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The Best and Worst Insurance Companies: 2015 vs. 2016

Who are the best and worst short-term insurers in South Africa? Do you agree with who has topped the list as the best insurer?
Service is everything for South Africans. When it comes to short-term insurance, if the company is not delivering, they will find themselves falling out of favour with their consumer. And rightly so! In the latest South African Consumer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) study, conducted by Consulta, there is a dominant favourite in SA’s preferred short-term insurance provider. Santam has, for the second year in a row, taken the top spot of SA’s favourite short term insurer. With an above average score of 81.33, the provider leads the pack in the consumer’s eye.

Santam Is SA’s Best Insurer

Santam stole the top spot from Outsurance in 2015, landing them solidly in the 8-point rating, which is well above the 75 industry standard. It has consistently improved over the past three years according to the study, moving from 77 to the 81 where they find themselves now.
“At the heart of it, customer satisfaction in short term insurance is driven by the provider’s ability, and perceived willingness, to meet the customer’s needs when a claim is made. Customers want insurance products that work, not gimmicks. And, they are willing to pay more for a reliable, value-for-money offering,” says Consulta CEO, Professor Adré Schreuder. “While start-up insurers might rely on lower prices and special promotions, Santam has established a reputation as a reliable insurance provider, having proven that it is transparent and delivers on its promises. Outsurance initially entered the market at a low-price point, however, they are on par with the industry score suggesting that they have not achieved the perceived value preposition.”

What Are Customers Looking For?

According to the study, insurers have to meet some specific standards to be listed as the top provider in the industry. Customers are no longer loyal to a brand, when it comes to short-term insurance, and will look for a new insurer the minute they feel their needs are not being met. So, what are consumers looking for?
  • A reliable name and brand that they can trust
  • A proven track record
  • The service addresses their core needs without the extra unnecessary fluff
  • Easily accessible and available services
  • Open, transparent, and easy communication with the company
  • Ease of use
Should one or more of these be lacking, consumers will take their money elsewhere. Consulta noted that consumers are more likely to change insurance providers than medical aids or banks based on service.

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How Are Scores Calculated?

For five years, SAcsi has been conducting impartial studies and releasing the results to determine SA’s top insurers. This study, in particular, looks at SA’s top short-term insurance providers. A sample study is done including 2 939 randomly selected customers. Various metrics are measured to reach a total of 100 points including:
  • Customer Expectations Index
  • Perceived Quality Index
  • Perceived Value Index
  • Customer Loyalty
  • The six principles of the Treating Customer Fairly (TCF)
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS). This is a score based on the likelihood of the customer referring family or friends to the company.
Consulta then tallies the final results and ranks the companies. The overall rankings look as follows.
  2016 2015 % of Change
Santam 81.3 80.0 1.6%
Mutual and Federal 77.7 78.9 -1.5%
Outsurance 77.3 76. 0.8%
Auto & General 76.0 75.9 0.1%
Other 74.2 76.2 -2.7%
Hollard 71.2 71.8 -0.8%
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2015's Survey Of Best And Worst Insurers

It's interesting to compare these results to those that were collated by when they conducted a comparative analysis of all known insurance companies in South Africa. All analysis was based on HelloPeter commentary. The overall rankings of that survey can be viewed in the table below, with Santam coming in at second last position. It is important to note, however, that the metrics of both of these were different with the above survey only measuring short-term insurers and the below measuring insurers across the board. The updated version of this survey is expected to be released in the next month or so.