Myths

Myths in insurances

Trying to define myth in a most comprehensive, acceptable and accessible way at the same time was the target of many scientists; however they failed to draw a precise definition: on the one hand, mythology is a very complex phenomenon, on the other hand each analyst of the myth is treating this issue with a very professional optical,limiting the field of observation and reasoning in the specific area of interest. The terminology belongs to a particular literary genre that is characterized by traditionally cultural beliefs of people or a nation. Regarding the myths from insurance environment, they are characterized by a set of projections about the insurance services which were developed on the basis of some skeptical beliefs. An important factor in their multiplication is the mistrust of individuals on the insurance field.

 

,, Myths and urban legends represent the salt and pepper of a community. Whether it is about conspiracy theories or gossip ..., stories with some essence of truth arouse the interest"(Cultural Romania, online source). This statement is a truth rooted in the human nature predisposed on getting unconventional information from unofficial sources. The myths in the insurance field developed this way. The inclination of individuals on discovering and transmitting the information by words without an official basis occurs constantly also to the coverage services provided by the insurance companies. In the early 90's, in Romania, the insurance broker companies were faced with a wave of reticence of the people regarding insurance products and services. This happened due to the appearance of new types of insurance products on the market in Romania and the Romanians did not have sufficient knowledge regarding this issue in order to form a stable opinion. Also in the last years this phenomenon has reappeared among Romanians being based on contextual factors. There are two major elements that influence the skeptical orientation of the Romanians concerning the insurances:

→ the lack of confidence of the people in the economy – the trust of the individuals and the companies on the Romanian economy fell slightly in August 2011 by1.3 points from the previous months, according to a monthly survey realized by the European Commission (EC), the largest decline of 7.8 points occurred in the field of services. At EU level, the indicator representing the public and the companies confidence in the economy decreased with 5 points and in the euro area, the decline was 4.7 points. (The trust of people and companies in the Romanian economy declined, ziare.com, August 30, 2011). The results of this survey indicate that Romanians show a lack of confidence in all economic areas. The distrust in the economy is a reality that can also be felt in the insurance domain (Annual Report of the Insurance Supervisory Commission (CSA – Comisia de Supraveghere a Asigurărilor, current Autoritatea de Supraveghere Financiară) in 2010);

→ the presence of the myths - the absence of reliable data often causes disinformation and manipulation. In an environment where information is insufficient and inaccurate, the confusion of the population is predominantly and in this way the rumors and the myths are easily formed and are negatively influencing the public opinion. Due to such situations, also in the insurance field there were many events that often were not anchored in the reality of the profile market.

 

What has been found in recent years is that the disinformation in the field of insurance gives birth to the myths. These myths in return are creating uncertainty among Romanians at the time of purchasing protection services. If the distrust of the Romanians in the economy is an important factor in explaining their reticence regarding the insurance services, the orientation of the Romanians to get the information that does not have an official character is the most important argument for the general confusion. Having an opinion about the coverage services based on the situations experienced by others or on the stories told by speech from an unofficial source is a shallow way to know and understand what  an insurance product means in its complexity.

The dilemmas regarding the need for life or home insurance and the questions about the costs of coverage products (,, the myth of high costs ") are some ideas underlying the most common myths of insurance environment. The company Kunden Broker de Asigurare draws the attention to information channels through which a person forms his own opinion about the coverage programs. In this sense, to find answers to different questions, the company supports those official media who have a truthful content. They are exposed in both offline media- in presentation folders, brochures and mass media (press releases) as well as online - sites for companies and broker companies, blogs and forums. Romanians’ uncertainty about choosing a protection service is maintained also because of the online environment. In this age of digital information the multitude of sources and channels of information has turned the informational system into a real mixed bag of voices, which make it virtually impossible to select and identify the weaknesses of an event and verify the information. Accelerating the flow of information, the obsession to publish the information on the sites in real time before it submits for publication in the newspaper the next day or the evening news journal it reduces the time needed for a more detailed check.

 

For this reason, the insurance brokerage company Kunden Broker de Asigurare presents three sections regarding the most common myths in the insurance field. They are presented compared to real situations, based on official information and market analysis to highlight the discrepancy that exists between the reality from the insurance domain in Romania and the myths that are forming incorrect public opinion.