Proactive & Personalised
How to win big through data

13th June 2022

Whether you look at it from the retailer's perspective or the consumer's, the contemporary experience of shopping for insurance online often leaves much to be desired.

First there's the peculiarity of sending your customers back out to shop the marketplace when you know they are looking for a product you have on the shelf. Then the acceptance of a model that settles for selling one product per customer.

It's a far cry from the online world of one-click purchases and 'you might also like' recommendations to which consumers have increasingly become accustomed.

Instead, the industry is still dominated by the experience of endlessly completing lengthy online forms and running thousands of quotes to find the lowest price. Yet it doesn't need to be this way, and the potential wins are huge for those able to extend their policy footprint with consumers.

The time is now
With increasingly sophisticated technology capabilities at its fingertips, the sector is ripe for change. Rich data sources, powerful APIs and artificial intelligence are ready and available to create personalised product propositions and give consumers access to wider financial services and automotive ecosystems.

Product control and distribution has also been transformed, meaning that new products can be brought to market within days rather than months, and changes effected in near real-time in response to market conditions.

What is needed to translate these capabilities into consumer experience is the vision to develop much more proactive and imaginative targeting of consumers and enable the transition to bolder, 'stickier' and more meaningful engagement.

This begs the question of what we really mean when we talk about 'engaging' consumers and how to take this concept beyond jargon.

In literal terms, 'to engage' means to 'attract and hold', to 'involve' or to 'bind'. It encompasses the idea of making insurance compelling, interesting and interactive, while at the same time engendering true commitment. It's this last part that's key; the goal is to build lasting relationships, brand loyalty and, ultimately, more business.

An untapped goldmine of data insights
If the goal is clear, the next question is 'how' and the answer lies in data.

To engage with consumers in a different way, we need to give them something of value, and insights about their vehicle or property are one way of doing this. Sharing pertinent facts allows retailers to open up communication with the consumer in a more positive and conversational way so that the engagement isn't just about sales and renewal; instead, it offers something that is not only of interest, but also has potential to translate into financial benefit.

By revealing valuable, timely and proactive 'nudges' or data insights to the consumer, a retailer is able to ensure that they offer the right services at the right time, increasing transparency and understanding, and helping to ensure the appropriate levels of cover are there and for the best rates.

There are some great examples of this in action, such as letting the consumer know that you are able to pass on a discount when they have been using their car much less than previously, or by informing them that you are honouring an existing premium rate when the insured value of their vehicle has actually increased.

Many insurance retailers already have access to this type of data through vehicle look-up or enrichment services such as for vehicle data or the GB Group for property data.

And it's not only data about the items potentially being insured that has value, but also behavioural data about the consumer. Insights from CDL's Hummingbird data platform will show retailers when their customers are shopping around for other product lines, for example, enabling them to make contact proactively to provide a quote.

By targeting known customers, retailers avoid expensive customer acquisition costs and minimise their risk, enabling them to identify their preferred customer profile and expand their portfolio accordingly.

Incentivising action
Moving beyond simply sharing insights, data presents the opportunity to develop personalised offers for the consumer, as well as their nearest and dearest.

In one example, consumers are advised of the increase in value of their vehicle ("Did you know your vehicle's value has gone up by more than £3,000?") before being given an incentive to share more data: "We're holding your premium based on your 2021 valuation and offering you two free provenance checks so you can help family and friends to access fair cover from us."

For those who take up the offer of additional vehicle look-ups, there is the opportunity to automatically push an insurance quote for that vehicle. The key lies in the proactive nature of the engagement, nudging the consumer along each step of the way. Moreover, by rewarding consumers with offers in this manner, they are more likely to be willing to share access to their information.

Positive engagement through powerful technology
Unlocking sustainable growth with engaged, active and enthusiastic multi-product consumers relies on smart implementation of proactive technologies to deliver real benefits through data.

The insurance retailers who achieve this will be those ready to think creatively to reinvent not only products and services, but also a more meaningful and rewarding relationship with their consumers.