At the heart of who we are is our promise to take care of our customers. In the best of times, our products and services provide our customers with the security to grow and thrive: another truck for a growing business or an addition to the house for a growing family. When disaster strikes, that promise can mean replacing a totaled vehicle or making sure a roof is repaired in time for the holidays or a special occasion. In every case, a Travelers policy means a trusted relationship that can last years, even generations, and brings value to our customers, our enterprise and our shareholders.
We recognize that to deliver on our promise and to produce industry-leading returns over time, we need to understand our customers’ changing needs and expectations, which are increasingly shaped by their experiences both inside and outside the insurance industry. Meeting and exceeding those expectations require us to keep the customer at the heart of everything we do and collaborate with our agent and broker partners to provide a seamless and consistent experience across all interactions and touchpoints.
Our Head of Customer Experience, a member of our Operating Committee, leads our enterprisewide efforts to enhance our customer experience. We regularly conduct customer research to gain a real-time understanding of our customers’ needs. We also rely on our data and analytics expertise to develop intelligent models that help us predict and provide for their needs throughout the customer life cycle. We use these learnings to strategically invest in technologies, capabilities and talent that enable us to become faster, easier, nimbler, more digital, more mobile and more personalized. Through these efforts, we continue to drive one of our three innovation priorities – to provide great experiences for our customers, agents and brokers.
From a claim perspective, customer experience is both a core value and a business discipline. For the overwhelming majority of claims, we do not contract third-party claims adjustors, but rely on our own staff; in 2020, we were able to adjust virtually 100% of our claims with our own employees. This structure sets us apart in the industry, allowing us to process claims more quickly and accurately, enabling a consistently high standard of customer service. Our claims handling capability is at the heart of our promise to our customers and proved again in 2020 to be a significant competitive advantage that results in a better outcome for our customers and a more efficient outcome for us. In 2020, we were able to resolve more than 92% of our customers’ property claims arising out of catastrophe events within 30 days. This was a particularly remarkable result, when, during the pandemic, we responded to a record number of catastrophe events and a more than 50% increase in catastrophe claim volume as compared to 2019. The capacity to service virtually all our claims with our own employees also provides us with valuable insights and data, which helps us continually learn from our customers and refine our service processes to optimize their experience with us.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying challenges also gave us an opportunity to deliver on our promise to our customers in new and meaningful ways. To ease the financial burden on individuals and businesses, we provided billing relief for all our U.S. customers by temporarily suspending cancellations for nonpayment. Though that initial relief period ended, we continue to work with customers who are facing financial hardship on an individual basis to offer bespoke solutions. In addition, we returned nearly $250 million in premiums to our customers by voluntarily providing Personal Insurance auto customers with a credit to account for fewer miles driven.
This year, to ensure everyone’s safety without missing a beat in taking care of our customers, we adjusted our claim inspection process to rely more heavily on state-of-the-art digital and virtual capabilities. When customers filed claims, we worked with them to select the virtual claim options that were best suited for their individual situations. Among other things:
- Our virtual inspection tools enable us to effectively “see” damage without physically being on-site.
- Our real-time video chat and apps guide our customers through the process of assessing property damage or discussing a workers compensation claim via a “virtual visit” with a Travelers medical or Claim professional.
- Customers can share receipts, photos and invoices with us through Travelers.com or via the MyTravelers® customer portal.
Additionally, we have been able to leverage our technology to conduct premium audits virtually and, in our workers compensation business, provide telemedicine options for injured employees, including a temporary telerehabilitation program for those who are concerned about attending or unable to attend physical therapy visits in person.
In 2020, we handled 40% more auto appraisals and wind/hail claims and 70% more water claims virtually without the need for a live inspection, as compared to pre-pandemic levels. In addition, we expanded our workers compensation telehealth capabilities throughout all stages of the recovery journey, with usage up dramatically year over year. All of this resulted in a better experience for our customers, a safer experience for our customers and Claim professionals, and a more efficient outcome for us. For more information on our digital and virtual capabilities, see the Innovation section of this site.
We pride ourselves on delivering for our customers but are pleased when our customer experience has been recognized by others. For example:
- J.D. Power identified Travelers as a top-10 carrier for digital service and among the top three carriers with the most improvement in this area year over year (2020).
- CMO Club Customer Experience award finalist for leadership in creating high-impact experiences (2020).
- Clarabridge Customer Experience Luminary Award as a leader in customer experience innovation and achievement (2019).
- Newsweek named Travelers as one of America’s best companies for customer service (2019).
- U.S. News rated Travelers as the second-best car insurance company (2019).
- The Marsh ProBroker network of 65 UK-based commercial insurance brokers named our Travelers Europe team “Insurer of the Year” (2019).
Ultimately, the results of our customer experience efforts are reflected in our very strong customer retention rates.
Customer Retention Rates
|Domestic Business Insurance (excluding National Accounts)||86%||85%||84%||84%||84%||83%||83%||83%|
Insurance: Select Accounts
Insurance: Middle Market
|Domestic Bond & Specialty|
Insurance: Management Liability1
Insurance: Domestic Automobile2
|Domestic Personal Insurance:|
Domestic Homeowners and Other2
|Total International Insurance1||80%||80%||79%||77%||71%||80%||79%||80%|
1 This ratio excludes the surety line of business, as surety products are generally sold on a non-recurring, project-specific basis.
2 This ratio represents the expected number of renewal policies that will be retained throughout the annual policy period to the number of available renewal base policies.
Note: Statistics are in part dependent on the use of estimates and are therefore subject to change.