According to a research from SunLife –a company in the UK specialized in making the financial world more accessible and easy to understand- insurance customers ignore 85% of the information sent by their providers.
The reason for this behavior is that, according to the insurer, on average insurance products come with “more than 25,000 words of explanation written in Ph.D. level language.”
ShiftIInsurance also assures that the most basic insurance policies contain between 20 to 30 pages of insurance terms, conditions, exclusions, and jargon that most people are just not interested in spending their time reading.
Ian Atkinson, head of the brand at SunLife said. “Over three hours’ worth of reading – often written in complex language – feels like a big commitment to have to make every time you buy an insurance product. One of the big enemies for getting the right cover is complexity.”
Additionally, Sunlife revealed that if customers would read every insurance policy they are sent, they would spend an entire month of their lives reading it.
“The average reader should take between three and three and a half hours to understand the average life, health, home and travel insurance documents, in general customers are just actually spending 27 minutes reading through policy documents.”
The research also found that the average insurance product comes with 25,669 words of explanation (more than Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) and takes as much effort to understand.
SunLife discovered that travel insurance policies and health insurance policies are more complicated to understand and takes longer to read (About 3 hours 33 minutes and 3 hours 15 minutes respectively).
The company warned insurance companies that customers are avoiding reading the majority of the texts and reading just 15%. This could mean the clients do not understand the cover they are paying for.
A wake-up call for insurance companies:
The SunLife research should become a warning call for insurers and insurance companies to find better ways to explain policy information to their customers, in order to let them fully understand the key information they need to know.
Regardless of the type of insurance, there is always some key information to look at, according to The Co-operators:
- Policy number – you will need this when calling to make a change to your policy or report a claim.
- Dates – the effective date and expiry date outlines when your coverage is in place.
- Underwriter – another way of saying “insurer” or “insurance company”.
- Insured – your name; the contract of insurance is between you and the insurance company.
- Additional named insured – the name of a co-owner of a vehicle or property; they have the same rights as you.
- Legal liability – you will usually see a coverage limit of $1 million or $2 million; it provides coverage for amounts you’re legally responsible for if you unintentionally cause bodily injury or property damage to others.
- Premium – the cost of your insurance policy.