The number of consumers willing to share significant data on their health and other lifestyle-related habits with their insurer to reduce premiums has grown over the past two years, but their trust in insurers to look after that data has fallen, according to a new report from Accenture.
Based on a survey of more than 47,000 consumers globally, Accenture’s latest Global Insurance Consumer Study provides a view of consumer preferences and trends in insurance, building on similar reports from 2019 and 2017.
At a time when insurers are launching tech-driven partnerships to improve customer wellness, approximately seven out of ten consumers (67%) say they would share significant data on their health, exercise and driving habits in exchange for lower prices from their insurers, compared with 59% two years ago. In addition, six in ten (59%) of consumers say they would also share significant data for personalized services to prevent injury and loss — up from 48% in the 2019 report.
But while consumers are more willing to share personal data, their concerns about intrusiveness and its impact on premiums has grown and their confidence in their insurers’ ability to look after their data has diminished. For instance, just under 37% of consumers say 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 behavior, but they’ll need to be transparent and responsible with their customers’ data for these partnerships to succeed. To earn consumers’ trust, insurers will need to show that their customers’ well-being is at the core of their business.”
As insurance becomes more digitized, human advisors will help restore trust
The report also finds that insurers will need to re-evaluate the role of human workers, particularly as COVID-19 has drastically accelerated the industry’s adoption of digital insurance services. For instance, the number of respondents over the age of 55 who said they would like the internet chat and video insurance claim process to replace the traditional in-office claim process increased, up from 49% to 66%.
However, consumers overall still trust human advisors more than digital touchpoints for certain services. One example: 61% of consumers trust a human advisor in a branch when making an insurance claim, while only 10% trust an automated digital service and just 10% trust a chatbot.
“This is a critical time for insurers, as they need to work to fully address the shifts in consumer behaviour caused by the pandemic, including the ever-increasing expectation to create user-friendly digital experiences,” said Tim Hoying, insurance consulting and strategy lead at Accenture in Canada. “Given consumers’ openness to share their personal data in exchange for tailored programs and lower prices, there is a unique opportunity for insurers to unlock new insights and create better, more relevant services.”