In my previous post, I introduced the podcast on Accenture’s US Insurance Consumer Survey. In this post, I will talk more about the survey results and what they mean to insurance companies.

When Accenture launched its US Insurance Consumer Survey, we expected some market differences between property and casualty insurance and life insurance—and there were. But the most surprising result was that for both property and casual insurance and life insurance, three-quarters of survey respondents preferred to buy policies through an agent.

While this may be a relief for some insurers, this also means that one-quarter of respondents preferred to purchase insurance online.

The agent still dominates insurance

The survey showed that for property and casual insurance—that is, automobile and home insurance—three-quarters of respondents preferred to purchase products through an agent. Further, three-quarters of people purchasing life insurance preferred to work with an agent, employer or financial advisor.

A growing market segment buys insurance online

The survey showed that:

  • 39% of consumers in the 18–24 age bracket, and
  • 28% of consumers with annual income above $60,000

are the most inclined to purchase insurance online, as opposed to working with an agent.

Further, within property and casualty insurance, there is a strong likelihood of consumers buying products through direct channels.

The survey showed that:

  • 43% of consumers in the 18–24 age bracket, and
  • 39% of consumers in the 25–34 age bracket

said they were more likely to purchase automobile and home insurance online.

The survey shows that willingness to buy insurance online is closely tied to market demographics, and not to the specific product. Younger and more affluent customers are most inclined to purchase products online. This market segment is likely to grow, representing a tremendous growth opportunity for insurance companies.

In the next post, I will talk about how insurers can use these survey results to market to each market segment most effectively. Find out more in Right Mix of Bricks and Clicks: What Customers Want Today (3 of 3).

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