A total of 93% of British consumers want more choice over how they communicate with insurers – but that demand is not being met, according to a survey sponsored by GMC Software.
The study consisted of 2,005 British adults and found only 5% of consumers’ insurers use mobile apps to communicate, yet 19% say insurers should provide such a service.
Over half of consumers said they have received irrelevant communications from insurance companies in the past year.
GMC Software, which is a customer communications management provider, said the majority of consumers have to share information multiple times when making an insurance claim, meaning insurers are not sharing information as appropriate to make the process easier.
The survey found 62% of people making a claim had to share the same information twice or more the last time they did so, with 11% having to share it four or more times.
Consumers also want insurers to make greater use of all methods of communication, with the difference for email particularly stark: 71% of people say it should be used, yet GMC Software said only 53% of insurers use email to communicate.
A revealing finding from the survey is that 85% of consumers with insurance would like their insurer to give them insight into how they could lower their premium, for instance by suggesting changes in behaviour.
Indeed, consumers are willing to pay for this: 64% would accept higher premiums now in exchange for more accurate information that would help them lower premiums over time.
A total of 46% would also pay more for the guarantee of fast, efficient claims.
Consumers also encourage greater use of technology beyond simply communicating. For example, 56% of current insurance customers would like their insurer to use technology such as health monitors or connected cars to provide a more accurate premium.
Mike Davies, VP EMEA North at GMC Software, said: "As we can see, consumers aren’t averse to paying a little more now for a better service that benefits both insurer and consumer."
He added: "By matching their customers’ expectations and making the most of technology, insurers aren’t only helping consumers, they’re helping themselves. For instance, using connected devices to provide more accurate premiums means insurers can offer cover at a lower cost and at less risk to themselves. Society’s attitude to technology and communications has changed: the industry needs to change with it."
Even email, which has been an accepted channel for almost two decades, is lagging behind consumers’ expectations, said Davies.
He warned: "Insurers need to rectify this; without accurate and appropriate communication, consumers will rapidly grow frustrated and take their business elsewhere. This applies across the entire customer relationship, from initial contact to actually making a claim. Indeed, making a claim is often the moment of truth for many customers’ relationship with their insurer: the more painful the process, the more likely customers are to up and leave."