The best and worst motor insurance providers for customer service in 2011
A major change is on the cards for the motor insurance industry as, from December 2012, insurers will no longer be able to take gender into account when calculating premiums. Critics - and cynical drivers alike - have argued this change will result in ramped up premiums across the board so from an insurer's point of view, gaining customer trust will be critical.
MOST TRUSTED: NFU MUTUAL
Its products are highly rated with features such as courtesy cars and breakdown cover included as standard, helping it to achieve a five-Star rating from data provider Defaqto. But what customers really like is the personal service they receive. One said: "It has local offices and you feel valued and helped whenever you need it." Another described NFU Mutual as "responsive, easy to deal with and very fair".
BEST MOTOR INSURANCE PROVIDER FOR SERVICE: NFU MUTUAL
New rules for motor insurance, (the Continuous Insurance Enforcement Law,) will make it an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle unless it has a statutory off road notification or is exempt. While most insurers are pretty hot on sending out renewals, knowing your insurer has first-class customer service will give you the confidence that you won't accidentally find yourself without cover.
NFU Mutual's customers certainly appear to have this confidence, naming it the best motor insurance provider for service. Many love the personal service they receive in the insurer's branches and, while there were plenty of comments about competitive pricing, one customer said it was worth paying a little extra to get great service.
BEST MOTOR INSURANCE PROVIDER FOR CLAIMS: NFU MUTUAL
With so many of us dependent on our cars, knowing you're with an insurer that will go the extra mile in the event of making a claim is key. Customers of this year's winner, NFU Mutual, are certainly confident they won't be stranded if they do need to claim.
It offers its customers a courtesy car so they can still get around while the damage is repaired. It also uses a network of repairers, guaranteeing their work for three years to ensure customers are confident about the quality of any repairs.
The personal approach was also highly commended by NFU Mutual's customers, with many saying it was worth paying extra just to know they'd be looked after if they did make a claim. The standard of service was typified by one customer who said: "NFU has always been helpful, professional and swift."
WORST MOTOR INSURANCE PROVIDER: KWIK-FIT INSURANCE
Kwik-Fit Insurance found itself in last place when it comes to motor insurance, with criticism centring on the responsiveness of customer service. One customer said: "They're very quick to take your money but not to answer queries."
Commenting on this, a spokesperson for Kwik-Fit Insurance said: "We're involved in a process of continuous business improvement to make our customer experience as transparent and simple as possible. These results show there is still work to be done and we look forward to addressing these issues in the coming month."