While large aggregator sites and a few notable direct insurers are trailblazing ahead, on the whole, the insurance industry is lagging behind other industries in user experience. Why are insurance companies still getting user experience wrong?
Dock9 hosted a second related roundtable at the Gherkin on Tuesday 21st March 2017 to discuss. We were joined by representatives from ERS, Hood Group, APRIL Insurance, Cytora, LAMP Insurance and Clegg Gifford.
Some key themes that emerged during the discussion are below.
3rd Party Integration / Creative ways to leverage API’s
Jumping straight in at the deep end, conversations focussed on leveraging/integrating with 3rd parties to gather as much data as possible, ultimately re-imagining the quote process.
An excellent example of this would be utilising companies such as Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket. These companies have huge amounts of information about properties such as number of bedrooms, square footage size, value and floor plans. Why couldn’t this information be used to help generate a home insurance quote?
Cape Analytics have started to put this approach into practice. Cape are leveraging machine learning and geospatial imagery to identify property attributes at scale allowing insurance companies to provide more accurate quotes.
Number of questions needed for a quote
Are customers ready for a product quote & buy that totally relies on 3rd party integration / API’s to retrieve all of the information needed to provide a quote? There are a number of key initial challenges to overcome; where is the data coming from and who is owning this? Customers will want to feel like they are inputting enough information to feel like their quote is personalised to them, rather than having a blended rate and overpaying for higher risks.
The feeling is there is an optimal number of minimum questions to help the user feel at ease, this being around 6 or 7. Oscar experimented with the optimal number of questions needed, today they have 6 questions.
Relationships between users and the insurer
Is there anything an insurance company can be doing between inception and renewal to add value to a user? The feeling was that users feel like unless they claim, they only hear from them again when they want money at renewal, but at the same time, do we want to be receiving a message wishing us Happy Birthday from our insurance company, for example?
Online vs offline behaviour
Insurers are starting to see more and more customers pick up the phone during a quote process, not necessarily to finish their quote online, but to validate a question or concern, then return back online to purchase. There seems to be 3 clear segments of customers right now:
- Over 45s: Start online, on a desktop, through aggregators then tend to phone in through journey
- 25-40’s: Predominantly mobile, won’t go offline at all
- 18-30’s: Start on mobile and go offline wanting to speak to someone
Is this pattern validating the idea that the younger generation who are new to insurance, don’t fully understand what they are purchasing? Insurers seem to think so, they are seeing an educational gap in financial services where users are not trusting banks, financial services and also seeing less brand loyalty. The younger generation will just as happily purchase from a non established brand, as an established one.