Defining the next generation of insurers

Insurance

A new report entitled The Online Consumer: Reading the Insurance Customer’s Mind, written by Luis Chipana, an analyst with Celent’s insurance practice, highlights some of the changes afoot in the insurance industry.

According to the report, the insurance industry is presently going through many changes that will define the next generation of insurers. The report states that most changes are driven by new technologies that reshape consumer behaviour, including digital channels, telematics, social media, mobility and analytics.

The report suggests that the online consumer is not necessarily an insurance buyer or client, but that many of them have an insurance policy, and they mainly use smartphones to connect to the internet. Additionally, individuals are likely to share data if they’re compensated in some way – for instance, according to the report, 32 per cent of consumers are certain to share data with insurers only if they are compensated via discounts on their policies immediately, and 21 per cent would be willing to do so if a future discount is applied. Also, 71 per cent of consumers prefer human contact, whether by phone or in person, while 29 per cent prefer to interact with insurers through online channels like mobile apps, websites, social media, and chat.

"In the real world consumers are not devoted to a specific industry,” commented Chipana. “In fact, consumers do not go around thinking of what industry to engage with today. Human beings are complex creatures, have feelings, and make decisions based on a myriad of factors. Technology is influencing both sides – supply and demand. On one hand, consumers are becoming more tech-savvy and demanding more digital channels. On the other hand, many insurers have started to build and improve their digital channels, ones that fit better with the needs of the new online insurance consumer."