The latest Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) survey of 1,000 UK consumers of home, motor and travel insurance shows a clear split in opinion between consumers who have been heavily affected by coronavirus and those who have not been financially hard hit by the pandemic and what they are looking for from an insurance company and the policies they purchase.
Those identified by the poll as most negatively affected financially by coronavirus now tend to value clarity around claims processes and being able to choose suppliers during a claim ahead of being rewarded with cheaper premiums for their loyalty.
In contrast, consumers polled between September and December 2020 who had not suffered a significant financial impact due to coronavirus still believe renewal premiums and rewards for loyalty are the biggest areas for improvement for insurers.
Young people, ethnic minorities and women hardest hit by pandemic
The survey showed those most impacted financially by coronavirus were:
- People who lack confidence around financial matters: 23 per cent of people who said they felt uncertain about financial matters said they were significantly impacted by Covid-19, compared with 9.87 per cent who were ‘somewhat confident’ and 8.33 per cent of people who said they were ‘confident’ with financial matters.
- Young people were hardest hit with 19.93 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds polled significantly impacted by Covid-19, compared with 12.24 per cent of 35- to 54-year-olds and 5.22 per cent of those aged 55 plus.
- Ethnic minorities were hardest hit, as 18.85 per cent said they have been significantly impacted by Covid-19, compared with 10.6 per cent of people who identified themselves as white, or white/British.
- Women were hit harder than men. A total of 12.55 per cent of women said they have been significantly impacted by Covid-19, compared with 10.6 per cent of men.
Insurance as a safety net for consumers
Matt Connell, Director of policy and public affairs for the CII, said: “Insurance should provide a safety net for consumers. For too long the focus of consumers has been on price, but Covid-19 has started to make many consider the strength of the safety net and value of the cover provided.
“Consumers hardest hit financially by Covid-19 want the profession to shift the conversation from price to the comprehensive nature of the coverage and service they can expect if they need to make a claim. It is more important than ever that claims processes are as clear and simple as possible for consumers to understand.”
Meanwhile, the number of consumers willing to share significant data on their health and other lifestyle-related habits with their insurer to reduce premiums has grown over the past two years, but their trust in insurers to look after that data has fallen, according to a recent report from Accenture.