Patricia Davies, head of content, general insurance, at Verdict Financial, tells Life Insurance International why life and health insurers should be proactively engaging with social media to promote awareness and engage with existing and new customers. 

While many insurers have a social media presence, on the whole they are very cautious with its use, often being reactive to any negative comments posted or just using it as another way to put out press releases.

Social media is an effective mechanism for engaging with communities of people to build brand awareness and engage with people.

In our 2016 UK Life Insurance Consumer Survey of 2000 people, 17% of respondents, who use social media have communicated with a health or life insurer in the past 12 months.

While some respondents have done this to complain about the insurer on the whole the majority look to positively engage.  The insurance market has already seen examples of best practice when it comes to social media.

BoughtbyMany uses social media to find groups of people seeking similar insurance cover and then once the group is large enough it goes and finds an insurer to provide a customised policy. While the broker Bennett’s used social media to engage in their target group of bikers by building a bikers community.  Different approaches but still very effective.

The survey also highlighted that the main group engaging this way are aged under 45 which is a key demographic for attracting new customers to protection and health products. 

It is this age group who are most likely to take out their first protection or health product having experienced a life event such as getting married, buying a house or having children. 

Using social media to build brand awareness with these groups could be an effective way for insurers to grow their business.