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COVID-19 is accelerating digital adoption in the insurance industry 

The dawn of an age of born-digital companies such as Google and Amazon has changed the face of customer experience. In this Digital Age, customers expect fast and efficient services, personalized to fit their individual needs. This rise in customer expectations has made digital transformation a top priority for many legacy industries such as insurance. On top of that, the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital technology by companies, insurers among them, and by customers.

To transform digitally, insurance companies need to focus on expanding their digital capabilities. This is necessary to win over customers enticed by newly born InsurTechs that are fully digitally-oriented. By understanding customer needs and which targeting areas are most valued, insurance companies can enhance their digital maturity, attract more customers, and help them to successfully compete in the digital age.

Which digital capabilities are most valued by Dutch insurance customers?

The need for digital transformation is clear, but how do you know where to start? Knowing where to direct your company’s time and resources when embarking on this transformation journey begins with understanding the needs of your customers. Once this has been established, you can then adapt your digital capabilities around these needs.

To help answer the question of what insurance customers desire digitally, we've conducted a survey among 1,500 customers from the leading 11 Dutch insurance companies to determine what digital capabilities are most important to them. The 43 digital capabilities assessed were broken down into three categories: sales, service, and claims. Customers were asked how important they found the presented capabilities and how often they used these capabilities.

“We've conducted a survey among 1500 customers from the leading 11 Dutch insurance companies to determine what digital capabilities are most important to insurance customers.”


In addition, we also conducted desk research to determine which capabilities were offered by which insurance companies. See below for the percentage of insurers to offer a certain demanded capability. 

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Figure 1: Proportion of Dutch insurance companies providing the demanded capabilities.

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The results from our survey indicate that there is still a lot of room for improvement in the digital capabilities of leading Dutch insurance companies. Most insurance companies offer less than half of all digital capabilities that customers consider most important. Furthermore, four important digital capabilities are not covered by any of the Dutch insurance companies. These capabilities include:

    • The possibility to insure single-item products.
    • The option to receive smart prevention services such as a burglary sensitivity check.
    • The ability to file a claim via webchat.
    • Assistance in booking repairs for insured items directly online.

“Most insurance companies offer less than half of all digital capabilities that customers consider most important.”




Below, you can find an overview of the most demanded digital capabilities in the car category. 

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Figure 2: Most demanded digital capabilities by customers (car category).

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Which digital capabilities should you focus on to improve and maintain your market value?

Overall, the findings from the survey tell us that 66 percent of customers are mainly concerned with ‘getting what I need quickly and easily’. This means that straight-forward processes for products, instant response to questions, easy and fast claim filing, and tracking should be a given for any insurance company aiming to stay competitive in today’s environment.

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are mainly concerned with 'getting what I need quickly and easily'.


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In terms of specific digital capabilities, customers indicated four main areas that they value most in their insurance company:

#1. Additional insurance products

According to the survey, customers want additional insurance products, such as connected offerings and single-item insurance. For example, a connected insurance product might be a smart meter offered in conjunction with car insurance to encourage safe driving, while single-item insurance involves insuring something like a piece of fine art.

#2. Additional insurance services

Aside from additional products, customers are also looking for additional services to complement their insurance experience. They want assistance at every touchpoint (live chat, WhatsApp, chatbot, and phone) to help them purchase insurance products and file claims. Also, prevention services—such as a burglary sensitivity check—are desired in addition to the prevention ‘tips’ already offered.

#3. Digital owners of their insurance products

Customers want to have easy online insight into their insurance products and be able to digitally own them. This means that customers can, for example, get insight into bills paid, have the ability to change personal information, and take ownership of their insurance products.

#4. Smooth claim filing service

Filing claims quickly and easily via the website, mobile app, or live chat is expected from insurance companies. Customers also want to receive help in repairing the damage as well as suggestions for repair shops and the ability to book requested repairs from the insurance website.

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Figure 3: Most demanded digital capabilities by customer (home category)

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Where to invest your time and resources when embarking on a digital transformation?

The term 'digital transformation' can be intimidating when you consider the broad range of capabilities it can cover. This market research presents a clearer idea of what customers are expecting to move forward into the future. The key areas customers are looking for are:

#1. Connected insurance products

This is not only a helpful way for customers to get all they need in one place, but this also helps insurance companies to identify which customers are more at risk. This can translate into a discount for customers who are taking preventative measures and an additional discount for those who live and drive safely.

#2. Prevention services

This is another prevention method that can help customers feel more protected by their insurance company. This service is currently not offered in the Dutch market.

#3. Single-item insurance products

This feature is also missing in the Dutch insurance market even though customers indicate that this is a product they would be interested in.

#4. Live chat claim filing

Although the move to digital might indicate the automation of claim filing, customers expressed that they would like to have an actual insurance representative walk them through the claim filing process via live chat. In addition to WhatsApp, online, and app claim filing, live chat can provide insurance companies personalized options for each customer.

#5. Online appointments with repair companies

When customers are filing a claim on something that has been damaged, the next natural step is being directed toward a place to fix it. Insurance companies can bridge this gap by offering direct online appointments with recommended repair companies.


What you can learn from all this

Though we are living in a Digital Age, now more than ever, customers want to feel a personal connection with the companies they choose to do business with. By adopting digital capabilities to match customer needs, insurance companies can make each customer feel special by offering tailor-made services while increasing the overall speed and efficiency of service.

By implementing these digital capabilities, you can increase your attractiveness to potential and current customers, setting your company up for growth in the future.

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Interested in helping your company kickstart a digital transformation? Contact us today! 

Maarten Goijarts

Management Consulting Analyst – Accenture Strategy & Consulting, Insurance

Martin van der Meulen

Manager Technology Strategy – Accenture Technology

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