Progress Towards a Digital Future: How Ready Are Insurers Today?

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22 January 2016


Celent investigates what “Being Digital” means to the insurance industry, using feedback from consumers and a self-assessment from the industry.

In the report Progress Towards a Digital Future: How Ready Are Insurers Today? Celent explores what it takes to become “more digital” in insurance, incorporating views from a survey of 2,338 consumers across seven countries (the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Brazil), and from 186 insurance businesses globally. Another report in Q1 will analyse consumer attitudes towards self-service and their expectations of being served digitally.

“Just because an insurer can invent a new way of doing business digitally does not necessarily mean that the market, and clients within it, will automatically follow with ever larger waves of new business,” says Jamie Macgregor, senior vice president of Celent’s Insurance practice and author of the report. “It may sound obvious, but clients need to be ready and willing to adopt new digital services as and when they become available. This report explores consumer attitudes towards digital self-service and insurer preparations being made to deliver it.”

Findings include:

  • Depending upon the product type, approximately 58% to 62% of consumers on average expect an excellent digital experience when it comes to insurance.
  • However, the ability to speak to someone as part of the customer journey remains essential, especially for more complex transactions that involve more personal risk.
  • On average, 52% of consumers want some degree of human engagement on simple transactions, rising to 76% on more complex transactions. However, this preference can vary widely based upon age, household income, and a predisposition for engaging digitally. Customer segmentation is critical. A “one size fits all” strategy that treats clients the same is unlikely to be successful.
  • In parallel, most insurers continue to prioritize investment towards “digital enablement” (technology renewal, straight-through processing, and digital self-service) as opposed to “digital innovation” (the creation of digital propositions based upon the “Internet of Things” and data enrichment).
  • Many insurers consider themselves behind the competition when it comes to digital readiness, preferring to seek external support from multiple partners to build their digital transformation plans.

The report is 36 pages and contains 23 figures.