Now that we have identified the emerging consumer types—Nomads, Hunters and Quality seekers—and what they demand from life insurers, let’s get down to the next steps. Like I shared in my previous blog, this massive shift in consumer behavior presents a great opportunity for life insurers to break the traditional mindsets and embrace the change.

Most insurers need to transform their distribution models, and modernize their products and services. They need to focus more on what today’s smart customers want and tailor their offerings accordingly. Besides this, they need to create a customer experience that is more personalized, more convenient and valuable, and sufficiently appealing to make consumers come back for more. In short, they need to move toward becoming an everyday insurer.

Now, the big question that arises is—How can insurers become an ‘everyday insurer’? 

Our Distribution & Marketing research has helped us identify five potential new distribution models for life insurers. These distribution models will help insurers refresh their go-to market strategies, deliver value-centric services and achieve operating efficiencies aided by digital technologies.

The Virtual Insurance Advisor: Life insurers opting for this model can use big data and real-time analytics to offer customers more customized services. They can help customers make insurance-related choices by leveraging data-driven personalized advice and insights. 

The Everyday Risk Coach:  Through this approach, life insurers can help customers improve their personal and financial wellness and reduce the risk of loss or injury. About 80 percent respondents in Accenture’s consumer study said they were interested in being notified of the nearest hospital in the event of an emergency. Life insurers can differentiate themselves with real-time interactions to help customers manage and reduce their risks.

The Plug and Play Insurer: These insurers embed their products and offerings into the experiences of strategic partners, ranging from car manufacturers and/or dealers to home service providers to retailers to internet giants.

The Ecosystem Orchestrator: A growing number of insurance customers are willing to consider alternative distribution models. Insurers can explore new distribution partnerships with online platforms. They can overhaul their ecosystem with greater degrees of digital capability, automation and intelligent solutions.

The P2P Network Operator: Insurers adopting this model may distribute to pools of customers linked by affinities, reducing distribution and claims costs while tapping into a new base of potential customers.

Along with transforming their distribution model, insurers should continue to optimize the cost and efficiency of their physical distribution network. While consumers are increasingly moving toward digital and mobile insurance channels for research and quotes, they still value human advice and interactions with brokers and agents. Insurers can consider a ‘phygital’ (hybrid physical and digital) model. This will enable customers to transfer smoothly between channels and provide a platform for long-term advice-led relationships.

Please read The Accenture Financial Services Global Distribution & Marketing Consumer Study 2017 for more information on the five distribution channels.

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