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A conceptual model for the improvement of service quality in the South African short-term insurance industry in KwaZulu-Natal.

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This study investigated service quality in short-term insurance companies in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. South Africa. The study is triggered by the high level of complaints from customers received by the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance (OSTI Annual Report). Both an exploratory research design and a quantitative research method were used respectively. The study involved responses from policyholders from three short-term insurance companies in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The stratified sampling method was used to select respondents. Data were collected by means of self-administered questionnaires. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software program Version Windows 22.1 in particular descriptive and inferential statistics. The study found that, generally, there was a gap between clients’ expectations and their experiences. The findings show that gender influenced both expectations and experiences of clients while age and income only had influence on experiences while race had no influence on either clients’ expectations or experiences of service quality. Therefore, it is recommended that, in order to understand and address the gap between clients’ expectations and experiences of service quality, short-term insurance companies and researchers should pay particular attention to reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy and responsiveness and to their clients’ relationships, gender, age, and income because these factors have an influence on service quality. In addition, the study found that race has no influence on service quality expectation or experience. The service quality conceptual model developed in this study may help to both understand and enhance the effectiveness of short-term insurance companies’ service quality efforts.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.