According a global insurance survey conducted by Ernst & Young (E&Y), consumers prefer the brand of the service provider, customer service and convenience over price while buying general insurance products.
The E&Y survey, which covered over 24,000 life and general insurance customers across 23 countries about their buying practices with over 1,000 consumers in the country, however, said price sensitivity varies by segments and type of product.
It also pointed out that consumers are increasingly using online mode for research and buying a product. About 74% of respondents indicated that they conduct detailed research before buying life and pensions policies, far more than in the UK (37%), the US (31%) or China (44%). The survey also said that despite higher use of the online channel, personal contact still remains important in purchase of insurance products.
Over 69% of the respondents said that they are willing to purchase additional products from the same insurer with convenience and better service being the primary drivers. However, with portability provisions, more customers are likely to switch providers in the near future.
“Customers have become more demanding and require product and services to meet their evolving needs and expectations. Insurers need to focus on developing customised propositions, stronger direct relationships and increase transparency in their communication,” Ernst & Young, India Partner and Insurance leader Rohan Sachdev said.
The survey also reveals that customers view the insurance industry favourably and have been less affected by the financial crisis than banks in terms of undermining customer trust. However, 56% of the respondents feel the industry is behind other sectors in terms of quality of service it delivers to its customers.