Court of public opinion an urgent wake-up call for insurers
Reputational damage a challenge for an industry that has been failing to adapt to new conditions
Social media has become a curse for insurers. The Momentum bungle with claims last year and Old Mutual’s initial refusal before paying out the claim of an Atlantis woman whose husband was shot dead in crossfire in 2017 have opened insurers’ eyes to how damaging the court of public opinion can be to their brands. Insurers have to take note, says Laurence Beder, lecturer at Wits Graduate School of Business. “We have to start putting in place some serious thinking around crisis management. There’s only one room and it’s the truth. Brand reputation can get taken out in a minute,” says Beder. Speaking at a Munich Re conference on how insurers can continue to resonate with policyholders, Beder said since players in the e-commerce space are increasingly using algorithms to track their customers’ buying activities — allowing them to deliver a tailored customer experience — the expectation gap in what financial services companies offer and what their customers want keeps widening. However, o...