Identifying (and then seizing) the opportunity will mean insurers must become truly customer-centric.
One of the most interesting set of results from the Accenture 2013 Consumer-Driven Insurance Survey shows how much more insurance customers actually want from their providers.
For example, 44 percent of the global sample feels that it’s critical for their insurance provider to go beyond merely insuring risk, and to help them reduce the risk of suffering loss. The South African response is slightly higher at 47 percent.
South Africa also scores above the average when it comes to willingness to share personal information in return for optimized insurance coverage (86 percent as compared with the global average of 82 percent), optimized insurance premiums (83 percent as compared with 81 percent) and more personalized products (84 percent versus 78 percent).
Sixty-six percent of South African consumers would be interested in a computer game that would help them manage their risk better and optimize car/ home/ life premiums. The global average is 54 percent.
This data—and there is more—shows that the challenge facing insurers here in South Africa as much as everywhere else is to become more customer-centric. It shows us, though, that we may need to deepen our understanding of what customer-centricity actually is; it’s not new and better products. Those are really just table stakes. What consumers seem to be wanting is solutions to their problems (My premiums are too high, how can I reduce them? How can I avoid suffering losses?). In other words, they are wanting a service provider who takes the time to understand what they individually need, and then will tailor the product or service that will help.
And, as we saw in my blog last week, they are open to getting what they want from companies outside the industry. A challenge for insurers, for sure, but also a massive opportunity for those that will make the leap into this new world.