I know, I know, it’s not Christmas yet but I had been thinking about the types of things that I would like to see in an insurance company. Many of these are done by some companies but others are things that I personally think could be very beneficial. If one or two companies were able to offer these, I’d be a very happy customer:) And no, I did not even include low premiums since those are fairly obvious.
–Preventive Help: I’ve heard of a few insurance companies that will go out of their way to make sure that their customers are doing well. They will give discounts based on gym memberships, send a nurse over once a year for a check-up, send out information about a healthier lifestyle, etc. Being healthy is to my benefit obviously but also to my insurance (life, health, etc) company’s. I would love to see my company doing more in that regards.
–Simplifying products: I understand that some products can become complex. There are hundreds of different annuities. That being said, I think offering plain vanilla products would make it much easier to evaluate the cost of additional options that are offered but also much easier to understand whatever we are shopping for and end up buying.
–Flexible coverage that can be adjusted: That being said, when I buy an iPod, I get offers for different options such as additional memory, color, etc. I think that most insurance products could be offered in a similar way. You’d have the plain vanilla dental insurance to which you could add other benefits for more complex procedures, etc.
–Offers all type of insurance: I would probably not get every type of insurance with that one company as it’s unlikely they would offer the best coverage/premium for all of them. But having the option to do so and being stuck with 2 or 3 companies at most (instead of 7 or 8) would simplify my life a great deal. It would also give the insurance company a much more accurate profile of its clients and thus more accurate pricing.
–One bill: I would certainly hope to see these insurance companies come up with one simple bill, one amount to be charged every month. It would become much easier to track what I hold, what I’m paying every month and to re-evaluate. This would help me a great deal in minimizing the complexity in my finances, diminishing the amount of bills I would receive and make it clearer which products I actually do own.
–Website, with clear info about coverage, policies, costs, etc: There is a major difference in this regard between different insurance companies. In my opinion, I should be able to easily login to my account and from that website I could:
-view my current insurance products, modify them or shop for new ones.
-get information about each one
-make reimbursement requests for fees such as doctors, dental care, etc
-view the status of my requests, reimbursements, etc
–Clear and short terms and conditions: Currently, I don’t understand much more looking at my insurance policities terms and conditions than I would if I picked up the manual written in mandarin. It’s written for lawyers and I don’t think my car insurance terms should be 40 pages long. I truly hope that at some point they will be able to make these much shorter, easier to read, etc.
–Profiling: I’m ok with paying more for car insurance if I get speeding tickets and I’d encourage insurance companies to continue doing so (and charge less to those who do not have a risky profile). What I do think would be unfair though is not knowing some of the factors that influence these premiums. For example, I was told by my insurance company that my house insurance would go down $20/month if I got an alarm system which then made a lot of sense given my monthly cost was $15. I think such information should be available for all types of insurance. Would a smoker’s life insurance diminish by $20/month or more if he stopped? Don’t you think that could be good information to have?