Global Consumer Insurance Survey 2012

Europe: exploring customer buying preferences

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Several consistencies in customer preferences emerged, despite their differences economically and demographically.

Challenging debt obligations across Europe are pressuring individual nations to rein in spending, with austerity measures in place across several countries. While the impact of these macroeconomic issues will play out further in 2012, our insight into consumer buying behavior indicates significant opportunities for growth.

In this survey of insurance consumers in eight countries—France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the UK—several consistencies in customer preferences emerged, despite the differences in countries both economically and demographically.

More consumers are conducting product research online, seek more transparent product information from providers, desire better service and are willing to pay more for insurance from a financially strong company.

Select regional findings include:

Life and pension

  • Most customers (79%) are confident the products they purchased meet their needs.
  • Many customers (65%) expect to conduct a "fair" or "great deal" of research when buying insurance products in the future. A relatively high number of customers (42%) say the insurance industry trails others in rewarding loyalty.
  • Most customers (78%) say personal interaction is important when purchasing insurance, demonstrating that buyers still want expert advice.
  • Despite the need for expert assistance, 46% of customers would not pay for this advice.

Non-life insurance

  • Growing reliance on the internet for research extends beyond the use of third-party comparison websites, with 32% of customers currently using a range of online channels.
  • Regardless of territory, customers want convenience and value in buying insurance.
  • Nearly one-third of customers (31%) would pay an additional premium for a financially stable brand, with a higher percentage recorded among younger customers.
  • Almost half (49%) of customers say they would buy multiple products from a single provider, as long as it is convenient, simple and/or represents better value.
  • A high percentage of customers (82%) who switched providers felt their original insurer failed to put much effort into persuading them to stay.

We hope this research proves useful in shaping your customer strategies and moving your business forward.

See the full survey reports