The best and worst life insurers in South Africa

South Africans are more satisfied with life insurance companies in 2016 than they were in the prior year, according to the latest South African Consumer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi).

Data from Consulta shows that South African customers gave their life insurance providers an average satisfaction score of 77.3 out of 100, up 1.6 points from 2015.

The South African Customer Satisfaction Index gauged customers of Metropolitan, Momentum, Old Mutual, Discovery, Liberty and Sanlam.

In an interesting twist, Metropolitan jumped from a ranking that was below par last year to a leadership position in 2016. In contrast, Sanlam moved from leadership position to below par in 2016.

Both Metropolitan and Momentum emerged as leaders, with scores of 81.1 and 79.3 respectively. Old Mutual and a category of “other” scored on par with the industry average at 78 and 77.8 respectively. Discovery (75), Sanlam (74.9) and Liberty (74.1) obtained below par satisfaction scores.

# Life Insurer 2015 Score 2016 Score
1 Metropolitan 74.0 81.1
2 Momentum 78.2 79.3
3 Old Mutual 77.5 78.0
4 Other 73.7 77.8
Industry Average 75.8 77.3
5 Discovery 74.8 75.0
6 Sanlam 78.4 74.9
7 Liberty 76.5 74.1

According to Prof. Adré Schreuder, founder of SAcsi and CEO of Consulta, the scores mirror life insurers’ ratings for expectation and perceived value – factors which are taken into account in assessing the overall customer satisfaction score.

“The only company that lived up to its customers’ expectations in 2015 was Metropolitan. This is made more noteworthy by the fact that the three-year trend shows Metropolitan’s customer expectations increasing,” he said.

The perceived value scores for 2016 are also slightly higher, showing that, while customers of Discovery and Liberty view their products in a positive light, they see them as expensive.

In the area of perceived quality (what the customer perceives they actually gets for the price paid) Metropolitan scored highest in terms of reliability, whereas Sanlam and Liberty scored below the industry average on this metric, the survey showed.

Customer loyalty in the life insurance industry is down, with the overall score six points lower than 2015, SAcsi said.

Liberty’s loyalty score slumped significantly to 61.6% – its lowest score in the past three years. “This coincides with the discontinuation of its loyalty programme on new products,” it said.

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The best and worst life insurers in South Africa