If there is one place where P&C insurance carriers really stand to lose in the current customer revolution, it’s in the case of digital distribution. Seeking simplicity, nearly 80% of P&C insurance consumers want to consolidate coverage with one trusted insurer[i] while purchasing their coverage online.[ii] To better understand the impact this has on the P&C insurance industry, let’s follow two separate carriers through a typical day.
Last week, we followed exclusive insurance agent Todd as he stumbled through the day without the digital tools he needs to compete in today’s P&C market. Today, we’ve decided to check back in with him again, to see how his performance is improving now that his company has adopted a new digital distribution platform.
Todd feels like a long distance runner, taking on the race in flip-flops. He’s ill-prepared for the undertaking and encountering frustration turn after turn.
As fall approaches, thoughts turn toward cooler temperatures, shorter days and of course, back to school preparations. For parents of college-aged students or those attending boarding schools, this elicits not only bittersweet emotions, but also thoughts on insurance coverage as students assume residence in school dormitories or off-campus housing.
During the 2016 Olympic Games, swimmer Michael Phelps’ won the 200-meter individual medley, skyrocketing the highly decorated athlete to new heights and breaking the record for the most individual victories—a standing that dates back to 152 B.C. Meanwhile, fellow swimmer, Katie Ledecky, was blasting the historic precedent she herself set in 2014 for the 800-meter freestyle. As insurers vie for market share against new competitors in a changing landscape, it’s time they started setting some records of their own.
Increasingly, consumers view P&C insurance products as a commodity and insurers have had to respond in kind. Focused on providing a limited line of offerings that meet the needs of most consumers, price becomes the primary differentiating factor between one carrier and another. In the quest to gain new business, insurers have been drawn into the price war instead of calling on the strength of their products and service to garner new customers and establish loyalty.
In an era where personalized services and offerings are the norm, P&C insurers have fallen into the commodity trap, failing to differentiate themselves and their products from the competition. As a result, customer loyalty has fallen and price has risen as the primary factor in differentiating coverage.
Today’s consumer is looking for two things from P&C insurers: personalization and a price they can afford. In a commoditized market where consumers view all insurance products as the same, cost of coverage all too often becomes the determining factor in selecting an insurance carrier. In fact, price has been such an important consideration that satisfaction scores dropped 7 points in the last J.D. Power consumer report due to premium increases.[i] What insurers need to engage and retain more customers, is to break through the commoditized consumer mindset and truly differentiate themselves and their products from the competition.
P&C insurers received low marks from customers in the most recent J.D. Power consumer surveys. Satisfaction with auto insurers dropped seven points from last year,[i] while property insurers declined by five.[ii] Citing issues with pricing, interactions, and product selection, customers are making a clear statement to the industry and calling on carriers to step up their game.
As reported previously in our four-part blog series on the fintech movement, insurance tech (insuretech) has witnessed incredible recent growth, setting a record pace in the first quarter of 2016. With first half funding clocking in at $1 billion, insuretech is well on its way to top growth in 2016.[i] Driven by strong customer trends toward ease of access and more customer-focused service, innovative startups are entering the P&C space, determined to pick up slack where incumbent property and casualty insurers are failing to meet the needs of today’s consumers, particularly in the areas of new products and pricing.