Post Blog: Ahead of the game


How can online insurance providers stay one step ahead of the competition? Rebecca Jennings explains.

The percentage of consumers who want to buy insurance online continues to grow, and so do the challenges for insurance websites. How can online providers offer the best experience for consumers?

Many brands seem to be struggling with these challenges. So what are the issues and how can they be solved?

Lack of information around quote and application process
Generating a quote for can be a lengthy process, requiring a number of pages of information. Customers need to have their expectations set appropriately up front.

If they have to leave a process to find a piece of information and then find the form has timed out while they've been away, they won't be back.

Failure to ensure self-service for problems
According to Global Reviews, 29% of online consumers researching health insurance and 37% of those researching car insurance would rather solve a problem in their research and buying process online.

Make it easy and quick for them to do so; don't push a separate FAQ onto its own pages and make people search for their own solution. Instead, insert contextually relevant links throughout, not forgetting the quote and application pages.

Poor support for cross channel behaviour
Some people will prefer to do their research online but complete the purchase over the phone. Our study shows that 26% of those who research health insurance online would prefer to get a quote over the phone or via email, and 21% would prefer to buy over the phone.

Making sure the site has comprehensive answers to typical questions and makes clear that the cheapest deals are online will entice some to convert, but a significant minority will still require offline reassurance.

These consumers need access to relevant phone numbers, with opening hours, as well as email addresses, clearly displayed at all points, not just stuck over in a separate ‘contact us' area linked in the small print.

Any email contact forms or live chat capabilities should make sure people can keep a copy of any conversations or messages sent for future reference.

Absence of ‘why buy from us?' confidence and reassurance
Even if companies have the cheapest price, people need reassurance that this isn't at the expense of service and support, especially in such a vital market as insurance.

Consumers get multiple quotes. According to OFT research, 73% of motor insurance buyers in the UK shop around.

A website should be used to explain clearly why they should choose you. External awards, customer testimonials, or proof of service levels should all feature prominently.

Rebecca Jennings, principal consultant, Global Reviews

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