Insurance Customers Are APP-Athetic

  • Two out of three home and motor customers don’t know their insurer offers an app
  • But apps within apps have ‘transformative potential’ for selling and managing policies

Insurance customers are apathetic about using apps and the industry is missing out on the ‘transformative potential’ of digital solutions to selling and managing policies, insurance market experts Consumer Intelligence warn.

Research1 for its Advisory Business’s Horizon Scanning practice shows nearly two out of three (65%) of home and motor customers don’t know their provider offers an app and most are not interested in downloading it as they believe they don’t need it.

Consumer Intelligence’s study found just 19% of customers surveyed were aware their providers offers an app and only 7% have downloaded it. There is no age divide – under-35s are just as apathetic about insurance apps as the over-35s.

The low take-up of insurance apps contrasts with success in banking – analysts CACI2   estimates banking via mobile apps will overtake banking by computer next year and that the 22 million people managing current accounts on their phones now will rise to 35 million within five years.

Rajeev Aggarwal, Managing Director of Consumer Intelligence’s Advisory business, said: “Amongst the minority of policyholders who had downloaded their insurer’s app, most had only used it to check a policy detail, rather than using it for activities such as policy renewal, changes or claims. The reality is the practice of overlaying an app on to a traditional insurance policy is failing to engage with policyholders.”

Insurance apps have been successful, but the success stories are either in the US where start-up Lemonade has more than a quarter of policyholders using its Artificial Intelligence app to make policy changes or in Asia where Chinese app WeChat, which has 750 million users, has the functionality to allow customers to make payments inside its messaging app QQ.

WeChat owner Tencent has a majority stake in insurance agency WeMin and connecting the two points to the transformative potential of apps for selling and managing policies.

Leigh Calton, who leads Consumer Intelligence’s Horizon Scanning practice, said:” The concept of ‘apps within apps’ will become more important for insurers and insurtechs. This means developing your app inside another app that is already frequently used by consumers such as messenger platforms, or perhaps even within frequently used mobile banking apps.

“Smarter AI and increased functionality means businesses can focus on creating a great user experience, rather than having to worry about whether they can persuade consumers to download and use their app in the first place.”

Consumer Intelligence says insurance customers who have used apps generally use them to check policy details rather than using them to renew polices, change details or make claims

‘Apps within apps’ is just one of over 100 important and emerging trends being tracked by Consumer Intelligence through its horizon scanning service that helps organisations to identify, understand and prepare for a dynamic future environment.

This insight, including the use of international examples, is already being used to help some of the UK’s leading companies within the insurance market create a competitive advantage.

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