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Consumer Credit Insurance: An Uncertain Future

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insurance consumer credit

If you have ever taken out a home, car, credit card, or personal loan, you might have been unwittingly sold consumer credit insurance (CCI), a type of add-on insurance meant to protect the consumer in case an unexpected circumstance causes them to be unable to complete their payments.

Even though this form of insurance is quite common in many policies and premiums, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has received a number of complaints regarding CCI, identifying potential breaches of the law where this form of insurance fails to deliver honesty, efficiency, and fairness to the consumers.

In this article, we will examine the definition of CCI, its potential concerns, as well the expectations held for this form of insurance in the future.

What is CCI?

Consumer credit insurance (CCI) is a form of add-on insurance that is meant to protect consumers in unexpected events such as involuntary unemployment, disability, accident and sickness, and death. The CCI premium, along with the length and amount of cover, are connected with the particular loan, with every policy having unique limits, features, and exclusions.

Important details of the specific policy can be found in the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Schedule, which should be provided with each loan sale. Although CCI might be difficult to find, it can be located in places such as loan contracts and statements, bank statements, and credit card statements.

What are the concerns?

While consumer credit insurance might be useful and important for some, this type of insurance presents a number of reoccurring issues. One of the most notable problems are harmful sales practices, where dishonest salespeople add CCI to a loan without explaining what it is or how it operates, especially in cases where such insurance serves no practical use to the consumer.

Furthermore, CCI premiums tend to be exceptionally expensive, often including high interest charges that tend to outweigh the costs of premiums. In addition to providing low claims ratios, approximately 9 cents on the dollar, CCI claims are frequently rejected as well, due to deceitful policy exclusions and the difficulty of making a claim, thus often resulting in withdrawals.

Can you get a refund?

In case you have unwittingly purchased consumer credit insurance as well, you might be entitled to a full refund of the foregoing costs. This can often result in compensations as high as several thousands of dollars, particularly when it comes to loans and policies where honesty and transparency were evidently lacking.

In that case, the best course of action might be to hire the services of an experienced professional who will allow you to establish your claim on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. This means you will have the support of successful industry experts, along with the security of knowing you won’t have to make any payments in case your claim is unsuccessful.

Why now?

Consumer credit insurance has been on the agenda for decades, with ASIC taking up responsibility in 2010, and issuing its first report the following year. However, the most recent project began in 2017, including 11 lenders and their insurers, and has resulted in a detailed 2019 report, as well as targeted investigations aimed at enforcing action and remediation.

With the aim of bringing transparency and rectification to the issue, the report found CCI to be products of poor value sold under harmful sales practices, thus raising awareness of the issue and leading many Australians to enforce claims.

New expectations for CCI

Using its new Product Intervention Powers, the report issued by ASIC also clearly states future action that needs to be taken regarding CCI, as well as specifically referring to how Distribution Obligations and Product Design will support the implementation of these new expectations.

Among others, expectations regarding product value and design might be most important for consumers. Claim ratios now must be higher, benefits have to reflect consumer needs, lenders have to assess products before selling them, and products need to be unbundled so that sections can easily be chosen.

Sales practices have to be improved as well, with no unsolicited phone sales and hard filters on eligibility, while requiring clear, positive, and informed consent. Including the enhancement of post-sale conduct, continued coverage now has to be confirmed, premiums mustn’t be charged for unavailable covers, and annual communication and reminders about limits, prices, exclusions, and potential relevant claims need to be maintained.

Evidently, consumer credit insurance has had a difficult and troubled past, often being sold in dishonest and unfair ways. Hopefully, with new guidelines, expectations, and a raised awareness, the sale of CCI will become more transparent and sincere in the future.

Carolin Petterson is a Business Lady/Content Marketer and contributor for number of high-class business and marketing websites.

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What To Do After a Car Accident

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When you’ve been in a car accident, it may be difficult to remain calm and take the necessary steps. Knowing about these ahead of time can actually help you do what you must if you ever find yourself in a difficult situation. So read on to learn what to do after a car accident.

Make a Survey

When the first shock of the accident subsides, make a quick survey of yourself, your passengers and your car. Check with everyone else in the vehicle, and get a sense of possible injuries and damage so that you know how to proceed.

Get to Safety

Next, get to safety. This might mean driving off to the shoulder if your car will still move. Otherwise, get out of the car and away from traffic if at all possible.

Call for Help

As soon as you’ve gotten to safety, dial 911 for help. A car accident is usually an emergency, and the police and paramedics should come to provide assistance and at least check you over for injuries. If the accident is only a fender bender and there are clearly no injuries involved, you might call the non-emergency number for your police or sheriff’s department. Don’t skip this step even if the other driver would prefer not to get the authorities involved. You need an official record of what has happened.

Exchange Information

Exchange information with the other driver. Write down names, addresses and phone numbers. Get insurance company names and policy numbers. Record the make, model and year of the car or cars involved. All this will be helpful later on.

Watch What You Say

As you talk to the other driver and the police, be mindful of what you say. Don’t admit to fault, even if you think you probably caused the accident. Also, be careful not to lose your temper. Stay calm, and remain circumspect.

Document Everything

Even when you’re still at the scene of the accident, you should begin to document everything. Take plenty of pictures showing damage to the cars. You might also use your phone to voice record your impressions, descriptions of what happened and notes about injuries and damage. Later, write down full accounts of the accident, and keep track of medical appointments, car repairs and other accident-related occurrences.

Call Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. You’ll have to talk to the claims department to get the process started. When you call, have all of your information and documentation in front of you. Be aware that working with the insurance company could take some time and effort, and you might run into difficulties. Keep a log of communication with the company, noting when you called, whom you talked to and the response you received.

Talk to a Lawyer

Finally, if you experience major issues with your insurance company or other aftereffects from the accident, you may need to consult with an accident attorney. Do an online search for lawyers in your area, and read some reviews. Then choose one who offers the services you need. A car accident can be a mere annoyance or a life-changing event, but you should be prepared to take the right steps no matter what.

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Key Customer Engagement Metrics to Track in 2022

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Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to read your customers’ minds? While mind reading may not be doable, there is a way to know exactly what your customers think of your service or product. Not to mention, it’s a bit more accurate than mind reading.

We’re talking about customer engagement, which is how brands build lasting relationships with customers across multiple communication channels. Engaging customers in ongoing dialogue is one of the best ways to get to know your customers and learn about where you can improve.

Below, we dive into why customer engagement is important for understanding today’s customer and offer examples of metrics you can use to track the effectiveness of your customer engagement strategy.

H2: Why Is Customer Engagement Important?

Customer engagement is one of the best ways to take the guesswork out of what your customers are thinking. While many customers like to approach the online purchase process on their own or by referencing self-service information, many would like the opportunity to chat with someone from your organization to answer their questions and steer them in the right direction.

By adding in multiple touchpoints and communication channels between your team and your customers, you can help nurture customer relationships and create a more fulfilling customer service experience.

Listening to your customers and gauging areas for improvement can also help you develop loyal customers who can become brand evangelists, bringing other customers your way via word of mouth.

H2: Key Metrics to Track the Success of Your Customer Engagement Strategy

While your business goals may vary, these KPIs will help you measure the success of your customer engagement efforts through customer-driven data.

H3: Leading indicators

Leading indicators fall into the category of “soft KPIs,” meaning they focus on qualitative measurements rather than the objective, measurable data nature of hard KPIs. These are helpful in pinpointing areas of improvement to focus on.

Leading indicators include:

  • Email open and response rates
  • Text read and reply rates
  • Social media engagement
  • Repeat visits to your website or monthly active users (MAU)
  • Time spent on your website and on specific pages
  • Conversion rates
  • Call talk time with customer service

H3: Lagging indicators

Lagging indicators take a retroactive look at what’s already happened within your organization and can be used to show progress over time.

These metrics include:

  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT)
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Customer effort score (CES)
  • Customer churn and retention rates
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)

Customer engagement is a key metric to nurture and develop in today’s competitive market. For even more inspiration on how to create a lasting customer engagement strategy, this infographic from Sinch outlines examples of brands that are knocking customer engagement out of the park and shares lessons learned from successful brands.

/>Customer Engagement

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Pros And Cons Of Buying Property Abroad

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Buying Property Abroad

Buying property has always been a popular investment opportunity. It gives people the opportunity to earn money over a long period of time. Investing in property abroad also gives you this opportunity but with some extra added benefits too. As with any investment, there are pros and cons and risks attached to the investment. There is no guarantee when investing, so you have to be prepared for any eventuality. Investing in property overseas also comes with many risks. As such, you must ensure that you research properly to avoid wasting your money and gaining nothing in return. If you are considering buying a property abroad but you are still on the fence about it, then here is a list of pros and cons to help you decide.

Pro: Good Long-Term Investment

One major advantage to buying a property abroad is that it is a good long-term investment. While some people invest to make some quick money, others would prefer to put their money in and wait a few years to see any return. Investing in property overseas gives you the opportunity to relax a little while you wait for your investment to make a return. The process of buying a house can be stressful as you have to wait for your finances to be approved and ensure that you secure a UOB home loan, so, once all that is finished it will once to sit back and wait for the investment to pull through. Additionally, while you are waiting for your property investment to gain some money, you can spend time putting your money into some other, short-term investments. Having multiple investments on the go is a good way to make money and give yourself some security.

Con: Volatile Housing Market

One con of investing in a property overseas is that the housing market is volatile. It can be very easy to keep up to date with the housing market of your local area, but if you are not anywhere near the property that you have invested in, then it can be a little difficult to stay up to date with everything. This is why investing in a property overseas can be risky because there is no accurate way to predict the housing market. Covid was a major issue that had knock-on effects within the housing market and that was something that no one could have predicted. Now, we’re not saying that Covid is going to happen again, but it is clear that it is impossible to predict how the housing market is going to swing. There are risks with any sort of investment, but if you are investing in property overseas, you will likely face some more risks. So, just make sure you have an idea of what the housing market is like and perhaps have a contact in that country who can give you updates.

Pro: Opportunity To Rent Out Or Have A Holiday Home

Another pro to investing in a property overseas is that it gives you the opportunity to rent out the property or have it as your own private holiday home. This is a great opportunity as no matter which route you decide to go down, you will always get something out of it. Renting out a home abroad has become very popular over the last decade, thanks to the rise of Airbnb. Now, regular homeowners can rent out their homes to potential tourists, so they have a secure and cosy place to stay while they are on their travels. Additionally, it means that you can make some good money on the side through the rent you are charging. However, if you decide to go down the holiday home route, then you now have your own gorgeous property overseas that you can make into your second home. This means that when you do go abroad, you do not have to fork out money for a hotel.

Con: Upkeep And Refurbishment Can Be Expensive

The final con on this list is that buying a property overseas can often come with a lot of added expenses. While your property may look great in person, once you have actually taken the time to fully explore your property, you may find that it needs some refurbishments, for it to be up to your standard. Whether you are choosing to rent out the property or keep it for yourself, you will likely have to make some changes to the property for it to be ready for someone to stay. These refurbishments and renovations can end up costing you a lot of money, so you need to be prepared for that before you invest in a property overseas. Just make sure you have a clear budget; this will stop you from overspending.

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