If carriers and agents can handle their small business clients’ claims well, they could be better positioned to keep their customers happy.

Approximately 94 percent of small business owners who said they were highly satisfied with their claims processing reported they were also confident in their insurance program. By contrast, just 58 percent of unsatisfied claimants said they were confident in their insurance program, according to The Hanover Insurance Group’s annual Small Business Risk Report.

Simply put, a happy customer is happy with the product or service in question.

“Our annual Small Business Risk Report further validates the importance of claims and risk management and the connection both have to future insurance-buying behaviors,” Michael R. Keane, president, core commercial at The Hanover, said in prepared remarks.

Overall, the study found that 64 percent of small business owners were satisfied with their most recent claims experience. Of that number, 30 percent said that fair payment of claims and quick processing and response time would help drive satisfaction. Just under 20 percent said they responded well to knowledgeable claims professionals. About 10 percent of respondents said that access to a claims professional and convenient claims reporting options were both factors that left them satisfied.

Based on those responses, the report argues that carriers/agents would benefit by helping small business owner clients understand how to report a claim. These customers should also be educated about what information is needed based on the type and severity of claim and which resources could help support their businesses during a claims process, the study concluded.

Underscoring that need, about 1/3 of small businesses that work with independent agents said in the study that they were either unaware of risk management services or simply not offered them.

Other report findings:

  • 36 percent of respondents said they were unhappy with how their insurance claims were handled by their carriers.
  • 67 percent said they are becoming more vulnerable to cyber and data breach claims as they digitize their businesses. At the same time, just 18 percent of small business owners said they faced a digital breach incident in the past five years.
  • 52 percent said their businesses will likely face a claim in the next 5 years. Top claim concerns: property damage, employee injury and auto accidents. According to the study, the type of business insurance claims expected by small business owners serves as a direct mirror of their past claims experience.

The Hanover conducted its 14-question survey with Forbes Insights. The national survey took place throughout the country from Jan. 7, 2019 through Feb. 1, 2019, and The Hanover was not identified as a participant or survey sponsor.

Source: The Hanover