Canadians think the process of buying insurance is outdated

Timeliness tops concerns, survey finds

Canadians think the process of buying insurance is outdated

Insurance News

By David Saric

Fifty percent of Canadians think that the process of buying home and auto insurance is outdated, a survey conducted by PC Insurance has found.

This could mean that changing customer attitudes and preferences need to be listened to and accounted for, according to a PC Insurance representative.

“Ultimately it is about personal choice,” said Kristen Quayle, senior director at PC Insurance.

“Consumers should feel empowered to purchase insurance in whatever way is preferable to them, and if they want to do that digitally, we should be there to support them.”

In an interview with Insurance Business, Quayle spoke about what aspects of insurance shopping need to be updated for contemporary customers, making the most of an autonomous experience and why brokers will always be relevant.

“Needs and expectations are shifting”

Results from the PC Insurance survey revealed that Canadians wanted more convenient ways to buy a policy.

Fifty percent of the 1,500 respondents prefer to purchase their coverage online, yet the platforms to enable this type of transaction were not sophisticated enough. Meanwhile over a third expressed that putting in the time to complete the process was their “least favourite part” of the experience.

“This leads us to believe that Canadians needs and expectations are shifting, and we know that their time is super important,” Quayle said.

“Preferences skew over the demographics — certainly the younger generations are adapting these methods and new technologies.”

The survey also shows that consumers aged 55 and older are also becoming accustomed to digital platforms, and that insurance should follow along the steps of other financial institutions, such as banking, to modernize the digital interface for those who prefer it.

“Needs and expectations are shifting, and we need to listen and adapt accordingly,” Quayle said.

“Customers want to feel educated and empowered about their insurance choices”

Another interesting facet of the survey was that 68% of Canadians are believe they are knowledgeable about the insurance process, while another 50% do the research themselves when looking for insurance, followed by information from family and friends (20%), and information from insurance brokers (19%).

“With the availability of the internet, we all have access to more information than ever,” Quayle said.

This means that the journey to purchasing digitally should be a rewarding experience and allow the insured to make an informed decision about their unique insurance concerns on their own.

“Customers want to feel educated and empowered about their insurance choices,” Quayle said.

“Whether they choose to purchase coverage digitally or over the phone with a trusted professional, they should feel supported no matter what their preferred method is.”

Keeping the interpersonal element of insurance intact

As digital capabilities become the norm across all industries, the fear of eradicating the interpersonal element is a common concern, especially in insurance.

While AI and other technological advancements promote opportunity, the need for empathy and human intervention when purchasing insurance will never be irrelevant.

“There's no one-size-fits-all insurance solution,” Quayle said.

Sometimes, there is more niche concerns that require answers to questions that are outside the scope of the standard capabilities of a digital transaction.

Complicated property policies are related to the need for better coverage to protect against emerging climate-related threats such as wildfires or flooding.

“The insurance industry is on top of the devastations of climate change,” Quayle said.

When a policy is getting more intricate to have a more inclusive coverage, it will recommend that the customer speak to a broker in order to have a more “sophisticated conversation that fits your needs.”

“Regardless of whether a customer chooses to buy their policy online or with a broker directly, they should always have access to licensed brokers who can provide them with guidance and advice around their policy answer any questions that they may have, at any time,” Quayle said.

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