2022—the age of online insurance

Carriers must adapt to how insureds prefer to get insurance to remain profitable

2022—the age of online insurance


By Surina Nath

Customers’ buying behaviours have taken a turn towards technology through the pandemic and now some predictions have been made on what the landscape of the industry will look like in 2022.

“The data we collect comes from a network of comparison shopping, research and lead generation websites across all lines of insurance,” Jeff Piotrowski (pictured), market leader, insurance, at Jornaya, a Verisk business, told Insurance Business.

Whether its auto, home, or health, looking at the data on purchasing behaviour provides valuable insights on who and how many clients are looking for quotes and where.

“We’re seeing about 400 million online shopping events across over 55,000 different comparison-shopping sites,” he said. “We do so with the consumers’ privacy in mind. Data about a consumer’s personal information or identity isn’t needed.”

Through the pandemic there was an increase in online shopping activity for insurance, and Piotrowski explained that a lot of that can be attributed to macro-economic factors.

“Premium giveback programs began running in commercials we now see during daytime television as we’re all working for home, which awoke customers who may not have shopped for the policy otherwise,” he said.

Consumers were either unaware of premium givebacks previously, or saw a rival carrier offering steeper discounts – which was well timed given the tightening of budgets globally. However, that wasn’t the only influential factor, according to Piotrowski.

“Along with the boom of the housing market where interest rates were cut, everyone started refinancing and moving to the suburbs or realized they didn’t like where they lived once they had to work from home,” he said. “We saw interest in home and auto insurance as a result of people arriving in new zip codes.”

For auto insurance in particular, Journaya saw shopping volumes more than double compared to 2019.

“These elevated volumes of shopping activity sustained throughout 2021,” he added.

More and more consumers are warming up to making comparison shopping a part of their insurance buying behaviour. In previous years they may have gone straight to a carrier website - but now the consumer profile is changing and they are more comfortable shopping around online for insurance.

“Previously, brand recognition and brand marketing were very important. Now it’s even more important as carriers are fighting for consumers’ attention,” said Piotrowski. “The digital presence needs to meet the physical presence that many carriers already have.”

In a hyper-competitive industry such as insurance, companies use advertisements as a powerful tool to cut through the noise and capture consumers’ attention, recognized their brand, and having the best insurance mascots makes these commercials more relatable.

Over the last two years carriers have worked on that and have been competitively pricing products online to meet consumers wherever they are.

“Carriers are getting smarter about logging these shopping activities and generating marketing that is not only timely, but relevant to what the consumer is actually shopping for,” he explained. “As we enter 2022, carriers are going to continue evolving their offerings.”

With the new year here, carriers are looking to be thoughtful about the consumers they want to attract and retain. This means leveraging data and technology that allows for an accurate assessment of what those consumer profiles look like.  

“I’m excited to continue helping carriers detect when there is a retention risk in the book and helping them at scale,” Piotrowski said. “Now they can take a much more focused approach to managing their quality of service.”

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!