Canadian Underwriter

How to rebrand “insurance” so customers will listen to you

September 11, 2019   by Jason Contant

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“Does anybody here like to buy insurance?” a Scotiabank executive asked attendees at Insurance Nexus’ Connected Insurance Canada conference in Toronto Tuesday.

“Let’s be honest,” said Fernando Moreira, senior vice president of global insurance at Scotiabank. “I always come with that question because I don’t like it, never liked it.”

Fernando Moreira, svp of global insurance at Scotibank, speaking at the Connected Insurance Canada conference Tuesday.

Then he asked a second question: “Do you like to buy protection for your family, for your house, for your stuff? Who does that, or thinks about that, every single day? That’s a fundamental change that needs to happen in the insurance world – bring it to the language that the customers can understand. Stop thinking about insurance as risk and start to think about protecting customers.”

Customers obviously don’t understand risk the way insurance companies and actuaries do, Moreira said. “They understand risk from what is important for them and their families.”

The industry needs to understand what motivates customers to protect themselves in their day-to-day lives, and how insurance can help them achieve these goals in their lives. “That’s the purpose of what we’re designing and by doing this, we can, at the end, make money.”

Personalization is important, too. Think about when you’re buying a new car. You may look at it on the Internet, select the colour, choose leather seats and specifications. “At the end, you end up with a feeling that it’s my car,” Moreira said. “How do we build this for insurance?”

The claims experience can likewise change. “Claim – that’s a word I hate also,” Moreira told attendees. “Think about benefits we can provide to [consumers] – information, education services, all the things that makes them look at you and say, ‘Hey, this company is good for me.’ No matter whether the customer is buying credit insurance, home insurance, life insurance, how can he start to have benefits on the first day?”

The traditional client experience is normally bad, Moreira said. “Insurance companies usually sell or resell the product, then we put a number on the customer and we say, ‘I hope they remember us at the renewal phase and I hope only this amount of people claim.’”

Another turn-off for clients is exclusions, with many products having 10-30 exclusions. Often when a customer buys the product, they’re “going to end up with a high probability it’s going to be excluded at the moment of claims,” Moreira said. One of Scotiabank’s products used to have about 20 exclusions, but now it has a maximum of three, he said. “It used to have 50 pages, now it is all digital. If you have to print it, it’s a maximum 1.5 pages.”

To appeal to the consumer of the future, you have to suspend everything you know about insurance, Tim Attia, CEO and co-founder of Slice Labs, said last month at the Insurance Executive Forum. “If we back up to just calling it protection, maybe it’s less complicated. You say ‘insurance,’ most people don’t understand it. If you say protection, I think it’s a little bit clearer.”

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2 Comments » for How to rebrand “insurance” so customers will listen to you
  1. Craig Jenkins says:

    This sort of customer focus for the value proposition and process is part of a much larger transformation we need to make as financial institutions to remain competitive and relevant in the face of change.

  2. Frank Cain says:

    As long as we keep insurance-eese away from the customers, we should be OK. If we get anywhere near them with “a suite of coverages,” “customer’s journey,” “re-targeting,” “distribution channel,” “interaction platform,” “segment” and “leverage,” we could have a language problem.

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