaints in the claims settlement process still requires continuous attention from the regulatory authorities and timely introduction of relevant policies to standardize the claims investigation and settlement process and loss determination standards, so as to effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and avoid contract disputes.
In the field of life insurance, sales disputes became the target of public criticism. Insurance agents in the process of sales “exaggerated income”, “concealment of the period”, “speculation stop selling” and other problems have been criticized by consumers. “Sales a mouth, surrender to run a broken leg”, it is the true portrayal after many consumers are cast. To solve these problems, the core is to establish a team of high-quality insurance agents. As the main force of life insurance sales, insurance agents contributed more than half of the original premium income of life insurance last year, and also made great contributions to the popularization of insurance knowledge and the establishment of scientific insurance concept. From the product side, the guarantee period of life insurance products is more than 20 or 30 years or even life. If the agent uses the sales strategy of FMCG to do a one-shot deal, it is naturally difficult to last for a long time. Only by truly standing on the standpoint of customers and managing life insurance in the way of “insurance + company”, can we fundamentally reduce consumer complaints and promote the healthy development of life insurance.
It is worth noting that, after combing the complaints of insurance consumption in the past two years, some small companies have become “frequent” on the list of complaints, especially the number of complaints of Internet insurance companies and health insurance companies continues to rise. “There is no offline network, insurance depends on the link” is the real situation faced by these companies. Coupled with the companies’ focus on online marketing, the rapidly growing user base has become a double-edged sword, creating hidden dangers as well as enhancing performance.
Online development reduces operating costs and is convenient for consumers, but the design of products and the standardization of insurance procedures are the cornerstone of the development of insurance companies. Previously, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBRC) had explicitly required that online insurance sales activities can be retroactively managed to further protect consumers’ right to know, to choose independently and to deal fairly. Internet insurance companies and health insurance companies, which are in the rising stage of their business, are mainly engaged in short-term insurance products, with large customer mobility and low stability. But we should not “play the edge ball”, let alone disturb the market with low prices and gimmicks. The only way forward is to listen to customers carefully, improve product design and service, and comply with the requirements.