As the soft insurance market persists, insurers are looking for ways to differentiate and drive growth. But achieving growth won’t be easy, especially as customers grow increasingly demanding and have more options than ever.

Consumers in a state of flux

Accenture research on insurance consumers found that loyalty has weakened, expectations have increased, and that customers are increasingly willing to shop around. Key research findings include:

  • Customers have high expectations of their insurance providers.
  • There is a gap between what customers expect of insurers and what they believe they receive.
  • Many insurance customers are willing to pay—and to pay more—to get more relevant products.
  • Customers’ use of mobile devices to engage with their insurance providers is likely to increase.
  • Rising customer expectations pose a serious challenge for insurers.
  • Most insurers struggle to achieve the differentiation that is crucial to growth.
  • The average P&C insurer has invested $11m in analytics, and the average life insurer has invested $30 million—and both plan to increase this amount.

Overall, the research findings show that insurers need to address customer preferences for relevance, convenience and innovation—with respect to products, services and channels. Accenture believes that by focusing on overall customer experience, insurers can create a competitive advantage to drive growth and build customer loyalty.

Next week, I’ll talk about the role of the mobile channel to creating a competitive advantage in insurance.

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