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Insurers should respond to customer expectations

Written by: Thomas Smith
Customers are willing to buy protection products but often they don't understand the differences between buying life insurance and other policies, an industry forum has been told.

The warning came as figures produced for MoneySuperMarket revealed 5.2 million people were planning to buy life insurance this year but many will give up on the buying process before completion.

The impact of technology on the market is being felt strongly as 44% of people searched online for cover, up 10% on last year. The research also revealed that 3% of this traffic was going to Facebook and was described by Emma Walker, head of protection at MoneySuperMarket, as a “warning sign” that people were finding ads not advice.

Walker said statistics had showed that every generation of adults was now turning to the internet for information.

“I don’t think we have an online generation anymore it’s a thing of the past,”she added.

Of those customers seeking life insurance, 25% said they would use a price comparison site as part of the process of finding cover whilst many would not go on to buy it from them.

The effect for a provider of being on a price comparison website produces what Walker called a “halo effect” suggesting that those providers listed are reliable in a way those absent from comparison sites are not for many consumers.

Consumers want to provide their data once, as they would for travel insurance and motor insurance, and don’t expect there to be a significant difference between those industries and the life industry.

Walker added that it was better if consumers set the agenda and and the market responded, finding ways to ‘articulate differences in products’ in an easy-to-access and online format and provide faster and more accurate estimates.

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