The Weekly Wrap - May 15, 2014

A recent Swiss Re study shows a 'quiet revolution' in how consumers are buying insurance; and according to a recent survey, Canadians are seeing a lot of distracted driving - but hardly anyone is doing it themselves.

Risk Management News


The new ‘Quiet Revolution’
The internet and mobile devices have allowed consumers to research and purchase insurance policies without relying solely on intermediaries, the latest Swiss Re sigma study says, creating a ‘quiet revolution’ in the way consumers interact with insurers.

Aggregation and price comparison websites, along with social media, are increasingly important to pre-sales, according to Swiss Re, with the technology helping to fuel customer centricity in distribution.

“A quiet revolution is underway,” says Kurt Karl, Swiss Re's chief economist. “In many countries the share of premiums accounted for by online sales is still small, but it is rising. The statistics on e-commerce insurance mask the profound impact new technologies are having on the distribution process,” Karl noted.

Relatively simple insurance products, such as personal home and motor and property insurance, are also becoming increasingly available to purchase online. Developments in big data are also allowing insurers to improve their sales and marketing strategies with more data analysis of customer behaviour.

However, the role of intermediaries will still exist.

“Many consumers will continue to value the personal interaction and expert advice of agents and brokers, especially for complex commercial and life and health risks,” states the study. “The challenge for intermediaries and insurers is to adapt their business models to meet the varying needs and preferences of customers.”

Spring flooding tops $14 million
Damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure from spring flooding in New Brunswick is estimated by the provincial government to have exceeded $14 million.

Public Safety Minister Bruce Northrup says more than 715 properties have reported flood damage since mid-April, with the majority of the properties are in the Sussex area. (continued.)

Northrup says so far, 100 claims have been submitted for disaster financial assistance.

He says there was significant damage to roads, bridges and other public infrastructure, and repairs are being made as quickly as possible.

Few admit to distracted driving:  survey
Canadians are seeing many distracted drivers on the road, but very few admit to driving distracted themselves.

In the survey of 1,436 Canadian drivers conducted online by Leger Marketing, 63 per cent said they have witnessed other drivers putting on makeup, and 57 per cent reported seeing others fix their hair, while only 3 per cent admitted to applying makeup and 7 per cent to fixing their hair.

“That tells us that despite the recent emphasis on preventing distracted driving, including increased fines and demerit points, Ontario drivers still aren't getting the message.” says Alex Walker, director of claims relations with RSA Insurance. “These are extremely dangerous behaviours and drivers need to be more aware of their actions behind the wheel.”

The survey results also suggest that 66 per cent of Canadians have witnessed people driving with pets on their lap but less than 4 per cent admit to doing it themselves.

The survey also found:
- 24 per cent of Canadians report seeing other drivers make out, while 3 per cent admit to it themselves;
- 60 per cent of Canadians have watched other drivers scream/swear at other drivers, pedestrians, cyclist, while only 23 per cent admit to that behaviour;
- 40 per cent of Canadians report seeing other drivers screaming at passengers;  8 per cent admit to doing that themselves; and
- 61 per cent of Canadians have seen other drivers distracted with the radio or GPS, while nearly half admit to that themselves.

The survey findings also suggest that almost all Canadians have reported seeing drivers talking or texting, despite legislation against doing so in many regions, including Ontario’s recent changes.


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