EY - 2014 Global Consumer Insurance Survey

2014 Global Consumer Insurance Survey

Reimagining customer relationships

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Why and how insurers must engage their customers in new ways with new value propositions

Customer centricity has never been more important across the global industry – and insurers have considerable work to do in developing stronger, mutually beneficial relationships. The time has come for insurers to engage fully in all of their customer relationships and find new ways to deliver value to their customers.

Building on the inaugural 2012 insurance consumer study, the 2014 survey asked 24,000 individuals in 30 countries about their relationships with insurance providers, and what matters most across the lifecycle. Their answers provide something of a roadmap for insurers seeking competitive advantage through stronger relationships and optimized cross-channel experiences.

Customers very satisfied with current outbound communications from insurers
Customers who are insurance company advocates who close policies or switch providers
Customers who have had no interactions with their insurers during the last 18 months
Customers willing to use digital and remote channel options for different tasks and transactions

Key findings from the survey

1 High turnover and low trust signal serious relationship issues.
Insurers are less trusted than banks, supermarkets, car manufacturers and online shopping sites. The survey results also reveal that far more insurance consumers actually switch insurers than express an intention to switch — an almost unprecedented finding in market research.
2 Just because they leave you doesn't mean they don't love you.
Traditional notions of loyalty and advocacy don't necessarily apply to insurance consumers. "Advocates" are not necessarily loyal, meaning that "likelihood to recommend" metrics are largely irrelevant. That "alumni consumers" may be open to purchasing new policies in the future underscores the need for deeper, more detailed customer intelligence across segments.
3 Insurers have so few interactions with their customers that each one becomes a critical moment of truth.
Consumers have so few interactions with their insurers that even the simplest administrative tasks can become a "moment of truth" that shift the perception of insurers or brokers in the consumers' minds. How insurers perform in these instances can lead directly to coverage increases and new policy sales.
4 Consumers want more frequent, meaningful and personalized communications.
A full 57% of global insurance consumers, across all product types, prefer to hear from their providers at least semi-annually. Today, only 47% receive that level of contact. In an era when many consumers feel bombarded by push communications and suffer from information overload, it is particularly interesting for survey respondents to express a desire for more communications.
5 As consumers embrace digital, insurers must rethink their distribution strategies and partner relationships.
While consumers still gravitate toward traditional contact methods, digital and remote options are fast reaching parity for a range of tasks and inquiries. No matter their precise distribution strategy and service models, insurers need to offer consumers the right mix of channels to maintain healthy relationships — and prepare to manage the potential channel conflict that is likely to result.

Regional report highlights


• Consumers within Latin American developing markets report higher levels of complete and moderate trust of insurers (81%) than North American customers (65%).
• Two-thirds of global customers say they are likely or very likely to recommend their current insurance provider; however, 38% of that group has closed policies or switched providers during the past 18 months.
• Only one-in-six (17%) across the Americas are very satisfied with the communications they receive from their insurers today.

2014 Americas consumer insurance survey


• Consumers in developing markets appear to have a higher level of trust in insurance companies – China (70%) and South East Asia developing markets (76%) – than do mature markets in the region.
• The two most important relationship characteristics in Australia, “value for money” (64%) and “easy to deal with” (57%), rank as the top two characteristics for a relationship.
• Customers in Asia’s developing markets appear to experience more “moments of truth” – interactions that positively or negatively changed perceptions of insurers or brokers – than their peers in developing markets globally (67% vs. 58%).

2014 Asia-Pacific consumer insurance survey


• Trust in insurance companies varies within the region –– from a high of 82% (India) to a low of 53% (UK).
• There is considerable variation across EMEIA markets, as consumers in India (77%) and Eastern Europe (67%) have more frequent interactions with insurers. Consumers in Northern Europe (43%) and UK (30%) have fewer contacts.
• There is an intriguing split of respondents between those who will only use a phone line (10%) to make contact with insurers, those who simply do not need the phone option (44%) and those who are willing to try other contact methods but still need the phone line as a fallback option (25%).

2014 EMEIA consumer insurance survey

Watch our videos

Getting customers right
Graham Handy, EY Global Customer Leader, discusses why it is important for EMEIA insurers to get customers right.

Key findings
Graham Handy looks at key findings from the 2014 Global Consumer Insurance Survey and what they mean for EMEIA insurers.


• Nearly three-in-four Japanese insurance customers (72%) express complete or moderate trust in insurance companies.
• Only one-in-25 (4%) express a high level of satisfaction with current communications from insurers.
• Japanese consumers express low levels of satisfaction, with only 30% to 40% willing to recommend their insurance provider to friends and relatives.

2014 Japan consumer insurance survey