ON THE MONEY
STUART THEOBALD: Momentum PR disaster reflects poor understanding of client needs
Insurance companies tend to focus on the impersonal calculus of probability and risk at the cost of deeply personal and emotive issues
The Momentum PR disaster that was its handling of a life claim by the Ganas family should give pause to the life insurance industry. How did Momentum manage to understand the needs and perspectives of its clients so poorly? Life companies don’t pay much attention to the emotional context in which they operate. Insurance is a complex industry. It is about deeply personal and emotive issues, literally life and death, and the profoundly impersonal calculus of probability and risk. Those who run and regulate insurance companies tend to focus on the latter. But clients focus on the need to manage risks that could have enormous consequences for themselves and those they love. Momentum saw the Ganas case in purely technical terms. The life policy that Nathan Ganas held was declared invalid by Momentum because he had not disclosed a material blood sugar problem that he was, according to them, aware of. This approach is quite normal all over the world. The core philosophical precept to insur...