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A Harsh Reality: Incumbent Insurers Fall Short of Delivering the Value That Consumers, Especially Millennials, Expect


NEW YORK, Oct. 03, 2018 — The most important elements for today’s property & casualty (P&C) and life insurance customers are functional ones such as those related to ‘quality’ of products and services and ‘ease’ of doing business. Yet most incumbent insurers are not delivering on these fundamental preferences, let alone higher order traits. Only 20 percent of Millennials in the U.S. give their P&C providers high scores for the key elements that matter most to them, such as ‘motivation’ and ‘affiliation’.  As a result, consumers around the world – particularly those who are young and digitally active – want to do business with new entrants that are capable of creating and delivering more value than incumbent insurers.

In its fourth report on customer loyalty in the insurance industry, Customers Know What They Want. Are Insurers Listening?, Bain & Company canvassed more than 174,000 retail insurance customers in 18 countries to understand what they expect from their insurance providers and the qualities they value most in an insurer.  These qualities are based on the Elements of Value® –30 fundamental attributes identified by Bain & Company that help companies gain an edge with customers.

“Insurance customers don’t have complicated needs. They want to be able to choose from a good selection of policies at reasonable prices. They want clear, transparent information, and they want smooth, hassle-free interactions. They expect their insurers to help alleviate their anxiety, not add to it,” said Darci Darnell, global head of Bain & Company’s Customer Strategy & Marketing practice and the report’s co-author.  “But the harsh reality is that most insurance companies still don’t consistently deliver the value their customers are seeking.”

As a result, the industry is increasingly vulnerable to digital innovators that sell directly to consumers and bypass established companies by creating more value for their customers. Survey findings reveal that consumers – especially digitally active Millennials – are very open to purchasing from new entrants, including those from outside the industry, such as tech companies, automakers, and retailers. This trend is most evident in emerging markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil, where approximately 90 percent of respondents said they would be open to purchasing insurance from new entrants.  Among Millennials, that number jumps to more than 95 percent.

However, even for new entrants it is anything but a given to outperform the incumbents on critical elements. In the U.S., for example, Lemonade, a digital-first company launched in 2016 that provides low-cost insurance to homeowners and renters, is the rare example of a new entrant that has outperformed on the key dimensions that matter to consumers – helping it attract and retain customers.

Further, Bain & Company’s research shows customers give insurers higher Elements of Value ratings when companies offer an ecosystem of services that go beyond simple insurance coverage.  These insurers are able to better connect with consumers on emotional and life-changing elements – those prized by Millennials.  Across markets, more than 80 percent of customers are open to, or actively interested in, an ecosystem of services. In many countries, a majority of customers would even prefer insurers to provide these ecosystem services.

“In a time of disruption, the smartest insurers recognize they can’t do everything on their own.  They’re teaming up with Insurtechs and other companies to modernize their operations, from distribution to claims processing,” said Dr. Henrik Naujoks, head of Bain & Company’s Financial Services practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and co-author of the report. “Insurers that do the hard work of understanding and delivering the Elements of Value that matter most to today’s and tomorrow’s customers  can put themselves on a path to sustained loyalty and lasting growth.”

Editor’s Note: To arrange an interview, contact Dan Pinkney at [email protected] or +1 646 562 8102

About Bain & Company Bain & Company is the management consulting firm that the world’s business leaders come to when they want results. Bain advises clients on strategy, operations, information technology, organization, private equity, digital transformation and strategy, and mergers and acquisition, developing practical insights that clients act on and transferring skills that make change stick.  The firm aligns its incentives with clients by linking its fees to their results.  Bain clients have outperformed the stock market 4 to 1. Founded in 1973, Bain has 57 offices in 36 countries, and its deep expertise and client roster cross every industry and economic sector. For more information visit:  Follow us on Twitter @BainAlerts.

Media Contact: Dan Pinkney Bain & Company Tel: +1 646 562 8102 [email protected]

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