Consumers and their insurers in complete disconnect

Consumers of today are in complete disconnect with the insurance industry, new research suggests.

The research, sponsored by GMC Software, surveyed 2,005 British adults into what they expect from insurers, and what they're actually getting.

Communication seems to be a real pain spot for insurers, as they're using all the wrong channels and looking for all the wrong information.

To make matters worse, consumers are also interested in more transparency from their insurers.

The weakest link seems to be in the channels insurers are using to communicate with the consumers. The report says that only five per cent of consumers' insurers are using mobile apps to communicate, with 19 per cent of consumers saying they should be using such channels.

“The demands of 21st Century consumers are changing rapidly. In an increasingly competitive market, those that can meet their customers’ desires will gain a significant advantage,” said Mike Davies, VP EMEA North at GMC Software. “Even email, which has been an accepted channel for almost two decades, is lagging behind consumers’ expectations. Insurers need to rectify this; without accurate and appropriate communication, consumers will rapidly grow frustrated and take their business elsewhere. This applies across the entire customer relationship, from initial contact to actually making a claim. Indeed, making a claim is often the moment of truth for many customers’ relationship with their insurer: the more painful the process, the more likely customers are to up and leave.”

But it's not just the channels, it's the message itself that needs work, too.

The report says that consumers need to share the same information multiple times – 62 per cent of people said they communicated the same information twice, and 11 per cent – four times or more.

The third pain point is transparency – 85 per cent would love to know how they could lower their premium, and are even willing to pay extra (in 64 per cent of cases) to know.

“As we can see, consumers aren’t averse to paying a little more now for a better service that benefits both insurer and consumer,” continued Mike Davies. “By matching their customers’ expectations and making the most of technology, insurers aren’t only helping consumers, they’re helping themselves. For instance, using connected devices to provide more accurate premiums means insurers can offer cover at a lower cost and at less risk to themselves. Society’s attitude to technology and communications has changed: the industry needs to change with it.”