For the next few weeks, I will discuss the results of our most recent Global Consumer Pulse Survey, to better understand consumer expectations and the degree to which insurers are ready to adapt to tomorrow’s insurance customers.

The resulting report, entitled “Capturing the Insurance Customer of Tomorrow: Three Key Questions to Guide Success,” is based on interviews with more than 23,000 respondents, including 6,521 P&C and 6,507 life insurance customers in 33 countries.

As you know, I am a fan of these types of surveys, which provide first-hand understanding of how fast and to what extent customer expectations and behaviors are really changing.

Over the past year you’ve seen plenty of my blog posts about Accenture’s Digital Innovation Survey, which outlined how foresighted insurers are digitalizing to meet changes in customer expectations and creating digital disruption in their business models. The study delineated how Digital Transformers are leading the pack in this process.

The clock is ticking, and we can no longer afford to do business the way we’ve always done. Advances in digital technology and the emergence of digitally savvy players have rocked insurance and placed unprecedented pressure on traditional, product-centric insurers.

The risks to insurers are real, immediate and quantifiable. As you can see in the diagram below, about 30 percent of P&C insurance customers are considering shopping around, and about 21 percent of them, 7 points more than last year, perceive insurance offerings to be less differentiated.

Industry involvement and perception
View the image.

This is in line with the global cross-industry trend of consumers becoming less loyal than we identified in our Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey . Our Global Pulse Survey found that only 29 percent of insurance customers are satisfied with their current providers, and only 16 percent are sure to buy more from them. This is creating a huge “switching economy,” in which we calculate as much as $400 billion in personal lines life and P&C premiums are “at play”—and this number has continued to grow in 2014. What’s more, non-traditional entrants on the distribution side are making the ability to adapt and playing to win more urgent than ever.

Despite these trends, our research shows that only a few insurers are playing offense by using digital technology and partnerships to help them become authentically customer-centric. These are the Digital Transformers.

It’s no longer enough to be a fast follower; insurers must be leaders. Insurers that are determined to lead must answer three fundamental questions:

  1. As we transition away from being a product-centric insurer, how far—and how fast—should we proceed toward customer-centricity?
  2. What does it take to be a Digital Transformer?
  3. What role can we play in a larger service ecosystem?

Over the next several weeks, we will look at the answers to those questions in detail.

To learn more, download: Capturing the insurance customer of tomorrow: Three key questions to guide success.

Here are some other reports that may be of interest:

Accenture Digital Innovation Survey: Seizing the opportunities of digital transformation

Accenture Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey: Playing to Win

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