Canadian Underwriter

Most insurers using social media tools, but many lack a strategy

May 1, 2013   by Canadian Underwriter

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The majority of insurers are now using social media in some way, although more than a third don’t have an established social media strategy, according to a report released Tuesday by research and consulting firm Celent.


Eighty percent of insurers reported using social media in their business, according to results from the online survey conducted in January, which had 114 North American responses.

Of the companies not currently using social media tools, 45% said they plan to in the next year, according to results from the survey, which was conducted in partnership with the insurance practice groups of the law firm Locke Lord, LLP.

When asked what’s preventing adoption of social tools, insurers cited legal, compliance and regulatory concerns, along with a lack of top management support and a lack of skills and know-how as the top barriers.

“The survey data confirms that social media use in insurance has established a firm foothold in North America,” Mike Fitzgerald, a senior analyst with Celent’s insurance group and author of the report commented in a statement on the findings. “We see insurers of all sizes and in most lines of business on social for marketing, customer service, sales and catastrophe response functions.”

Indeed, most insurers reported benefits from social media technology for marketing, although a number of them also reported customer service as being a potential value, the report notes. Some insurers also reported using social tools for fraud detection.

Social media

However, more than a third of those using the tools said they haven’t established a social media strategy, which Celent notes could create a risk management issue in terms of employment law, regulatory compliance and intellectual property rights. A third of insurers included in the survey report allowing access to social media sites with no restrictions, the report also notes.

The full report is available for Celent clients to download on its website.

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