What do Irish insurance
customers really want?



Future of Insurance

Overview

The level of discussion and hype around digital and innovation remain high within the Irish insurance industry. While the market is saturated with opinions on what is possible with respect to re-imagined personal lines products, there is limited fact-based actionable insight on what consumers want.

What we did

We surveyed over 500 Irish customers to investigate which features of home and motor insurance are most attractive.

The results give a clear indication of preferences, with four main themes identified. Insurers can help use these findings to help guide the launch of new products, services and partnerships.

1. Customers want simplicity, flexibility and transparency

Customer needs are changing; survey results show many are reconsidering the value of insurance products, with respondents favouring “Basic” and “Self Controlled & Adjustable” product types over others for both home and motor.

Key takeaways:

  • Design and deliver products and services that are easy to understand, engage with and put the customer in control
  • Understand how attitudes and preferences vary by segment, and tailor offerings and communications accordingly
  • Meet customer expectations by offering new and interesting features that differentiate them
  • Put the customer at the core of the design process and get to the root of what drives them and ultimately delights them

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2. Poor brand awareness highlights growing disconnection of the customer relationship

Insurance purchasing behaviour is changing and customers have more options in how they engage with providers.

The emergence of new distribution options has created the risk of incumbents becoming more and more irrelevant in the eyes of the customer.

Survey results show a sense of disconnection with low levels of brand recognition being evidenced across both motor and home products.

Key takeaways:

  • Focus on maximising opportunities to engage customers in meaningful ways, at the right time, through personalised experiences
  • Have a clear targeting strategy, leveraging data insights to deliver relevant value propositions to chosen segments as and when they need them
  • Invest in capabilities and architecture that can enable the ‘insurer of the future’, bring marketing, sales, and distribution closer together as part of one integrated journey enabling seamless and impactful customer experiences

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3. Digital is table stakes and top of mind for customers

There has been a slow start to digital transformation and insurers face the challenge of either where to begin or where to go next, with an enforced shift in demand for digital and self service experiences putting increased pressure on legacy operations.

Key takeaways:

  • Consider voice as a channel within your broader distribution strategy; there’s clear inclination towards digital channel usage but customers want the flexibility to speak to someone
  • Recognise customers’ interactions and develop tailored treatment strategies, leveraging a combination of channels in the right way
  • Differentiate by maximising touchpoints with customers, creating new and more meaningful opportunities to drive engagement

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4. Increasing demand for differentiated and innovative propositions

Results show an emerging appetite for more proactive, innovative and parametric features, beyond pure price and coverage.

There is resistance to sharing personal data with insurance companies to enable value adding or other data-based services, even if there is a potential cost reduction involved. Respondents were most reluctant to share data associated with their social media history.

Key takeaways:

  • Continue to strengthen and build trusted relationships with customers
  • Understand what features different segments will respond to and leverage innovation to target new revenue streams
  • Make strategic choices about “where to play” and “how to win”, making conscious decisions in relation to which capabilities are foundational versus those they will invest in to truly differentiate themselves
  • Consider quicker routes to market by establishing a clear partnership strategy, collaborating with alliances and ecosystem players to complement existing capabilities

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Conclusion

Results show a marked preference for simplicity and flexibility. The key challenge for insurers going forward will be understanding how they need to phase and prioritise investment to realise business value early while enabling maximum return in the long run.

The “insurer of the future” is customer centric, data rich, multi-channel and agile in terms of their technology, workforce, and ways of working. This can only be enabled through making clear decisions in relation to their underlying capabilities and placing brave bets around their transformation agenda.

Contacts

Ciara Regan

Ciara Regan

Partner, Insurance Leader

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Donal Lehane

Donal Lehane

Partner, Head of Financial Services

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Michael Ennis

Michael Ennis

Director, Data Analytics and Cognitive AI Lead

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Ciara Regan

Yvonne Byrne

Partner, Consulting

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Donal Lehane

Deirdre Furlong

Director, Deloitte Digital

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