P&C Insurers Disappoint on Digital Customer Engagement—J.D. Power Study

Digital appearances mask lack of insurance functionality, and insurer’s capabilities lack personalization and consistency across communications channels.

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For consumers conditioned by the digital experiences provided by top performers across industries, major property/casualty insurers are failing to meet their customers’ expectations when it comes to digital interactions, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Insurance Digital Experience Study.

Tom Super, Director, Property & Casualty Insurance Practice, J.D. Power.

Consumers’ expectations for a digital customer experience are being set by digital-native consumer brands like Amazon, Netflix and Uber, according to Tom Super, Director of the Property & Casualty Insurance Practice, J.D. Power. “Like it or not, those are the user experiences against which today’s consumer-facing insurers are competing,” he comments. “While many insurers are falling short, the leaders are establishing best practices for how to build engagement, create personalized digital experiences and deliver consistency across digital components.”

This year’s study was expanded to include an assessment of a carrier’s overall digital performance based on an industry agnostic view of digital best practices, combined with customer perceptions of their interactions with the 19 largest P&C insurance brands in the United States, J.D. Power reports. The study used evaluations from 11,304 respondents contacted from February to March 2018. J.D. Power conducted the study in partnership with Centric Digital, a New York-based provider of digital benchmarking solutions provided an industry benchmarking and digital experience analysis to be combined with J.D. Power’s analysis. The combined approaches aimed to reveal clear insights into what digital means for insurers and their customers.

J.D. Power identified the following as key findings of the 2018 study:

Surface-level design masks poor insurance functionality: While insurers have succeeded in creating attractive user interfaces, they have lagged when it comes to core insurance functionality. Most insurers’ digital offerings are lacking in insurance-specific capabilities such as processing claims, effective shopping and servicing of policies. As consumers increasingly expect to interact seamlessly with an insurance brand—regardless of the channel—most insurers are falling short on digital capabilities.

Personalization and consistency needed industry-wide: Across the study, insurers that perform highest in personalization—by aligning insurance offerings and customer needs; offering benefits tailored to certain customers; and delivering timely guidance—tend to have high digital customer satisfaction scores. Likewise, those that deliver consistently across digital components—ranging from chatbots to app features—earn the highest satisfaction scores.

Allstate performs well in digital shopping: Among the top performers in the study for overall insurance shopping experience, Allstate scores 808 (on a 1,000-point scale) for shopping satisfaction, significantly above the industry average of 779. This high score is driven by strong performance in three shopping factors: ease of navigation; availability of key information; and clarity of information.

GEICO sets the bar for digital service experience: Among the top performers in the study for service experience, GEICO scores 878 for service satisfaction, significantly above the industry average of 850. This high score is driven by strong performance in all five servicing factors in the study: ease of navigation; appearance; availability of key information; range of services; and clarity of information.

“The modern customer experience is heavily driven and supported by a company’s digital ecosystem, even in relationship-based industries,” comments Peter Smith, VP and Head of West, at Centric Digital. “To create an engaging experience, insurers should use digital to connect their customer touch points to create a frictionless, personalized experience focused on the specific, contextualized needs of a consumer.”

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Comment (1)

  1. Having transitioned from industry into consulting, I see this challenge very often. I even wrote a blog on it a while ago where I argued that companies (not just insurers) do not story-board out the entire customer journey before laying a digital veneer over sub-optimal processes… Or worse, processes that do not translate directly into a digital experience such as requirements for a physical cancelled cheque to set up auto-pay, or worse, faxing in signed documents!
    Here’s a link to my blog from 4 years ago: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140820184559-6251009-lack-of-story-boarding/

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