The latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for Short-Term Insurers, conducted by Consulta, reports that South African short-term insurance customers are the most satisfied with Santam’s offerings.

With an overall SAcsi score of 81.3, Santam is well above the industry average of 75.8. It is the only insurer to consistently improve its score over the past three years, from 77.3 in 2014 and 80.0 in 2015, when it overtook Outsurance to become the industry leader, SAcsi said.

Outsurance scored 77.3 (up 0.6 points) and Mutual & Federal scored 77.7 (down 1.2 points), with Hollard performing below the rest of the industry with a score of 71.2, down from 71.8 in 2015. Auto & General debuted in this year’s SAcsi with a score of 76.0.

Now in its fifth year, the SAcsi Benchmark for Short-Term Insurers offers impartial insights into the South African short-term insurance industry by blending a Customer Expectations Index, Perceived Quality Index and a Perceived Value Index to achieve an overall result out of 100.

South Africa’s top five insurers are included in the industry index: Santam, Outsurance, Mutual & Federal, Hollard and Auto & General (and a combination of various other short-term providers).

The survey sample included 2,939 customers who were randomly selected for inclusion.

“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,” said Consulta CEO, professor Adré Schreuder.

“Customers want insurance products that work, not gimmicks, and they are willing to pay more for a reliable, value-for-money offering.”

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, Schreuder said.

“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 proposition.”

A recurring theme in this year’s survey was that customers place great value on their trust in a brand, the availability of service, communication and the ease of use.

Should any of these things be lacking, the customer’s expectation slides further, and eventually the business faces closure, as happened with Saambou in the banking sector and Autopage in mobile telephony, Schreuder said.

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