The best insurance companies in South Africa

 ·23 Jun 2021

Consulta has published its latest Consumer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for the short-term insurance industry, showing which insurers are the best at keeping their customers happy.

The 2020 SAcsi for short term insurance polled 2,600 customers of short-term insurers during the second half of 2020 across major South African short terms insurers including Auto & General, Discovery, Momentum, Old Mutual, Sanlam, Outsurance and Virseker.

The data shows an industry where competition between players is fierce, with the difference between the top four scoring brands on customer satisfaction score barely more than a single index point, Consulta said.

“For the first time in the history of the SAcsi, the Short-term Insurance SAcsi score overtook the Banking SAcsi score, which has traditionally performed at a very high level,” it said.

“While the index differentiates between direct and intermediated insurance models, it is important to note that all short-term insurers compete for the same customers regardless of their distribution models.”

OUTsurance takes the leader position in the overall customer satisfaction measure across direct and intermediated insurers, with a score of 82.3.

The company had shown consistent year-on-year improvement in its customer satisfaction score, from 2016 when it was well below par, to clinching leader position in 2020, Consulta said.

Virseker (81.7) follows on par with a decline from its score in 2019 of 83.2.

The intermediated insurers Old Mutual Insure (81.3), Momentum (81.2), Santam (79.5) and Discovery (78.8) are all on par, while Auto & General (75.1) is below par.

Both Momentum and Discovery increased their scores compared with 2019.

“Santam is showing marginal but consistent declines in its customer satisfaction score year-on-year and would do well to note the competitive threats from Old Mutual Insure, OUTsurance, Virseker and more recently Momentum, which show consistent improvement despite the tough market and operating conditions that face all players in the industry,” Consulta said.

# Insurer 2019 2020 Change
1 OUTsurance 81.5 82.3 +0.8
2 Virseker 83.2 81.7 -1.5
3 Old Mutual Insure 81.2 81.3 +0.1
4 Momentum 77.8 81.2 +3.4
Industry average 80.0 79.9 -0.1
5 Santam 79.7 79.5 -0.2
6 Discovery 76.2 78.8 +2.2
7 Auto & General 78.4 75.1 -3.3

Increasing expectations

Customer expectations increased across the industry during 2020, Consulta said.

This is attributed to the increase in insurer brand messaging and heightened awareness due to extensive media coverage, notably around business interruption claims, and payment holidays that most insurers offered to financially distressed customers.

“On one hand, the industry achieved a great deal of goodwill by helping customers navigate the uncertainty that came with the arrival of Covid-19 and its impact on households and livelihoods,” said Ineke Prinsloo, head of customer insights at Consulta.

“Payment holidays, premium discounts, and restructuring of client portfolios at a time when millions of South Africans found themselves in financial distress went a long way in shoring up loyalty and appreciation for the insurer interventions.

“On the opposite end of the spectrum, the damage wrought by declined business interruption claims and the ensuing public legal battles and media reporting raised the stakes in expectations.

“Customers questioned whether insurers could be trusted to pay in their time of need, and this was a prevailing theme,” she said.

Read: The average take-home pay in South Africa right now

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