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Auto, home insurance clients look online but prefer buying from agent  While U.S. consumers are increasingly turning to digital sources for
quotes and other information, they still prefer personal contact with agents when purchasing insurance products – and are willing to pay extra for
 that personal contact – according to a recent survey.

A survey conducted by global management consulting firm Accenture of more than 4,000 U.S. automobile and home insurance customers found

 that most prefer setting up and paying for their coverage directly through an agent.

Major findings of the survey include:

Nearly three-quarters (76%) of consumers express a preference for setting up and paying for their auto and home insurance policies in

person with an agent, and more than half (58%) indicate a preference for doing so via the Web.

More than one-third (38%) of consumers are willing to pay for personalized advice about the insurance that is best for them – and, of that

 group, more than half (56%) are willing to pay at least 10% more.

When asked where they prefer to obtain quotes, 43% of respondents choose websites, while 26% choose over the phone and 26% in

person. A much smaller percentage (4%) chooses mobile applications.

Almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents also express a preference for getting information about products and prices from an insurer’s

 website. Exclusive insurance agents rank third with 56% of respondents, behind friends and family, cited by 61% of respondents. Search

engines and aggregators rank fourth and fifth at 55% and 54% with respondents, respectively.


“In defining their distribution strategies, insurers must recognize that consumers are becoming more diversified in their channel preferences at

different stages of the buying process,” said Erik J. Sandquist, a managing director at Accenture Property and Casualty Insurance Services.

“Direct insurers continue to gain share as consumers grow increasingly comfortable buying policies online. This means that insurers with an

agency distribution model must adapt to customers’ changing preferences and integrate their agent networks with digital, mobile, and social

 media capabilities.”

 Age is not a consistent predictor of channel preference

Also according to the survey:

Only 37% of respondents aged 18 to 24 say they prefer to obtain a quote via a website, compared to 53% aged 25 to 44 and 41% aged

 45 to 64. However, 10% of the respondents aged 18 to 24 say they prefer to obtain a quote via mobile applications, compared to 5%

aged 25 to 44 and 1% aged 45 to 64.

Nearly one-third (32%) of respondents aged 18 to 24 say they prefer to obtain a quote in person; only the oldest respondents

(aged 65 to 74) are more likely to prefer obtaining a quote in person (39%).

More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents aged 18 to 24 say they would be willing to pay more for personalized advice when purchasing

 auto or home insurance policy, compared to 27% of those aged 45 to 64 and just 16% of those aged 65 to 74.

“Much has been written about young consumers – with their strong propensity for Internet, social media and mobile – fundamentally changing

insurance distribution,” said Sandquist. “Our survey reveals that many young consumers desire personalized advice and are willing to pay more

 for it – and a significant percentage prefers to obtain their quotes face-to-face. There are many demographic, psychographic, lifestyle and other

 factors which can account for differences in how customers would like to be treated. Some customers make decisions almost exclusively on

price while others seek the best advice available, and this is not consistent by age groups. More sophisticated digital marketing, customer

segmentation and analytics are needed to attract customers and deliver more personalized and relevant products and experiences.”

Insurers have opportunity to build customer loyalty and establish differentiation

Among the survey’s other findings:

One-quarter (26%) of respondents either do not plan to renew their auto or home insurance policy with their current insurers or plan to

 look at other insurers’ offerings.

Nearly half (46%) of insurance customers think that the products and services offered by different insurers are essentially “all the same.”

More than one-third (38%) of consumers are willing to pay for personalized advice about the insurance that is best for them – and, of that

 group, more than half (56%) are willing to pay at least 10% more.

“Our survey research reveals a significant opportunity for insurers to grow market share as many customers plan to shop around when renewing

 their policies. Price remains the most important buying factor which will continue to put pressure on insurers to improve their cost structures. At

 the same time, our research reveals that a carrier’s distribution model can be a strong differentiator, given the relative importance of factors such

 as interaction channel, advice and speed,” said Sandquist.

One Response

A.Mohamed Ali Says:

 client and agent live…99% of the people who bought online will certainly regret several times…

1. No one will be there to take care of them during claims

2. Renewal notices may not reach them

3. Updation of product information and upgradation of products may not be possible when someone buys online.

4. There will be no personal touch in online purchases.

5. Online business is a pure selling process where as service of a professional agent will help prospects and clients buy insurance plans

best suited to him/her

So It is 100% true that informed customers will always prefer buying insurance products from a known, reliable and responsible agent.

Yes, Insurance Industry is based on Relationship…it is a relationship business. the relationship should last longer … as long as the

This is my personal experience:

3 decades of buying insurance products for a group of companies and

more than a decade providing Insurance Solutions and helping people buy insurance products.

I love all my customers and all my customers love me and send me love letters appreciating my Service with Smile.

A.Mohamed Ali



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