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Insurers gain more trust from consumers

By Zhu Wenqian | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-16 07:56

Chinese consumers have shown an increasing confidence in insurance products and in the whole industry, according to a new report released by China Insurance Regulatory Commission on Wednesday.

The report-which surveyed about 60,000 consumers in China through internet, telephone and street interviews-resulted in an improved reading for confidence levels.

Its index of consumer confidence in insurance products and the industry came in at 71.2 for last year, an improvement on the level of 69.2 for 2015-the first time the report was released.

China Insurance Security Fund Co Ltd President Ren Jianguo said that Chinese consumers recognized the achievements of supply-side reform carried out by the insurance sector and they had shown an increasing confidence of insurance products.

"Most interviewees are optimistic about the growth potential of the sector and the macroeconomic environment," Ren said.

"Consumers have also shown a growing loyalty to insurance products and they hope that more efficient and beneficial products can be launched," he said.

"Most consumers tend to choose insurance products with strong security functions. For instance, critical illnesses insurance has a relatively high penetration rate," he said.

Meanwhile, the report found that 83 percent of interviewees believed that they could spend more on buying insurance products and nearly 80 percent of respondents said they were able to make rational purchase decisions.

It found that consumers trust insurance companies the most for purchasing insurance products, while they have less confidence in insurance intermediaries and internet finance companies.

The interviewees said the convenience level of insurance services need to be improved and they hoped the settlement of claims could be more efficient, with procedures more simplified while with less restrictive conditions.

The director of the consumer protection bureau at the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, Lyu Zhou, said it would be a major problem if consumers had no trust in the industry, so the commission was gratified to see the positive result of the consumer confidence index.

He said that by doing research on consumer confidence, the industry could identify the needs and demands of consumers, which would help insurance companies to build on their services.

"Pre-sale services need to be more targeted and the post-sale services need to be more successive," he said.

"Meanwhile, we should continue to educate consumers about our industry and guide them to accurately understand the insurance industry and its products."

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