One of the biggest surprises from the 2014 Accenture Claims Customer Survey was the finding that customers who have filed a claim are nearly twice as likely to switch insurance providers than customers who haven’t. Whether satisfied or dissatisfied with their claims experience, it seems that the mere act of filing a claim makes a customer significantly more likely to defect.

How likely are you to stop doing business with one of your insurance providers and to switch to another provider in the next 12 months?
View the full image. Source: 2014 Accenture Claims Customer Survey

The logical conclusion? Reduce the incidence of claims. Not only would this help insurers lower payouts, but also improve customer retention.

The question is, how can insurers reduce the incidence of claims filing? One option is to provide personalized risk management advice. Indeed, the 2013 Accenture Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey found that 92 percent of respondents would be interested in receiving such advice from their insurers, and our Claims Customer Survey revealed that 70 percent of insurance customers would be interested in receiving alerts from home sensors warning them of danger.

70% of insurance customers would be interested in receiving alerts from home sensors warning them of danger.
View the full image. Source: 2014 Accenture Claims Customer Survey

Logically, the more data that can be collected, the better an insurer can assess risk—and by extension, provide risk management advice. As I discussed in my last post, the Internet of Things promises a massive source of new data, and new challenges in terms of analytics. Connected homes, cars and businesses will provide a continuing opportunity for insurers to interact with their customers to offer advice or coaching.

To be sure, insurers will have to shift from a position of service provider to one of trusted advisor. But in offering risk management advice—particularly through the technologies that offer multiple customer touchpoints, such as telematics—insurers can strengthen the customer relationship, enhance the customer experience and better retain customers.

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