Comment & Analysis

Why UK Insurance is chasing digital front runners Banking & Retail

By Adam Avery, senior manager at BearingPoint

The pace of digital adoption in the UK has been progressing at pace in recent years, however, with the global pandemic in 2020 putting constraints on physical movement of consumers, many who favoured the ‘in-store’ experience have been forced to explore digital alternatives, sky-rocketing digital adoption and establishing a ‘new norm’ from which we will not return. 

The digital maturity and offerings of firms from across different industries are rapidly re-shaping what a good digital experience looks and feels like for consumers. This is putting pressure on industries that are not as far along in their digital evolution as others. BearingPoint’s 2021 UK Digital Leaders Study assessed the digital maturity of 79 leading UK companies across 7 industries, including Insurance, against four digital dimensions: Digital Marketing, Digital Product Experience, E-commerce and E-CRM.

The Insurance Industry scored lower overall versus other industries, performing broadly in line with Energy, but somewhat behind leading industries including Retail (Food, Non-Food, Fashion) and Banking.

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If we compare to Banking directly, Insurance falls behind in all dimensions. This gap is widest in the Digital Marketing dimension, largely driven by the level of engagement banks are achieving with consumers through their social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

The Insurance industry performs strongly in the E-commerce dimension, reflecting the focus on the digital customer experience in recent years, and perhaps influenced by the regulatory environment in which financial service companies operate, requiring the clear presentation of product information to assist customers in making informed decisions.

The BearingPoint 2021 UK Digital Leader in Insurance is Admiral, who performs well in all dimensions but significantly outperforms the industry average in the Digital Marketing and E-CRM dimensions. Admiral scores highly in the use of affiliate and search engine marketing to attract customers and build brand recognition. Admiral also performs particularly well on customer service, in part due to how they leverage an effective live chat capability, an area we understand several insurers to be focusing on.

Key Insurance Trends:

Hybrid Customer Experience (CX) – With the increased adoption of digital technologies, insurers are investing greatly in developing their digital offerings and integrating them with traditional channels to create a joined-up hybrid customer experience. 

One area of the Digital Product Experience where insurers are behind many other industries is in mobile apps. Through the study we observed several Insurance firms without a meaningful app. Several firms either had a very basic app for supporting claims, or product specific apps such as telematics apps for motor insurance, but lacked a broader customer offering with richer functionality. A rich and user-friendly mobile app is quickly becoming a hygiene factor for customers and therefore this must be an area of focus as we move further into 2021.

Customer Empowerment – Insurance companies are increasingly focusing on how they can empower customers to complete fully digital journeys, only transitioning to a hybrid experience for more complex matters or where it is preferred by the customer. The ability to complete transactional journeys online either through the web or mobile is an important factor in this. 

When it comes to personalising and involving customers, for example enabling them to change their personal information online, providing them with the ability to see purchased products online, and allowing easy access to relevant and dynamic knowledge, insurance firms are performing in-line with other industries, however, there is a clear opportunity to improve, especially given the acceleration in the pace of digital adoption.

Giving customers the ability to complete fully digital journeys, either through web/mobile app functionality and/or access to knowledge, ought to be an area of focus for insurers going forward.

With the Covid-19 pandemic further accelerating the pace of digital adoption, there has never been a more important time for Insurance companies to accelerate the pace of digital capability development.


By Adam Avery, senior manager at BearingPoint

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