The relationship between consumer awareness, consumer protection, service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty among long-term insurance consumers in Namibia.
Tjizumaue, Magreth Bianca Tareekouje.
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Due to the absence of appropriate consumer protection legislation in Namibia, there seems to be a lack of consumer protection and this may result in the exploitation of consumers by the suppliers of goods and services. Since the literature reveals that consumer awareness, protection, service quality and customer satisfaction influence customer loyalty, this relationship was explored among consumers of long-term insurance products. The researcher embedded the study in the Services Marketing and User’s Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction theory and developed a framework to create a more aware consumer and thus contribute to the growth and survival of the long-term insurance industry in Namibia. A mixed methods approach was employed, which included in-depth interviews with relevant government officials and representatives of certain long-term insurance service providers in Namibia, as well as a survey, using a questionnaire, among a judgmental sample of 407 consumers. The data obtained using each research approach was analysed separately and the results were triangulated. Structural Equation Modelling was used to analyse the hypothesized relationships among the research constructs alluded to in the title of this study. NVivo was used to analyse the qualitative data obtained from the individual interviews. In summary, it was ascertained that if customers were made aware (have sufficient knowledge) of products and their consumer rights, they would feel protected against unfair business practices. Furthermore, if they perceived that they were receiving quality services, they would more likely be satisfied with the service provider and would, therefore, remain loyal. It is recommended that long-term insurance companies create product awareness and ensure that consumers are educated about their rights. Furthermore, these companies should also adhere to consumer protection guidelines, as well as ensure that their employees receive training on the products. Moreover, government regulators also have to ensure that strict penalties are in place to sanction insurance companies that do not adhere to consumer protection laws and exploit ignorant consumers. Finally, consumers should be vigilant when purchasing long-term insurance products and know when and where to complain, should the need arise.