Insurance has fared particularly poorly in terms of news sentiment since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While leading data and analytics company GlobalData has found that the industry has seen more positive stories since May, the prior three months of extremely negative coverage will be damaging to the industry despite the recent recovery.
GlobalData’s news sentiment index tracker noted that the insurance sector reached its lowest ebb in Q2 2020, with a sentiment score of 0.42, but has since recovered to 0.44. Its score was 0.57 before the pandemic.
Ben Carey-Evans, Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “The insurance industry has always struggled with its image and consumer trust, and that fell to new depths in March and April 2020 because of the news that many insurers, especially in travel and business interruption, would not have to payout once COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, which was incredibly damaging to consumer trust and will have lasting damage, despite the very slight upturn in sentiment.”
The recent upturn in more positive news may be due to certain sector such as travel beginning to open up to consumers again. Similarly, some business interruption insurers did agree to do a U-turn and pay out in some cases, when they faced pressure from the FCA in April.
Carey-Evans added: “The upturn may also be the news cycle running its course and the damage to the industry caused by widespread stories about insurers not paying out could cause lasting damage.”