Canadian Underwriter

Your clients are more willing to share personal data for a better insurance deal

January 26, 2021   by David Gambrill

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Consumers are increasingly willing to share their personal information with their insurers as long as it will help them prevent injury and loss, according to a recent consumer research conducted by Accenture.

The caveat here is that consumers don’t trust insurers with their personal data as much as they used to, Accenture states in its latest Global Insurance Consumer Study, which surveyed just under 48,000 consumers in 28 global markets, including Canada. Restoring the trust with consumers will require a proper balance between human and digital interaction, Accenture concludes, a finding that highlights the role of brokers during the purchase process.

In the auto insurance space, consumers are looking for personalized offers in the form of usage-based or “pay-as-you-drive” auto insurance, Accenture found. That’s because they expect their insurance rates and plans to reflect their new driving habits — 29% of consumers who can drive expect to drive less in the long-term than they did before the pandemic.

“Consumers say they are more willing to offer personal data in exchange for more personalized pricing, offers, and discounts,” the Accenture report states. “They are increasingly demanding to be charged based on behaviour and habits — and they’re willing to allow insurers to collect and use their data in exchange for that value.”

More than two-thirds (69%) would share significant data on their health, exercise and driving habits in exchange for lower prices from their insurers, the survey found, an increase of 19% from two years ago. Specifically related to P&C insurance, more consumers (66%) would share significant data for personalized services to prevent injury and loss — up 54% from two years ago.

In particular, consumers are looking for UBI and telematics solutions that reflect their changing driving behaviours.

“In the auto insurance space, consumers look for personalized offers in the form of usage-based or ‘pay-as-you-drive’ auto insurance,” the report states. “Twenty-nine per cent of consumers who can drive expect to drive less in the long-term than they did before the pandemic. They will expect their rates and plans to reflect their new habits.”

However, consumers in the survey expressed less trust in the security of the data they handed over to insurers. For example, just under 37% of consumers surveyed said they significantly trust insurers to look after their data, down from 45% in the 2019 report.

“Consumers are embracing the data-for-personalized-pricing trend and want insurers to reward their efforts to improve their well-being, but it comes with a warning that trust is waning and they want to feel in control of their data,” said Kenneth Saldanha, who leads Accenture’s Insurance industry group globally. “Insurers are creating tech-driven partnerships to provide their customers with flexible, personalized insurance offerings based on behaviour, but they’ll need to be transparent and responsible with their customers’ data for these partnerships to succeed.”

To build that trust, humans should be an integral part of the insurance-purchasing process, the Accenture report suggests.

“Achieving the right balance between digital and human interaction matters more than ever,” the report states. “For example, while consumers are interacting more and more in the digital realm, particularly during COVID-19, they still view human touchpoints as more trustworthy than digital touchpoints when they are in need.

“Almost half (49%) say they place a lot of trust in a human advisor in an office when making an insurance claim, while only 12% say the same of automated service over phone/web/email, and just 7% say the same of a chatbot.”

The key is for brokers to be trained in digital so they can offer the best of both worlds for clients, the Accenture report concludes.


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