ALEX NEIL: Which insurer scores best for customer service?

How has your experience been in dealing with insurers?
How has your experience been in dealing with insurers?
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Paying insurance is a necessary evil and it can be frustrating watching your annual premiums rise each year when you haven’t had to make a claim.

However, it’s when you do need to pick up the phone and make that call to an insurer that real frustration can kick in.

We all long for insurance companies to be helpful, efficient and generally quick to settle our claims but that is too often not the case.

And ironically, our latest Which? research has found that it’s two of the largest insurance companies which score the lowest ratings among their customers.

Legal & General scored just 51% overall for home-insurance claims in our customer-score analysis, and was worst or nearly worst for specific aspects such as customer service, communication, speed and how the insurer dealt with the claim.

Meanwhile, among car insurers, the sixth largest, Axa, has the second-lowest customer score for claims overall, and came last for aspects of communication and speed. Customers also gave it a poor score for the payout amount, and it was second to last for the handling of sensitive claims.

A frustrated customer told us: “The process has taken five months and the car still hasn’t been repaired.”

It seems that for some companies, frustration is the only thing they pay out to customers quickly and efficiently.

Of course we contacted the companies about our results. L&G said that efficiency was a “key focus” and that it would continue to improve the service while Axa admitted it was disappointed with its score and was taking all feedback seriously.

There is good news though. From our survey of more than 2,500 people who’d made a car or home insurance claim in the last two years, most insurers scored more than 70% for aspects such as service, speed and payout value.

So next time you need to renew your insurance, why not take a look at where your company scored on our Which? customer satisfaction list and write off frustration forever.

ASK ALEX

Who were customers’ heroes? The top five overall on handling car claims are LV,NFU Mutual RSA, Churchill, the AA and Aviva.

LV and NFU Mutual were also in the top five on home insurance, along with Tesco, Privilege and Saga.

Out of these companies, NFU Mutual and LV are Which? Recommended Providers. Find out more at www.which.co.uk
Ask me anything to do with consumer issues at askalex@which.co.uk