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FintechNZ backs move for better customer service

FintechNZ today backed the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to make public its annual corporate workplan which should result in better insurtech customer service.

FintechNZ general manager James Brown says it is a good step forward in being proactive in a very old sector.

“Insurtechs are focusing on the onboarding process as it remains clunky and a number of questions are asked that are not relevant. We also need to make claiming easier. I recently made a claim and I was almost made to feel like I was trying to commit fraud,” Brown says.

The FMA’s plan outlines strategic priorities to improve behavioural standards across different financial services sectors – including the insurance industry.

Priorities include governance, credible deterrence of misconduct, implementation of potential remit changes, investor and customer decision-making, and promoting trust and confidence in capital markets.

Brown says insurance has been an incentive-based product which has issues as has been highlighted in the United Kingdom with more than $100 billion being paid out to customers who have been mis sold.

“The biggest problem is that insurance is seen as a secondary, bolt on product by banks when taking out debt products so it’s not given the same emphasis.

“Many customers believe insurance companies always start a claim conversation with the aim of not paying out, so the trust model is somewhat broken.

“Insurance companies need to take a more proactive role. We should see this with health as people who take steps to lead a healthy lifestyle. Getting health checks should result in a lower premium compared to those who smoke, drink and take drugs.

“With the help of wearable technology, we could start to incorporate this into premiums. Then via an app, suggest healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner and promote moving to gain loyalty points and a greater discount.

“Insurance sits behind the policy parameters when making decisions. We need them to consider the impact on people and work towards doing the right thing for customers.
“We need to have behavioural standards across the industry focused on the positive role insurance can take when the product is called upon,” Brown says.

For further information contact James Brown on 021 982247 or Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

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