Southern Cross Travel Insurance (Southern Cross) has taken home the award for Best Plain English Legal Document at the Plain English Awards 2021 for its Domestic Travel Insurance policy (NZ).
The awards recognise organisations that communicate in plain language, whose documents are easier for consumers to read, understand and act upon. Entries are open to Australian and New Zealand businesses and are judged by an international panel of experts.
In commenting on the award win, judges admired the tone of the document, saying it felt friendly and manageable.
“The document has a good tone. It’s friendly but professional — and that’s not always an easy balance to strike. It skilfully employs all the right plain English and clear design techniques. Its language and layout make understanding it as easy as it can be without losing its legal rigour.”
Southern Cross launched its new Domestic Travel Insurance policy for New Zealanders in August 2020. Since then, it has also rewritten some other policy documents in plain language, including its Domestic Travel Insurance Australia policy and overseas travel policy, ‘TravelCare’.
These documents have subsequently all been awarded the WriteMark, an independent endorsement awarded to documents that achieve a high standard of plain language. Southern Cross is the first travel insurer in New Zealand to have its domestic travel insurance policy awarded the WriteMark.
“Writing our policies in plain language is just one part of our commitment to simplicity, transparency and delivering a great customer experience. It’s important to us that we build trust and goodwill with our customers through policies which are clear and easy to understand,” said Southern Cross Travel Insurance CEO, Jo McCauley.
“We were very proud to have been shortlisted for this award, so winning has been really exciting for our business. This award is recognition of our ongoing efforts to improve the way our customers engage with our products and services,” added McCauley.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance plans to continue investing in making more of its policies available in plain language, making it easier for customers to understand what they’re covered for.
“Writing our policies in plain language is a sustained and continued focus for us, not just a one-off,” said McCauley. “It’s part of our duty of care that’s always been at the heart of our customer service.”
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