Report Shows that Insurance Companies Could Improve Trust by Improving Clarity of Communications

BALTIMORE, April 2, 2019 – The financial services industry is one of the least trusted industries in the United States¹. Insurance firms are part of that industry and have the same trust problem. Yet, that could all be changed by simplifying and clarifying their communications, according to the Can You Trust Your Insurer report released this week by Visible Thread – which creates software solutions to help companies and governments communicate in plain language.

“There’s nothing that will damage trust faster than convoluted communications. It leaves customers wondering what you have to hide,” said Fergal McGovern, CEO. “That’s a big problem when insurance companies are asking consumers to trust them with their health, homes and financial futures.”

In the first quarter of 2019, VisibleThread evaluated the websites of 54 of North America’s largest insurers. The results showed that complex language diminishes trust and legalese isn’t understandable by the average consumer. They further found that complex legal language was included in 79 percent of their websites and heard from consumers that they want to easily understand product descriptions, terms and conditions.

For the report, VisibleThread analyzed 100 web pages from each website, providing a like-for-like comparison with 3,509,449 words analyzed using their software solutions.

Here are some of the key findings uncovered in the report:

  • 79 percent of websites do not communicate with the average consumer.
  • Just two insurance websites are simpler to read than Moby Dick.
  • Complex word density is an issue for 100 percent of insurance websites analyzed.
  • All websites analyzed communicate in an academic tone with overuse of passive voice.
  • No insurance site scores at the recommended level of long sentence use.

“To regain trust, insurers should focus on simplifying terms and conditions and product information; banishing legalese; and communicating in plain language,” McGovern added.

He explained that developments in artificial intelligence and Natural Language Processing make it possible to measure and benchmark content clarity. His company provides this technology to its clients who use it to analyze content at scale.

Visual Thread offers document and web content analysis to help brands identify content issues. Users can analyze collections of MS Office, PDF docs and entire websites for liability concerns, automatically create compliance documents, and score content for clarity and readability.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the full report