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How consumer awards can help you find the right insurer

4 January 2017

Most of us consider what others have said before we make a purchase. Whether we ask a friend about the appliance they’ve bought, or go online to Tripadvisor to get the low down from people who’ve ‘been there, done that’ before us.

Did you know the same applies to insurance? You can actually find out what it is like to be a customer, from other people’s insurance experiences, which takes away some of the guesswork to choose the right insurer. Of course, you still need to work out which policy is best for your circumstances, but if you’re tossing up between two very similar insurers, then it might help to find out what other people are saying about them and the service they provide.

One way to do this is checking out surveys conducted by companies like Canstar Blue, which measures customer satisfaction, and Reader’s Digest, which measures trust as well as service quality. The highest scoring companies in these surveys receive an achievement award, which is an easy way for consumers to identify a company that’s highly regarded in its field.

The survey results are an independent validation of the way the company operates and how it treats its customers, because the customers are just telling it like it is from their own experience - they aren’t identified by name, and they don’t get a free set of steak knives from their insurer for their efforts. There are also a lot of them, so you know you’re not just getting the opinion of a handful of people but, for these surveys anyway, from several thousand Kiwis all around the country.

This year the Canstar Blue Customer Satisfaction Award surveyed 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track satisfaction. For the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Awards, over 1,200 people were asked to rate 292 brands on a scale from 1-10 for trust across 41 different categories, including general insurance. And for the Reader’s Digest Quality Service Awards, almost 1,500 Kiwis were surveyed about their experiences across a range of industries.

So, what does this all mean? Well, if you’re looking for an insurer that not only offers a great product but treats you, with respect and honesty, rather than like a number, then the consumer rated awards are a great place to start.

However, we think it’s good to keep in mind that it’s all very well to win an award once, but consumers should look for consistency. How did the company fare last year or the year before? It may be a good indicator that they’ll perform the same way again next year and further into the future. When it comes to the crunch, you want an insurer that offers security, stability and is trustworthy. Buying insurance is basically buying a promise that you and your belongings will be protected should the worst happen. So you want to be sure your insurer will do what they say they’re going to do.

But how does AA Insurance rate, I hear you ask? Well, we’re proud to say we’ve been regularly recognised by Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands since 2011, NZ Insurance Industry Awards since 2012, IBM Kenexa Best Workplaces Survey since 2008, Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers since 2011, and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index since 2015. We’ve also been acknowledged in the inaugural SAP New Zealand Digital Experience report, as well as being presented with the Supreme Award for customer service at the New Zealand CRM Contact Centre Awards. And while the last two may be new awards, they’re hopefully the start of good things to come!

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