The gap between the insurance customer satisfaction and expectation is wide, according to an Accenture survey of 7,000 people from 13 countries.
The survey reveals that 84% of the insurance consumers are satisfied with overall response from insurer, but there is a significant exception gap in the range of services provided by insurers.
The importance of clear and easy-to-understand information about the policies is raised by 62% of respondents.
According to the survey, 62% of the respondents said it was very important for insurer to provide clear and easy-to-understand information on their policies, but only 27% consumers said they were very satisfied with their insurers’ efforts to do so.
The survey says younger generation and those from emerging markets are more interested in innovations such as mobile services, much more likely to shop around, but the most promising market segments.
More than three-quarters, 76%, of respondents below 35 years expressed interest in using mobile devices to text insurers to receive updates on claim requests, or to interact with agents and brokers through smart phones equipped with video capabilities, compared to less than half (46%) of respondents over 45 years.
The survey said in China 96% of customers were interested in new mobile services, followed by India with 91% , South Korea with 88% and Brazil- 83%. By contrast only 63% of respondents on average were interested in mobile services, and in Germany the figure was only 41%.
The consulting firm said the pattern was similar regarding usege of social media networks and blogs when purchasing new insurance. These appealed to 49% of Brazilian respondents compared to the average figure of 30% and just 14% in France.
The survey said that younger consumers and customers in emerging markets are the least loyal.
On average, more than one-fifth (22%) of respondents said they were likely to stop doing business with at least one of their insurers in the next 12 months but the figure increased to 31% amongst the 18 to 24 age group and was significantly lower at 10% among the over-55s.
Almost three-quarters (70%) of 18 to 24-year-olds said they were willing to pay more for the better services and products, compared to only a third (33%) of over 55s and 38 percent of 45 to 54-year-olds.
The survey revealed that customers in emerging markets are also more likely to switch insurers to get products more relevant to their needs. For example, 96% of consumers in China were likely to switch, compared to 76% on average and only 59% in the US.
The consumers in India, China, South Korea and Brazil, where 93%, 92%, 76% and 73% of respondents respectively said would pay more, compared to an average figure of 52% and only 21% of French respondents.
The survey report said 75% of the consumers believe that insurers generally offer the same products and services.
More than three-fifths (61%) of respondents said that it was very important for their insurer to provide prompt and effective service, or to answer requests in a timely manner, but only 32% of respondents were very satisfied with their insurers’ ability to deliver such service.
According to the survey, 53% of respondents stated that access to the information they need whenever they need it is very important to them, only 29% felt very satisfied with their insurers’ capacity to provide assistance on a 24-hour, seven days per week basis.
Accenture’s Analytics group for financial services global managing director Edwin VanderOuderaa, said this gap suggests that consumers have low expectations rather than that they are delighted with the experience they receive.
"But this means there is an opportunity for insurers to differentiate themselves and gain market share by leveraging analytics to assess which products and services are working best and which need to be changed to deliver a better customer experience, VanderOuderaa said.