Accenture’s most recent Global Distribution & Marketing Consumer Study asked nearly 33,000 consumers around the world how they buy insurance, what they want from insurers, and where digital connectivity and cognitive computing can increase the insurance value proposition.

Analysis of the results reveals a global market dominated by three consumer personas, each with distinctive attitudes and interests. An understanding of each group—which Accenture calls the Nomads, the Hunters, and the Quality Seekers—can help insurers make changes to increase the loyalty of existing customers and reach out to potential new consumers.

Nomads

The first global consumer persona identified by Accenture is the Nomads, who made up 39 percent of survey respondents. This highly digitally active group is the youngest and fastest-growing of the three personas. Compared with the other two groups, Nomads are more willing to share data with a third party in exchange for relevant services, more willing to use automated support when selecting insurance coverage, more likely to consider connected insurance, and much more willing to consider alternative online insurance. (For the survey results behind these points, download the Accenture report here.)

Nomads prize personalization and flexibility in their insurers. They are open to new ideas like peer-to-peer insurance, computer generated insurance advice, and receiving analytic recommendations from insurers on adding value to their lives.

Nomads prize personalization and flexibility in their insurers. They are open to new ideas like peer-to-peer insurance, computer generated insurance advice, and receiving analytic recommendations from insurers on adding value to their lives.

Nomads are less interested in the non-digital elements of interacting with insurers, like a relationship with an agent or a convenient office location. They report almost equal regard for advice from online aggregators, insurance websites, and insurance brokers, yet they do see value in human assistance with the later stages of the consumer insurance journey or with very complex transactions.

Insurers seeking to attract Nomads should develop digital distribution models, including online-only models and automated advice systems. They should make sure their customers know how their behavior can reduce the price they pay for insurance and they should make sure their mobile, instant messaging, and social channels can handle claims. Partnerships with non-insurance providers and InsurTechs may also be helpful.

Insurance Hunters

At 17 percent, Insurance Hunters are the smallest group identified in Accenture’s global consumer survey. They are also the most price-sensitive, by a considerable margin.

At 17 percent, Insurance Hunters are the smallest group identified in Accenture’s global consumer survey and are also the most price-sensitive, by a considerable margin.

Hunters are more traditional in other ways as well. They have almost no interest in getting insurance from non-insurance providers, with none saying they’d be willing to buy from Amazon or Google, and just 13 percent saying they’d consider doing so from a supermarket or retailer. Compared to other groups, they are less attracted by insurance as an ‘add on’ service when making purchases like a home or a car. They want advice from people, not robots.

Yet Hunters are not completely closed to insurance innovation. A solid majority say they would be open to data-driven insights from an insurance provider.

Insurance Hunters are not completely closed to insurance innovation. A solid majority say they would be open to data-driven insights from an insurance provider.

Competitive pricing is ‘table stakes’ for insurers looking to attract or retain Hunters. That is, a low price is a necessary but not sufficient condition to win a Hunter’s insurance business. Beyond reviewing their cost structures, insurers should make sure that their agents are empowered to provide true value to customers. Process automation and similar tools can free up human agents’ time to focus on delighting Hunters. Insurers pursuing Hunters should also accelerate their efforts to use telematics-based data capture.

Quality Seekers

Quality Seekers value insurers who put customers first. They value high quality service and trust in their insurers more than the other two personas. At 44 percent of survey respondents, Quality Seekers are the largest consumer group in our survey.

Almost half of Quality Seekers report that high quality customer service drives loyalty, while 38 percent say they need to trust their insurer to act in their best interests. These figures are both substantially lower for Hunters and Nomads.

Almost half of Quality Seekers report that high quality customer service drives loyalty, while 38 percent say they need to trust their insurer to act in their best interests.

Quality Seekers are willing to share the data with insurers they trust, with a solid majority reporting they would disclose more data to their insurer than they do right now. Like Nomads, however, Quality Seekers expect something in return for their information, such as priority service or real-time guidance to avoid risk. Quality Seekers are also open to computer advice, with 66 percent saying they are very willing to using computer-only insurance advice or are at least open to the idea.

Insurers looking to attract Quality Seekers should automate routine transactions to free up resources for personalized, ‘high touch’ service. They must effectively communicate their commitment to both data security and the best interests of their customers. They should also clearly articulate how they use the data they collect, and what customers will receive in return.

The different priorities of these personas present opportunities and challenges to insurers. Is it possible to appeal to more than one persona at a time? Accenture’s analysis suggests that it is. Come back next week for a look at becoming an everyday insurer.

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