Aviva goes big on the little things

Press release


7 in 10 (72%) Singaporeans believe that their insurer should be helping them settle their hospital claims directly, without having them make an upfront payment when a mishap occurs. But only 27% of those who have made a health claim are satisfied with their insurers' delivery in this aspect.

The study further revealed that more than half (58%) of the respondents said they hope to be able to stop paying premiums if they face any financial difficulties; only 12% were found to be very satisfied with their insurers for providing this feature.

While 57% of respondents said it is very important for products to be designed in a modular way so they only pay for what they need, only 17% indicated that they are very satisfied with insurers' product design in this respect.

These are just some of the insights Aviva found in its recent survey on what matters to Singaporeans when it comes to their insurance needs.

Mr Nishit Majmudar, CEO of Aviva Singapore, said, "The findings aren't surprising nor is it the first time we have received such responses from customers."

Insights such as these have helped to shape Aviva's customer-centric approach. They had recently launched a marketing campaign to demonstrate that 'Little things matter'. But the insurer emphasised that this is not just an advertising line for them.

Majmudar elaborated, "It is in the fundamentals of how we want to do business – from how we design products, to how we service customers when they make a claim. We have taken an inside-out approach to constantly find new ways to make it easier and simpler for customers when it comes to their insurance needs."

"Customers buy insurance to make sure that they are taken care of when the big things like illness, accidents, or the death of a loved one happen. Aside from providing insurance payouts to ease the financial burden, we also want to make sure we make things easy and simple for our customers. In their time of need, we must not become another source of stress and hassle by burdening them with processes and paperwork."

Citing examples of how Aviva is making things easy and simple its customers, Majmudar points out that its whole life plan allows customers the flexibility to put their premiums on hold if they lose their job, with no interest or penalty charge.

He added, "It is just a little thing perhaps. But it goes a long way when you are going through financial difficulty. As an insurer, we are supposed to be there for our customers when they are in need, not add on to their burden by being inflexible about premium payments."

Another example that Majmudar cited on how Aviva helps to make things easier for customers is consolidated claim forms. For claimants who require multiple hospital visits for the same condition, such as recurring treatment like dialysis or chemotherapy, or pre and post check-ups for a surgery, customers now need to fill in a form for the first bill only. Subsequent hospitalisation claims do not require any additional paperwork.

"If it is for the same condition and the claim has already been assessed, we don't see why the customer needs to fill in a form for each and every bill. It is just unnecessary hassle for the customer," Mr Majmudar commented.

Some of the initiatives that the insurer has undertaken internally to support their customer-centric focus include investing in their IT infrastructure to support more automation, which in turn reduces turnaround time. They are also currently in the midst of embedding a Systems Thinking approach internally to take a customer-driven focus towards designing and managing processes.

One of the internal changes that the Systems Thinking approach has effected is a change in the way Aviva measures operational performance in its call centre. Call centre representatives are no longer measured by the number of calls they take. Instead, their targets are now based on the percentage of resolved queries and customer satisfaction.

"We are not perfect. But our commitment to work on 'little things that make a big difference to our customers' is firm. This is a continuous journey for us, and one that we place a lot of emphasis on," Majmudar said.

"Our business is growing very rapidly and these are exciting times for us. We have a full range of products – life, health, general insurance, employee insurance, and even a unit trust platform. You can say we have got the big things covered. But it is the little things that we need to continue to do better for our customers."

"We want to build long-term relationships with our customers. We want to thank our customers for placing their trust in us by doing well in the little things that matter to them," Majmudar explained.

In the past few years, Aviva's businesss has been on an upward trend in terms of business growth. In the first half of this year, their insurance sales increased by 34% to $92.4 million.