Insurers make strides in digitising claims and renewals

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Many more insurers are allowing customers to renew policies, make claims notifications and track claims digitally compared to last year, according to research by Altus Consulting.

The financial services consultancy’s findings are published in its general insurance digital rankings for 2018, which sort leading home and car insurers according to how many services their customers can carry out digitally.

The new rankings found that there had been a 25% increase in the number of insurers offering online renewal, with 42% of leading home insurers and half of leading car insurers now offering the service.

There has also been a dramatic increase in the use of technology to support the claims process – 27% of leading insurers now offer some level of claims support online, compared to just 4% last year.

Home insurers have the edge on car insurers in this area, with 31% of them offering online claims compared to 23% of insurers in the motor market.

However, in spite of the strides made in the past year, claims remains the area of customer experience with the least digital support.

The rankings appraised 24 insurers from both the home insurance and car insurance markets, looking for digital support in 10 customer service areas.  

Aviva come out top of the pile in both home and car classes, providing full support for nearly all of the digital services for which Altus tested. It fell short only on its ‘quick quote’ service for car insurance and its claims tracking service across both classes, receiving a ‘mostly supported’ assessment for both.

Quote Me Happy were runners-up in both classes with, like Aviva, a near-complete suite of digital services. The top five for home insurance was rounded out by Axa, Swiftcover and Admiral, with Axa in particular increasing the services it offers digitally over the last year as it rose six places to third.

More Than, Admiral and Axa were ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively for car insurance, Axa’s position again reflecting a six-place ascent from its 2017 ranking.

NFU Mutual were found to have the scantest digital services for both home and car insurance customers, with Altus finding they only offered partial support for one service, namely accessing documents online.

Beside the increasing digitalisation of the claims process, Altus also noted other broader digital trends in the industry, namely the prevalence of telematics in cars, connected home technology and the emergence of chatbots.

The consultancy found that 58% of leading insurers now offer some form of online customer interaction, be it through chatbots, webchat or smart FAQs.

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