A new survey of UK consumers has revealed penetration of online self-service for car and home insurance is now up to 60% of policyholders, with 37% of respondents using online portals to manage both car and home insurance, and a further 23% using the technology for at least one of these insurance lines.
The findings are based on independent research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of software house, CDL, and are based on the responses of a random sample of 2,000 UK adults.
The key benefits of self-service cited by respondents were ease of storing and accessing documentation and policy details (74%) and time savings (59%), while more than four out of ten have used their portal for renewals or to generate new quotes.
Commenting on the findings, CDL commercial director, Nigel Phillips, said: “The findings chime with our experience that people are time-poor and value the convenience of 24/7 access when it comes to buying and managing their insurance. It is further evidence that retailers who have invested in self-service solutions are in pole position to delight today’s digital consumer.”
CDL provides fully automated online insurance portals to the high volume insurance retail market, including brands such as iGO4, Kwik Fit and Virgin Money. Its self-service portal means no operator intervention is required for tasks such as mid-term adjustments, renewals and the generation of new quotes, supporting operational efficiency for retailers as well as convenience for consumers.
“Our experience suggests that sign-up to self-service solutions is typically over 95% and this research shows the growing penetration of online portals in the marketplace. The ability to make mid-term policy adjustments and access insurance online is increasingly being seen as the norm, and it is the logical next step for consumers who are already buying their insurance over the Internet. Clearly, retailers who are not able to offer advanced self-service solutions risk being left behind.”
Barriers to the adoption of self-service identified through the survey included preference for dealing over the phone (42%), preference for dealing in person (20%), lack of availability of an online portal solution from the consumer’s insurer (18%) and privacy concerns (24%).
“The research suggests that adoption will continue to grow as there remains a significant proportion of people – almost one in five – who are open to the idea of self-service but don’t have this option with their insurance provider,” continues Phillips.
“At the same time, it’s clear that a multi-channel strategy, integrating online, telephony and other forms of customer interaction such as webchats and soon chatbots, is key to delivering a 21st century consumer experience.
“In particular, consumers who are less confident about buying insurance or have more complex requirements will always value the opportunity for more personal interaction. Our goal is to ensure technology supports both automated and personal services, and allows for a seamless experience as consumers switch between the two.”