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Time for insurance marketers to put the Meerkat back in its cage

UK insurance companies are potentially missing out on a market worth £1.3bn1, according to research revealing that over 1 in 5 (22 per cent) adult Brits hold no insurance policies. The findings come from a new report exploring the opportunities for growth in the UK insurance market, commissioned by the UK’s largest independent data communications group, REaD Group.

The results reveal that London has the highest proportion of uninsured citizens (30 per cent), nearly eight per cent above the national average. Meanwhile, those living in the East Midlands are the most insured (81 per cent). The findings also reveal a disproportionate amount of students have no insurance (51 per cent), despite being one of the highest risk groups for crime2.

The report indicates towards a significant untapped potential for insurance providers, which are becoming increasingly reliant on online aggregator sites to acquire customers. Brand awareness for traditional insurance brands is significantly low compared to that of the dominant aggregators. Only 24 per cent had heard of RSA and 37 per cent were familiar with AIG, whereas 87 per cent had heard of GoCompare and 86 per cent for Compare the market.

Jon Cano Lopez, CEO of REaD Group, said: “An over reliance on aggregator sites and a failure to understand the individual needs of UK consumers is significantly impacting customer acquisition and retention in the insurance sector”.

Meanwhile, a third (33 per cent) of UK adults find the process of buying insurance confusing, suggesting that insurance companies are failing to communicate correctly with a large proportion of potential customers. Only ten per cent cited brand loyalty as a key factor in their insurance decision-making process.

Cano Lopez continues: “In order to establish long term, profitable relationships with consumers, insurance companies need to consider moving away from aggregator sites, changing their current policy centric models, and begin marketing to consumers based on their individual needs and attitudes.

“Our research shows that there are huge swathes of the UK population that aren’t being targeted in a way that is engaging or meaningful to them, resulting in a missed opportunity worth billions. Insurers must understand who these consumers are and offer them long-term solutions that are reflective of their individual needs and attitudes.”