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Complaints shock for insurers

Nearly 60 per cent of people who have complained to their life insurer or pension provider in the past year thought their complaint was handled poorly, the Association of British Insurers' annual customer satisfaction survey has revealed.

Researchers for the ABI canvassed nearly 20,000 customers from 32 companies. They found that the number of people saying they would be prepared to recommend their insurer to a friend had fallen by two percentage points over the past 12 months to 53 per cent.

But there was some good news in the survey for the insurance industry. Fifty-three per cent of customers agreed with the statement that pensions and life insurance providers had an "excellent reputation", up from 48 per cent last year.

The ABI was upbeat about the findings. Maggie Craig, its director of life and savings, said: "This year's survey was carried out at a time of economic uncertainty, when consumer confidence overall had dipped, [but] the results show that the insurance industry is making some progress in improving customer experiences."