Life Insurance Mobile Self-Service: Why Are You So Far Behind?

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26 February 2015


Celent finds that life insurance mobile platform offerings are far behind the self-service offerings on websites. Functionality on mobile devices is split between native mobile apps and mobile-friendly websites. In the case of mobile-friendly websites, most are facades for the full website, meaning available functionality is through a hyperlink to the full site, which is not optimized for use on a mobile device.

In the report, Life Insurance Mobile Self-Service: Why Are You So Far Behind?, Celent performed an online review of the top 50 individual retail life insurance product mobile offerings in Q4 2014. We searched the major app stores and the life insurance websites to determine if the insurers offered mobile apps. Additionally we searched mobile phones and tablets via browsers to discern if mobile-friendly websites were available

Celent’s review found that 24% of the top life insurers have customer-focused mobile apps geared towards life insurance or annuities, while 28% have mobile-friendly websites or at least sites optimized for a mobile device. There is overlap, as some insurers offer both a mobile app and a mobile-friendly website.

“For the most part, Celent found that some insurers are taking the easier and less expensive path of either doing nothing or developing mobile-friendly browser-based functionality tied to their existing websites,” says Karen Monks, an analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice and author of the report. “For customers who desire access to the insurer on a mobile platform, this is not good news because using websites not optimized for a mobile platform is both difficult and frustrating.”

This report examines mobile apps and mobile-friendly websites to determine the availability of a number of key features and functions. The current mobile device functionality is compared against past Celent research on functionality desired by customers. Using a scorecard, Celent rates the life insurance industry to determine what progress life insurers have made in offering self-service functions on phones or tablets.