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Buyers would consider Google, Amazon for insurance needs

Lower prices and more personalized service are the top reasons for consumers to switch to a new insurer.
Lower prices and more personalized service are the top reasons for consumers to switch to a new insurer.

Two-thirds of insurance customers would consider purchasing insurance products from organizations other than insurers, including 23 percent who would consider buying from online service providers such as Google and Amazon.

These are key findings published in new research from Accenture. The report is based on a survey of more than 6,000 insurance customers in 11 countries.

Where people consider getting their insurance from:

  • Banks - 43 percent;
  • Online service providers - 23 percent;
  • Home service providers, such as telecommunication or home security companies - 20 percent;
  • Retailers - 14 percent; and
  • Car dealers - 12 percent.

“Competition in the insurance industry could quickly intensify as consumers become open to buying insurance not only from traditional competitors such as banks but also from Internet giants,” says Michael Lyman, global managing director for management consulting within Accenture’s Insurance Industry Practice. “Overall, there is a significant switching risk and we estimate that up to $400 billion in insurance premiums could change hands within the insurance industry over the next 12 months.”

The research shows that loyalty in insurance is a key issue. In the life insurance market, 25 percent of respondents say they are likely to cancel an existing contract and 35 percent say they are likely to take out a new contract with a new provider in the next 12 months.

Lower prices and more personalized service are the top reasons for consumers to switch to a new insurer, cited as important or very important in switching decisions by 87 percent and 80 percent, respectively, of the insurance customers surveyed. Forty-one percent of respondents say they are willing to pay more to get personalized advice when purchasing their insurance.

The research also reveals that 67 percent of consumers are interested in mobile insurance services — such as sending pictures of their car to report a claim, or displaying their proof of insurance on their mobile phone — while 46 percent of the respondents that are mobile device owners have already used their tablets, and 37 percent their smartphones, to deal with their insurers.

Also, 35 percent of insurance customers are open to provide access to their usage or behavior information (such as car-usage or lifestyle information) if this can give them better value for their insurance coverage. Almost half (47 percent) of the respondents say it would depend on the information requested and only 18 percent were not comfortable doing so.

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