Customer satisfaction depends greatly on the quality and efficiency of the sales network. The role of our distribution partners is a delicate one because they operate in a sector in which the most valuable asset is one’s reputation. As such, we distribute our products through trustworthy people with whom we share principles and rules of our Code of Conduct, rejecting all forms of conduct that may potentially lead to accusations of corruption or conflicts of interest.
We have a multi-channel distribution strategy, which enables us to provide a wide range of solutions consistent with the profiles and needs of our clients. We have complemented our international network of agents and financial advisors with brokers, bancassurance and direct channels where we have acquired leadership at European level.
The traditional channels, based on personal contact with clients, include different professional figures with whom we have established long-term relationships to support the sustainable growth of the business, investing in skills development and innovative management tools.
Direct channels are characterised by the absence of intermediaries and enable us to reach our clients in a fast, dynamic manner through digital services delivered via call centres and the internet. This distribution method is particularly strong in Germany and Italy.
Digital and mobile agents
The multi-channel approach is consistent with a pervasive and increasingly interactive digital ecosystem with the theoretically unlimited possibility of receiving information on any product or brand.
Our available tools while underwriting are websites, blogs, the social media, online reviews and advertising campaigns, forms of contact that have great potential for our sector, incentivising us to constantly improve our products and services.
The development of mobile technology has significantly changed the insurance world, from products and payments to distribution and underwriting services. Mobile connections are quick and easily accessible because they are intuitive. To become an increasingly clientcentric Group, another one of our goals is that of satisfying clients that prefer to access insurance services via tablets and smartphones.
However, one of our strengths has always been our network of agencies. We believe in the value of contact between the client and the agent and we want to further develop this channel according to the new requirements of our clientele. In particular, we are strengthening and expanding our partnerships with the distribution network, improving its expertise and developing the potential of our agents and the opportunities offered by the digital channels in an integrated way. We have recently launched a project to increase the visibility of the traditional network through the social media and the digital channels, providing agents with the tools and the necessary training.
We grow with our agents
In Austria a unified platform was introduced that makes it possible to punctually update the sales network and provide better information on the sales campaigns.
In France, a multi-channel platform makes it possible to underwrite motor and home insurance policies remotely. The synergy between direct channels and remote contact has made it possible to supply a service that is more closely focused on the needs of the clientele.
In Germany, Central has introduced big-five-cube, a new channel that sales staff and clients can use to exchange information via smartphones, tablets and computers.
Bora Project: anticipating the regulatory framework through a client-centric approach
We have continued and intensified the activities of the Group project BORA - Wind of change in the EU Insurance Distribution Legislation, a platform for sharing and exchanging between various Group functions on all matters related to the new regulatory framework. The goal is to analyse the new regulations on the distribution of insurance products and to develop concrete actions aimed at anticipating changes and refining processes, strategies and services for clients.
In particular, the project is focused on the recent European Directive on insurance distribution, which is designed to enhance consumer protection. In line with this Directive, the BORA project is developing concrete initiatives for the ongoing improvement of client relations, with an additional focus on the clarity of information given and the suitability of the proposed products, and leveraging on the raising of awareness in our sales network.
We want to transform the principles of consumer protection into concrete actions, basing the process of new products’ development on the full understanding of the clients’ characteristics and needs while constantly improving the expertise of all persons involved in designing and distributing our products, also through specific training.
Fraud? No, thanks
To protect our clients from potentially fraudulent events and safeguard the trusting relationship between the Group and its distribution partners, Generali Italia has created a special unit that is responsible for managing irregularities in the sales network. This unit is under the compliance function, in line with the principle that fraudulent actions that damage clients must be assessed by an independent and authoritative structure. Generali Italia also formalised the sales network fraud management process, allocating some activities and responsibilities among the various organizational units involved. The main goals are:
- to rectify the position of the client if behaviour contrary to the regulations on brokerage and the company regulations has been verified
- to prosecute the irregular conduct by taking disciplinary action against workers and intermediaries, as establishedby the contracts with the company, and eventually the launch of subsequent legal action
- to launch all judicial and extra-judicial actions to compensate for the damage suffered by the company and to recover the sums spent to rectify the positions of the clients.