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Providing Insurance Claims Services by Caring for Customers

Kokorokara: Booklet in Which Employees Share Their Thoughts

Ryohei Kobayashi
Nagoya Claims Service Dept. 2
Tokio Marine & Nichido

In its claims service departments, Tokio Marine & Nichido believes that placing importance on the customer above all else is the essence of the quality of its claims services, which is largely unseen. Therefore, the company distributes a booklet called Kokorokara ("From Our Hearts"), which is distributed to all members involved in claims services, including the new employees that join the company each year. This booklet compiles the values the company wants to emphasize such as the thoughts toward customers that all members involved in claims services share, harmony with co-workers, and pursuit of expertise.
We spoke with Ryohei Kobayashi, who works on the front lines of claims services.

This booklet was produced based on surveys of and interviews with several thousand employees engaged in claims services. The thoughts and ideas they want to emphasize are put into writing. In addition to the Japanese version, the booklet is available in English and is shared with managers of Group companies around the world.

Q What is the role of claims service departments?
Claims service departments support the fastest possible resolution of claims for customers who have had accidents. We play a role as so-called accident response professionals. The Group is prepared to support customers with teams of experts centered on agents and claims service staff as well as lawyers, doctors and others. I have worked in claims services ever since I joined the company. My job is on the front lines and puts me in a position to listen to customers' voices directly.
Q How is the booklet Kokorokara used?

Kokorokara has always been in my bag from the time it was handed out to all company staff. It is also be all right for us to keep the booklet in our desks at the company, but I carry it with me so that I can refer to it at any time. Likewise, some of my colleagues always have the booklet with them.

Once in a while, I flip through the pages, and sometimes an inspiring word or phrase catches my attention. These words can strengthen my resolve when I'm unsure about something, and help me realize what I should do at that moment.

The goal of non-life insurance is to help people in difficulty. To do that, we have to polish our expertise and overall skills as human beings. The book reminds us of the basic points that we should value as employees of a non-life insurance company. One sentence in the booklet that caught my eye a little while ago was this: "I felt so happy when I heard my boss tell my child that 'your father's job is helping people.'" I read that just after my daughter had been born. As someone with a child, it made me want to do a job where I could confidently say the same thing, and made me think I must do that.

Q Of all the words in the booklet Kokorokara, which ones left the biggest impression on you?

It was definitely "Thank you."

In my 20s, when I was transferred to Nobeoka City in Miyazaki Prefecture, a large tornado touched down locally in the heart of the city. The damage was greater than anyone could imagine, and I worked feverishly while facing difficult decisions every day.

"I didn't know whether I could survive." "You really saved me." "Thank you."

When I heard those comments from customers in the community, I felt the significance of my job. I had the same feeling after the Great East Japan Earthquake struck.

A "thank you" from a customer, a "thank you" from a colleague who formed a team to support customers - those words are priceless. The fact that I can be of help to people through my job is tremendously satisfying.

There are also some words in Kokorokara that are a little embarrassing. But even with those, if we can directly say "This is important," it is a testament to our sincerity toward society. I feel that is one of our company's good qualities.

Q What is necessary to be a non-life insurance professional?

People who have been in accidents and suffered losses have various thoughts on their minds. We respond to those events while taking the customers' stand point and by trying to feel and think about their thoughts. But this can be confusing - to what extent do I know what the customer is thinking? Do I really know, or am I jumping to conclusions?

We can't do our jobs properly unless we can draw on a variety of knowledge and expertise that is useful in handling impromptu situations. As a non-life insurance professional and an accident response professional, I realize daily the importance of enhancing not only my expertise but also my own humanity. I want to return to the starting point of "helping people in difficulty" and take a disciplined approach to my work while improving myself every day so that I can provide an even higher level of expertise and service.