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Roundtable: Why are insurance companies still getting user experience wrong?

Laura Martin
Reading Time:
5 minutes

Dock9 Roundtable

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.

Going beyond the purchase process

It was touched upon that insurance really only starts when customers are making a claim. Often this is outsourced and serviced separately to other parts of the journey, but is the critical experience that can make or break your reputation with the client.

There is a huge focus on optimising the quote & buy journey to increase conversion and the uptake in ancillary products, but why is the ‘self service portal’ often being forgotten about?

The rise of FinTech companies are playing their part in trying to improve this area with an increase of ‘human touch’. Chatbots/conversational UX is making its way into users accounts, making it easy for people to contact the company, along with better processes. Lemonade recently reported to have settled a claim within 3 seconds.

Prototyping & User Testing

Rapid prototyping tools are definitely one of the most useful breakthroughs to hit the web design world over the last couple of years. But it’s still relatively new to the world of financial services, the shift away from flat photoshop designs and thick requirements documents is very much a work in progress.

Rapid prototyping tools from services such as Axure, InVision and Marvel all allow UX designers to quickly design interactive low and high fidelity prototypes of sites, apps and services to gauge their usability and aesthetic, all without writing a single line of code.

Leveraging these kinds of tools allows for an instant experience of how the finished product would look and work, saving hours of resource and money.

These prototypes can then be validated through user testing, either online, or in a controlled usability lab. Embedding this kind of process into a business will only ever lead to a positive result.

Dock9 Insurance UX Roundtable

Dock9 Roundtable

Want to be part of our next roundtable? Email for more information. 

Laura Martin
Laura Martin is Event Manager at Dock9, having previously worked in the financial sector for 15 years including at the Bank of England, Northern Trust and BNP Paribas