March 22, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
Consumers from the Millennial generation are more likely to buy insurance online using a tablet or mobile phone than their older counterparts, according to United Kingdom-focused research released on Tuesday by Finaccord, a market research, publishing and consulting company specializing in insurance and other financial services.
Covering a range of different insurance products commonly acquired by individual customers – including household, life, motor, pet and travel insurance – the research found that 16.2% of all online purchases of these policy types in the UK in 2015 were originally made via a mobile device, with the remaining 84.8% acquired online through a laptop or desktop computer.
Among Millenial consumers (aged up to 34), 20.3% of policies bought online were purchased using a mobile device, segmenting between 13.9% using a tablet and 6.4% using a mobile phone, Finaccord said in a press release. In contrast, among those aged between 35 and 54 and those aged 55 or over, a respective 14.2% and 14.3% of online insurance sales in 2015 were concluded via a mobile device, “which tends to prove the greater propensity of the younger generation to use tablets and mobiles phones to buy insurance cover,” Finaccord said in the release. However, within these two older age groups, those aged from 35 to 54 were slightly more likely to use a mobile phone than a tablet in this context, relative to those aged 55 or more. [click image below to enlarge]
By type of insurance, the research established that the breakdown of online sales by type of device used does not vary greatly. Perhaps surprisingly, use of both tablets and mobile phones to conclude transactions online is most prevalent in the case of accident and health insurance – a class embracing forms of cover such as dental, personal accident and private medical insurance plus health and hospital cash plans – given that a respective 18.5% and 7.6% of online purchases of these products were reportedly made through these device types. In contrast, propensity to use them was found to be least advanced in the case of motor insurance which is, simultaneously, the form of cover most likely to be acquired online, Finaccord said in the release.
“These findings are important for both underwriters and intermediaries marketing insurance products to consumers,” suggested Alan Leach, director of Finaccord, noting that online sales now constitute the interface most commonly used for buying most types of insurance, even for those traditionally sold by phone or in person, such as life and health insurance.
“However, there is an apparent shift among ‘millennials’ towards utilising mobile devices for this purpose,” Leach said. “And while use of laptop or desktop computers to buy insurance online remains dominant at present across all age groups, this change in behaviour is sure to perpetuate in future years with the emergence of another new generation of insurance buyers that is even more at ease with buying different products and services online via tablets or mobile phones.”