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Facebook and insurance – do customers want it?

Facebook and insurance – do customers want it? | Insurance Business UK

Facebook and insurance – do customers want it?
It was in November last year that Facebook blocked Admiral’s plans to analyse social media users’ data to help assess insurance premiums following criticism from privacy campaigners. However, what do consumers really think of insurers picking up their data in this way? Is it really an intrusion – or are they willing to accept it, if it means they could pick up lower premiums?

Recent research has attempted to provide the answers – and produced some notably mixed results. MuleSoft, a platform for application networks, found that 37% of UK customers are happy for insurance providers to use third party data from Facebook and similar firms if it means they can benefit from lower premiums or a more personalised service. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it is younger customers who are particularly open to change – 46% of 18- to 34-year-olds saying they are willing to share their data.

“Encouragingly for insurance providers, a significant number of consumers appear to be happy to share such data if it means they would receive personalised services and lower premiums,” said Jerome Bugnet, Industry Technology Evangelist at MuleSoft

“Since customer demand is there, we expect it is only a matter of time until use of social media data is commonplace.”

However, there were criticisms for insurers to take account of too – including what the firm described as a “disconnected insurance experience.”
It found that 55% believe their insurance companies are not offering a personalised service; and 51% expressed frustration with having to resubmit information that has previously been provided to their insurers. Indeed further frustrations were explained in regards to interaction with providers, with 21% giving up on requests or activities because sharing information with their insurers proved too difficult.

“Today’s consumers expect a fully connected and highly personalised experience, but it is clear insurance providers are falling short,” continued Bugnet. “As the figures show, disconnected data and systems can have a negative impact on customer loyalty. The challenge for insurance providers is to bring multiple technologies and data together to create a cohesive and distinctive customer experience.

“Even though some providers have made strides in providing a more integrated experience across products, there’s still room for all providers to differentiate in this increasingly commoditised market. It will be the providers that successfully connect their applications, data and devices through APIs that will innovate faster and improve customer satisfaction.”

Related stories:
Facebook blocks Admiral’s newly announced app plans
How are insurers using social media to prevent fraud?