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Testing Policy Documents on Children
Sara Cobbett has written an interesting article on LinkedIn discussing the findings of a study which had 11 year-old's read and reflect on life insurance policy documents. That's right - testing policy documents on children, because this is the state of adult literacy:
The UK's Skills for Life survey that out of adults aged 16-65 the following had poor literacy:
25.8% had literacy equivalent of GCSE grade D to G [Translation / equivalent NCEA level one, age 16 equivalent qualification - not achieved, or failed English at School C if you are a little older]
15% had literacy level around 11 year-old standard
5% had literacy skills of a 5-7 year-old
That's a total of about 45% of the UK population. Reading ability comparisons are available, we reviewed several when we were designing readability scores, and the situation here in New Zealand is not very different. Sara Cobbett poses some good, challenging, questions about the design of policy documents, given that situation:
Would you read 50 pages of text about a product you’re about to buy? How about 20 pages? Or even 10 pages? Lower than 10 - say 6?
A cynic in the consumer movement might say that documents of 50+ pages, lots of long words, and compound documents (requiring a reader to look at several parts of the document such as schedule, definitions of terms, definitions of conditions, and even separate documents) all add up to a very effective way of ensuring that consumers do not know what they are buying. I prefer to think that we just gradually got ourselves into this mess, with plenty of help from legislators and lawyers along the way, and we now need to sustain long-term effort to get ourselves out of it.
The whole article is well worth a read. If you care about reducing complaints and improving the communication with your customers, whether you are an insurer writing policies, a financial adviser writing advice, or a direct marketer writing ad copy, you should read the whole article. Click here.
Fit For Purpose Versus Ranking
For those people obsessed with the best, nothing will do but number one. But a focus on ranking can hide a multitude of problems, which is why Quality Product Research scores products, it doesn't rank them. Take these examples:
Which would you prefer the number one product, or the number two? Well, in the absence of any other information, number one please! But what if the number one product was double the cost, but only a tiny bit better?
So maybe now we're looking at second and third place, which shall we buy? Well, in the absence of any other information, number two please! But what if number two has one feature which is important to you but is worse much than the number three?
So now maybe it's product number three... but actually it's within a half a percentage point of being the same as product number four, five, and six.
Now what if one of those is slightly better for me, but not quite so good for my partner?
Like many purchase decisions, insurance has trade-offs. We haven't even begun to talk about service, customer preference, or other matters. The point is this - if picking your insurance product were as simple as taking the one which scores highest, you wouldn't need an adviser, and the robo-advice programming would be pretty easy.
Accuro Offers Skin Cancer App to Members
Accuro have partnered with Skin-Vision, a Nethland-based app, which will enable its members to self-check for signs of skin cancer early on using their mobile phone. Click here to read more.
So how does Skin Vision work? You download it in your mobile phone, enter your details to create an account and then follow these three steps: