Innovation in Insurance: A North American Consumer View

by Craig Weber,  Michael Fitzgerald, November 13, 2012
Industry Trends
North America

Abstract

For most insurance companies, innovation in service technology is necessary in order to deliver consumers’ service requirements. This may take the form of new methods of engagement (service via smartphones), the ability to hand off tasks between automated systems and call center personnel (and back again), and/or more efficient management of customer data. But what service innovations carry the most value?  Will an insurer gain any benefit in the eyes of consumers if it pursues innovation?

In order to gain insight into these and other questions, Celent conducted an online survey of consumers in August, 2012. The report, Innovation in Insurance: A North American Consumer View, details the feedback from the 520 North American respondents.

The data both supports and challenges commonly held assumptions about customer experience requirements. For example, consumers confirmed that they value self-service on the web for simple transactions. However, they also expressed a preference for performing complex activities for themselves as well, challenging the assumption that they usually want an intermediary involved.

“Innovation in customer experience is a significant investment area for insurers,” says Mike Fitzgerald, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Insurance Group and coauthor of the report. “The data from this report can inform the planning and design of those investments with hard, empirical data from end consumers.”

“We were very pleased with the high level of participation in the survey,” adds Craig Weber, CEO of Celent and coauthor of the report. “This is the most statistically credible snapshot of consumer preferences regarding customer service and technology innovation available to insurers.”

This 24-page report contains 13 figures.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is part of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America (Boston)
Erica Ferguson
eferguson@celent.com
Tel.: +1 617 262 8225

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)208 870 7875

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81.3.3500.3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1

Introduction

3

 

Background

3

 

Methodology

4

A Context for Innovation

6

 

Tool Use

6

 

Catering to Active Users

7

 

Complex Vs. Simple Transactions

8

 

Convenience, Ease, and Speed

9

 

Serving Younger Customers

10

The Business Case for Insurance Innovation

12

 

Choosing a Financial Services Provider

13

Conclusion

17

Appendix

18

 

Survey Respondent Demographics

18

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

20

 

Support for Financial Institutions

20

 

Support for Vendors

20

Related Celent Research

21

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