Accenture’s 2020 Non-Life Retail Benchmarking Survey measured how a sample of leading European insurers stack up against insurance critical metrics related to key steps of the value chain namely, acquisition, policy administration and claims. The survey reveals that many Non-Life Retail insurers fall short of industry best practice benchmarks and capabilities.

This article assesses more specifically growth effectiveness of P&C retail insurers by looking at benchmarks and capabilities related to retention, multi-equipment, banking client equipment and quote conversion.


P&C retail insurers need to reassess their growth strategy

Most P&C retail insurers are caught in a flat market in which annual premium indexation, the main growth driver, is constrained following low inflation rates. Next to this, the market is facing strong competition from both inside and outside the insurance industry: new digital competitors, niche insurtechs, and vertical integration of ecosystem players. Consequently, traditional insurers should reassess their growth strategy and acknowledge that their proficiency in increasing the following key metrics and capabilities is essential to reach profitable and differentiated growth.  


Best practice

Key facts

1. Retention ratio
% of retained contracts end of year


Typically, cheaper and more profitable to retain the current portfolio than to acquire a new one

2. Multi-equipment rate
% of customer with more than 1 contract


Churn significantly declines for clients owning multiple contracts at the same insurer (even more if they are bundled in a package)

3. Banking client equipment rate
% of customer with insurance contacts

12% (motor)

16% (property)

Capture untapped value in the market by leveraging open and digital insurance business models

4. Quote conversion rate
% of quote converted to new contracts

30% (direct web)

65% (intermediary)

Drive more top line with the same underwriting pipeline


1. Retention ratio - Earning loyalty day-by-day

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loyalty ratio is reached at best-in-class P&C insurers

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Best practice P&C retail insurance retention ratio scores up to 93%, with most traditional insurers falling short at lower than 90%.

The retention ratio evaluates loyalty by comparing the amount of Non-Life contracts retained in the insurer’s portfolio at the end of the year with the number of existing contracts in the portfolio at the start of the year (opposite of the “Churn ratio”). It includes both managed (insurer decision) and unmanaged (client decision) contract churn.  

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Avoiding churn (especially unmanaged churn) is at the core of insurer growth and profitability strategies.

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Indeed, it is typically cheaper to retain the current contract or customer base than to acquire new contracts or customers. Moreover, newly acquired contracts or customers are typically less profitable than the existing portfolio.

The retention ratio can be impacted by the managed churn strategy of the insurer (e.g. sanitization) as well as by the maturity of the portfolio and the distribution channels (e.g. rapid growth portfolios and direct distribution channels typically have lower retention (less than 90% retention)).

Our survey identified seven best practice capabilities related to loyalty, namely: Retention real-time dashboard, reporting and governance, 360° CRM, Bundled offerings, Annual incentives, Reactive and proactive lost client alert unit and Personalized offers and Insurers’ Sustainability values.


2. Multi equipment rate – Cross-selling to your customer base

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multi-equipment rate reached at best-in-class P&C insurers

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Best practice P&C retail insurance multi-equipment scores up to 65%, with the majority of the insurers lagging behind with rates below 45%.

The multi-equipment rate measures the number of customers with more than one active policy compared to the number of customers with at least one active policy. The metric typically measures the cross-sell (selling new contracts to existing the customer portfolio).

Increasing cross-sales is a key driver of top-line growth and retention as churn rates tend to decline by 20% when customers evolve from owning a single contract to owning multiple contracts at the same insurer, and by another 20% when these contracts are bundled in a package.

Our survey identified four best practice capabilities related to multi-equipment namely: CRM 360° and next best action, Cross-sell proactive marketing campaigns, Package bundled offerings, and Commercial cross & upselling during calls.


3. Banking client equipment rate – Equipping the customers of banking distribution partners

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banking client equipment rate is reached at best-in-class P&C insurers (motor & property respectively)

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Best practice traditional banks equip up to 12% of their clients with motor insurance contracts and up to 16% with property insurance contracts. The majority of banks distributing insurance lag behind with rates below 8% for motor and 13% for property.

The banking client equipment rate measures the percentage of banking customers that are equipped with insurance contracts.

Establishing banking distribution partnerships – and to a broader extent ecosystem distribution partnerships – and increasing the equipment rate of those partnerships is increasingly important in the insurer top-line strategy. It aligns with open and digital insurance business models that allow the seamless integration of insurance at the moment of sale and it is key to capture untapped value in the market.

The equipment rate is typically different for each type of ecosystem distribution partnership and line of business. For example, for a banking partnership, motor insurance equipment is typically lower than property or life insurance equipment (boosted by mortgage cross-sell).

Our survey identified four best practice capabilities related to banking and ecosystem distribution equipment, namely: Smart incentives, Reporting and governance, Seamless bundled sales process, Upfront data collection & proactive marketing campaigns.


4. Quote conversion rate - Start to finish

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Quote conversion rate is reached at best-in-class P&C insurers (direct web and intermediated distribution respectively)

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Best practice P&C insurance quote conversion scores up to 30% for direct web distribution channels and 65% for intermediated distribution.

The quote conversion rate measures the percentage of quotes that are converted into contracts.

Increasing the quote conversion rate is key to increase the efficiency of the underwriting process and drive more top line with the same underwriting pipeline.

Quote conversion is typically different per distribution channel and line of business (lower for direct web distribution than for intermediated, for example).

Our survey identified five best practice capabilities related to quote conversion, namely: Product price competitiveness, Quick quote & limited number of questions, Automatic & systematic reminder, Telephone follow up of high potential quotes, and Personalized offering during quote reminder process.


Staggering differences in performance levels across insurers

A notable finding of our Non-Life Retail Benchmarking survey is the wide difference in maturity levels between insurers compared to best practice, and the fact that the best performers in one metric can be laggards in others. This seems to confirm Accenture’s experience that most insurers have an array of legacy operational processes, organizations and systems that have been acquired over time. More often than not, they are not well coordinated nor optimized, and their various shortcomings constrain the insurer’s ability to achieve the best practices.


Transform growth effectiveness to leapfrog the competition

Despite the flat market and increasing competition, most European P&C insurers can still improve their top line growth effectiveness.

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Given the varied performance of most of the respondents, we see a clear opportunity to leapfrog the competition.

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However, this requires more than just a series of tactical steps. It calls for a thoughtful orchestration of all the key elements: a holistic approach that introduces a new “playbook” for growth. The good news is that there is ample evidence that optimization of growth effectiveness can generate significant short and long-term benefits—for insurers, as well as for customers and intermediaries.

How do you rate?  If you would like to have the details on the best practice capabilities outlined in this article or to calculate your performance and compare it with industry best practices, we would be happy to help. Please contact us for a chat!


This article has been co-written with the support of Laurence Vanhove, Yuliya Shulga and Julien Huyberechts


Antoine Dandois

Lead BeLux S&C Insurance​

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