Britain's worst insurer!
We reveal which insurer lovemoney.com readers believe should receive the medal for the worst insurer in Britain!
A few months back we wrote about Britain's worst bank, and I think it's fair to say that it really got you talking.
So I thought it was about time we took a closer look at another kind of financial institution that doesn't rank particularly highly in the popularity stakes, but one that we all have to deal with at some point - insurance companies.
Here are the results of a recent poll of 726 people to reveal what lovemoney.com readers had to say...
The worst insurer in Britain
Let's not beat about the bush here, and let's get straight to the results... According to our poll, the prize for the worst insurer in Britain should be awarded to:
Aviva (formerly Norwich Union)
A 'slow', 'incompetent', 'tiring', 'deceitful', 'unfair', 'dishonest', 'big greedy corporation', which is 'unhelpful', 'intrusive', and 'disorganised' was how you summed up Aviva.
So what exactly is it that angers so many of you about Aviva?
Well, according to our poll, it all comes down to the ease of making a claim. And unfortunately, out of those of you who voted for Aviva, 61% were very dissatisfied with this aspect. Not only that, but the majority of you were also very unhappy about the size of the payout and the speed at which it was paid out.
What's more, 81% of you said you were completely dissatisfied with how the claim was handled overall, with only 3% of you showing any signs of satisfaction at all! Many of you highlighted the fact that Aviva's call centre is based in India as a cause of your dissatisfaction.
And as for Aviva's overall rating, well, more than half of you described the insurer as 'terrible', while a third of you said Aviva was 'poor'. Only a tiny 8% said Aviva was 'ok' and absolutely no one rated the insurer as 'excellent' or 'good'.
Worst of the rest
So we've established that the medal for the worst insurer in Britain goes to Aviva. But which other insurers push all the wrong buttons?
According to our survey, Direct Line is also 'rubbish', 'unfair', 'evasive', 'slow' and 'difficult'. Again, of those of you who rated Direct Line, all of you said it as either 'poor' or 'terrible'. Not a single person said the insurer was excellent, good, or even ok.
Again, the majority of you felt the ease of claiming, the size of payout received and the overall way the claim was handled was very dissatisfactory.
Next in line came AXA - again, every single one of you who rated AXA was very dissatisfied with the way the claim was handled and rated the insurer as either 'terrible' or 'poor'.
Lloyds TSB and the AA also scored pretty poorly in our survey. Lloyds TSB was described as 'clueless, amateur, and expensive'. And every one of you who rated the AA said the insurer was 'terrible'.
So that's who the worst insurers are, but which type of insurance proved the most troublesome? Well, it seems that claiming for car insurance causes the biggest problems, while claiming for home insurance isn't far behind!
Claiming for private medical insurance, on the other hand, seemed to cause the fewest problems, although this may simply be because fewer people have this type of insurance.
Get it right
Unfortunately, insurance is a necessity and that means we all need to deal with insurers at some stage during our lives.
However, that doesn't mean you have to put up with poor customer service. If you're not happy with your current insurer, find a new one! As soon as your insurance policy expires, hunt around for a new deal with a different insurer. Don't simply renew your current policy out of laziness. Renewal quotes are almost always a poor deal and you'll find a much better deal by simply shopping around yourself.
You should also be wary of any insurers that contact you to say they can beat your renewal quote. These insurers are only promising to beat what is already an inflated renewal quote, and by doing your own research, you're bound to find a much cheaper deal. You can find out more about this sneaky trick in our video, Beating the renewal quote is nothing to shout about.
And to help you with your research, don't forget to check out our range of insurance articles such as 12 tips to drive down your car insurance costs, Eight savvy tips to cut your home insurance, Six steps to cheaper life insurance and 12 top travel insurance tips. Here you can find advice on how to ensure you have the right level of cover so that hopefully you won't run into any difficulties should you need to make a claim. You'll also find some very handy tips on how to keep your premiums to a minimum (without jeopardising your claim).
Finally, don't forget that when you are doing your research you might want to consider whether it's worth paying slightly more for better customer service. After all, if the likes of Aviva, Direct Line, and AXA are offering you the cheapest deals, do you really want to go through some of the problems outlined above if you do make a claim, simply to save a few pennies?
And if you want to share any of your own insurance experiences with fellow lovemoney.com readers, post them in the comments boxes below. Alternatively, why not post a question about your insurance policies on Q&A and get other lovemoney.com community members to help solve your problems?
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