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. When disaster strikes, that promise can mean helping replace a totaled vehicle or helping repair a roof 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 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 claim adjustors and rely on our own staff; in 2021, we were able to adjust virtually 100% of our catastrophe 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 claim handling capability is at the heart of our promise to our customers and proved again in 2021 to be a significant competitive advantage that results in a better outcome for our customers and a more efficient outcome for us. In 2021, we were able to resolve approximately 92% of our customers’ property claims arising out of catastrophe events within 30 days. This was a particularly remarkable result, when, during an ongoing pandemic, we responded to a historically high number of catastrophe events. The capacity to service virtually all of 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.
In recent years, we adjusted our claim inspection process to rely more heavily on state-of-the-art digital and virtual capabilities. In addition to creating efficiencies for us, investments in digital capabilities over the past few years have enabled us to improve the customer experience in meaningful ways. Our timing was good: Pre-pandemic, we anticipated a higher rate of digital adoption, and when the pandemic accelerated this trend, we were prepared to meet the need. We are now using virtual claim handling capabilities on a significant majority of both auto appraisals and wind/hail claims, all without the need for inspection by a Travelers Claim professional. We are also handling significantly more water claims virtually as compared with pre-pandemic levels. In other words, we are delivering great experiences for our customers and a more efficient outcome for our shareholders.
We pride ourselves on delivering for our customers but are pleased when our customer experience has been recognized by others. For example:
- Gartner identified Travelers as “Gifted” in its Insurance Digital IQ Index (2020).
- Forbes rated Travelers as one of America’s Best Insurance Companies (2022).
- U.S. News ranked Travelers in the top 10 for Best Car Insurance Companies (2021).
- Corporate Insight granted Travelers awards for both Desktop Website and Mobile App (2021).
- J.D. Power top 10 in the Insurance Shopping process (2021).
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)||84%||83%||83%||83%||83%||84%||85%||85%|
Insurance: Select Accounts
Insurance: Middle Market
|Domestic Bond & Specialty|
Insurance: Management Liability1
|Domestic Personal Insurance: Homeowners and Other2||85%||85%||84%||84%||84%||85%||85%||85%|
|Total International Insurance1||71%||80%||79%||81%||80%||80%||80%||82%|
1This ratio excludes the surety line of business, as surety products are generally sold on a nonrecurring, project-specific basis.
2This 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.
At Travelers, we strive to exceed our customers’ evolving expectations and work hard to provide them with compelling experiences. We understand the importance of a human connection when a customer experiences a “life event” – such as buying a new home or investing in their business. At the same time, we understand the growing importance of technology as our customers increasingly desire the ability to interact with us digitally. By continually enhancing our digital and virtual capabilities, we are better able to help our customers protect what is important to them, keep themselves and their employees safe and well, and get them through a covered loss. Our Innovative Products & Services section details the many innovative ways in which we take care of our customers every day.
We remain committed to maintaining the human touch while delivering this exceptional digital experience. Here are some of the ways we work hard to do that:
Making Sure We Have the Right People
We aim to attract, hire and develop employees with empathy, integrity and professional expertise. Our goal is to hire and nurture people who care about the long-term success of Travelers, which includes caring about the well-being of our customers and providing exceptional service to our customers and agent and broker partners.
We are the beneficiaries of a long-standing culture anchored in trust – the trust we earn from our customers in challenging times and the trust we place in each other and our agents and brokers every day. The importance of the Travelers Promise – our commitment to take care of our customers, our communities and each other – is deeply ingrained in our employees and is the purpose that brings our employees to work each day with energy and enthusiasm.
Designing exceptional experiences for customers is both an art and a science. In an effort to ensure that Travelers stays ahead of the competition, our Customer Experience function has established a human-centered design community of practice and an enterprise leadership role. This leader and the community provide tools, best practices and standards to teams across the enterprise so we can better understand the human implications in more of our work. Additionally, we have hired experienced design professionals across our organization to help create the best experiences possible across all of our service channels, using an outside-in, human-centric approach.
Product and Loss Consultation
Customer experience starts with ensuring that customers have the right product coverage for their risk management needs. Then, in the event of a loss, we have an innovative workflow that gives customers the option of being better informed about coverage, deductibles and the claim process prior to filing an insurance claim.
Leveraging Data and Analytics to Enhance the Customer Experience
We leverage our deep expertise in data and analytics to support decision-making and drive informed and thoughtful experience design and customer-focused innovation. We have more than 60 million data records related to businesses, individuals and distributors, including virtually every business in the United States. These records are curated into well-designed, proprietary data products. We leverage this with more than 2,000 external data sets, including high-resolution aerial imagery covering substantially all property exposures in the United States. All of this data fuels our more than 1,000 advanced analytical models. Our models support risk selection and segmentation, pricing, reserving, claim response and more. Our data and analytics advantage, augmented by the latest technology, is significant and difficult to replicate. Ultimately, these capabilities lead to a better customer experience across the customer life cycle – at the time the customer purchases a policy, during the time they remain a Travelers customer and in the event of a loss.
Ethical & Empathetic Claim Culture
Treating our customers, claimants and business partners with the highest degree of integrity, professionalism and empathy and paying what we owe are core to our mission. That’s why our Claim organization has a deliberate focus on attracting, developing and retaining a high-performing workforce that shares our values and embraces our culture. We offer our Claim professionals comprehensive training designed to drive alignment with Claim’s values and vision and drive the ethical, empathetic and effective claim handling that is critical to our success. Employees are regularly recognized for their ability to leave our customers feeling secure, respected and cared for at every interaction.
Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics clearly establishes Travelers’ policy to handle claims fairly by paying what we owe and following the terms of the applicable insurance policies and all claim-handling standards contained in the applicable statutes and regulations. The Code specifies that Claim personnel are expected to act promptly and in good faith when handling claims. These principles are frequently reinforced by management at all levels within the Claim department through regular training, communications and claim review. Claim professionals’ core technical training addresses coverage determination and customer communication, and our internal quality review of claim files includes determination of whether all coverages were correctly identified, applied and communicated to the customer. In addition, all Claim employees are required to annually certify compliance with a Claim-specific compliance plan that goes above and beyond the company compliance plan to specifically address good-faith claim handling.
Listening to Our Customers & Partners
At Travelers, we understand the power of listening. To that end, we aim to provide our customers and agent and broker partners with the ability to quickly and easily give us feedback on our products, services and interactions. Our Customer Experience teams, which span across all Travelers business lines, regularly monitor and analyze that data to respond to customer and agent concerns while using root cause analysis to improve our processes. Our goals are to ensure that we understand our stakeholders from the start and that we use the valuable feedback we receive to develop the products and services that our customers want and need.
We strive to expand our ability to receive and act upon customer feedback, including through the use of “after call,” “chat,” and “after transaction” surveys; feedback buttons or active surveys on our digital properties; and deep quantitative research and in-depth interviews with our customers, agent and broker partners and employees.
We also utilize data from third parties such as J.D. Power, Forrester and NICE Satmetrix, along with our customer feedback, to monitor customers’ needs with the goal of providing an exceptional experience. Due in part to our deep analytics from hundreds of Voice of Customer Listening Programs, we again improved customer satisfaction in all of our business areas this year. Ultimately, by listening to our customers and evolving our processes and strategies to align more closely with both customer and agent and broker perspectives, we aim to improve customer experiences and loyalty.
Here are some of the other ways we advance our goal of listening to our customers and agent and broker partners:
- 24/7 Customer Advocacy Help Line. With one of the most comprehensive suites of commercial and personal product offerings in the marketplace and over 30 businesses and approximately 30,000 employees, it could be difficult to reach the right person at the right time. To make it easier, our Customer Advocacy team of trained specialists is available 24/7 to help our customers, agents and brokers navigate to the right person at Travelers. Customers can find the Customer Advocacy telephone number and email address by clicking on the “Contact Us” button on the homepage of Travelers.com.
- Social Media Response Capabilities. Many of today’s customers prefer to interact through social media. To address this trend, we have established a social media scanning and response capability to quickly respond to customer inquiries through social media. Any time a customer posts on a Travelers social media property or tags Travelers in a post on their social media property, we have a process to quickly review and direct that comment to the right business partner to determine if a response is needed.
Supporting Our Agents & Brokers
Our partnerships with our agents and brokers are a key competitive advantage for us and an important driver of our long-term success. We aim to be their indispensable partner; together, we deliver on our promise to be there for our shared customers.
This is why we seek to enhance our digital marketing and sales tools to better support our agents and brokers and to help them identify and capture new business opportunities more effectively. For example, we support our independent agents and brokers by providing them with social media, marketing and customer relationship resources. These resources allow them to leverage our communication platforms and our extensive product and safety content to engage with their local markets and communities.
In 2021, Personal Insurance rolled out READY. SET. PIVOT. (Partnership for Innovation and Vision of Tomorrow), a webinar-based program designed to support agents in their long-term growth and evolution. The program is focused on working with agents to anticipate and prepare for the future of insurance.
We also work closely with our agents when designing new products and tools for our shared customers, helping to meet customers where they are, serve them how they want and give them what they need. For example, we introduced Digital Quote Proposal (DQP) in 39 states, giving our agents the ability to provide customers with a dynamic interactive quote experience. Building on the success of our existing auto telematics offering, IntelliDrive®, we introduced IntelliDrivePlus™ in three states in 2021. At each renewal, the app-based program calculates a new premium by measuring miles driven and driving behaviors, such as braking, acceleration, speed, time of day and distraction. We also rolled out our Digital Auto Discount in 40 states across the country, providing a discount for customers who register for MyTravelers®, opt to go paperless for billing and policy documents, and enroll in a telematics program.
We are also extending digital capabilities in Business Insurance to benefit our agent and broker partners. In November 2021, we launched our external Application Programming Interface (API) pilot to provide our agent and broker partners with real-time access to generate certificates of insurance. This API enables ACORD 25 certificates of insurance to be generated in real time as proof-only certificates through their proprietary broker.
In Bond & Specialty Insurance, we continue to improve the agent experience by enhancing the convenience, connectivity and responsiveness of our digital solutions for transactional surety. We have expanded our bond processing platform, Travelers Click®, to accommodate small commercial surety bonds up to $1 million.
Travelers Institute® educational programming also offers unique value to our network of 13,500 agent and broker partners, providing a distinguished thought leadership platform. Over the course of more than a decade, the Travelers Institute has hosted more than 600 events in collaboration with agents and brokers, enhancing these relationships while providing education and risk mitigation strategies to thousands of consumers.
The programming leverages our agents’ knowledge of how issues such as cybersecurity, distracted driving and natural disasters directly affect families, businesses and communities. Agencies and agent associations regularly co-host programs with the Travelers Institute, invite customers and provide expert speakers, showcasing their risk management expertise and reinforcing their value as trusted advisors for critical insurance decisions. In addition, the Travelers Institute offers presentations on the economic outlook and political landscape at agent conferences and events and provides educational content, including publications, social media campaigns and videos, for agents and brokers to share with clients.
During the pandemic, the Travelers Institute has continued to foster these relationships and provide educational programming through its new Wednesdays with Woodward® webinar series. The series launched in June 2020 to explore personal and professional issues impacting our agents, our brokers, our customers, our employees and the communities we serve. Forty-five programs have been held through the end of 2021, with topics including the future of autonomous vehicles, cross-sector efforts to fight cybercrime, and employee safety and COVID-19, among many others. Notably, the Travelers Institute hosted a webinar, The Changing Landscape of Insurance Distribution, highlighting the pace of today’s business world, as well as the evolving distribution strategies and ongoing consolidation in the insurance industry.
Additional programs explored distribution and agency trends for personal insurance and commercial insurance. These included the following webinars:
- Thrive: How Insurance Agents & Brokers Will Succeed in 2022
- Future Ready: Trends in Personal Insurance Distribution
- Insurance Market Insights: Emerging Trends to Watch
The Travelers Institute programs are a great example of how our efforts to strengthen our communities also enhance our relationships with our agent and broker partners and drive our bottom line.