June 16, 2006 by Canadian Underwriter
The Co-operators Group Ltd. recently launched a Claims Guarantee that is meant to address Canadian consumer uncertainty in the insurance company.
“Some people hesitate before making an insurance claim or even asking questions about their coverage,” Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO, the Co-Operators, says. “They’re not sure what to expect during the claims process or whether it will impact their rates.”
Bardswick explains that the Co-Operators Claims Guarantee removes the “element of fear” consumers may feel and “clearly lays out our (the Co-Operators) promise. At the end of the day insurance shouldn’t have to be a riddle.”
The Claims Guarantee covers property and casualty insurance products for both individual and group clients and is designed to enhance client service while reducing uncertainty. Bardswick provides an example, saying that clients have access to a claims counseling service that will answer their questions and help them decide whether or not to make a claim in a given situation. If there are no injuries or convictions involved and the client chooses to pay the claim, she explains the incident will not result in a premium increase – guaranteed.
“We’ve all heard stories of people who are afraid to even call their insurance company about a potential claim because they’re afraid their rates will go up,” Bardswick adds.
In the event of a claims dispute, Bardswick says a Service Review Panel, consisting of Co-operators clients who volunteer their time to help resolve client concerns, can re-examine the case and present its ruling. The decision of the Service Review Panel is binding on The Co-operators but not on the client. The Panel has been in place for over 15 years and The Co-operators is the only insurer in Canada to provide such an option for its clients.
The Claims Guarantee, according to the insurer, promises quality products and services from vendors recommended to make repairs. While clients always have the final say in which service provider repairs or replaces their damaged or stolen property, the Company says it will guarantee all work done through its network of preferred vendors.
It also outlines the “accident forgiveness” feature that insulates clients with this coverage from rate increases – even in the case of an at-fault accident.