For the average insurance consumer, the arithmetic is hard to ignore: The less insurers pay in claims, the more money they make.

Executive Summary

"Few things are more energizing to a customer relationship than when people see you've got their back, you're in their corner, you're advancing their best interests," writes Watermark Consulting's Jon Picoult. Using examples from within and outside the insurance industry, he demonstrates the type of customer advocacy on which great brands are built, advising insurers to look to provide unexpected value beyond paying claims and also to work to preempt insurance claims rather than just solving problems after they happen.

Thus is planted the seed of a doubt that so many policyholders seem to harbor: Does my insurer really have my back? Are they looking out more for my interests or their own?

Given that financial services was found to be the least trustworthy industry in Edelman’s 2020 Trust Barometer, it appears people aren’t convinced whose side insurers are really on. Indeed, when research firm YouGov asked consumers the question directly, more people said insurers act in the company’s best interest rather than the policyholder’s.

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