Banking icon

Digital connectivity meets shifting insurance customer demands

The Accenture Global Distribution & Marketing Consumer Study illustrates a shift in behaviors among 33,000 insurance customers surveyed across 18 markets. 

These customers have distinct ways they want to interact with insurance providers throughout their consumer journey. New technology, enabling digital connectivity and cognitive computing, might help insurers push past indemnification into a deeper role with customers.


A comprehensive view of shifting consumer expectations

The insurance report explores the changing marketplace confronting insurers today. It illustrates the challenges that come from shifting customer demands, but points the way to some strong solutions.


Introducing today’s consumers:
Three distinct groups emerge

Our study identified three groups of consumers that show different behaviors and preferences around how they want to interact with their insurers.


This digitally active group is ready for new delivery models. They are willing to share their data in exchange for personalized services. Nomads are comfortable with computer-generated support and with receiving services from non-traditional providers. They make up 39% of insurance respondents.

Nomads are looking for 5 key attributes from their insurance provider:

  • Ready to transition to a new digital model

    Comfortable with digital-only insurance advice

    42% are very willing to use computer-generated advice for buying insurance, seeing it as faster and more convenient.

    Insurers without automated product advice programs should get started if they want to reach Nomads.


    51% have purchased insurance through an online channel.

    Insurers working with Nomads should explore “pure” online and digital distribution options.

  • Insurance agents are becoming involved later in the buying process


    30% say brokers are the most useful product advice source.

    Insurers targeting Nomads should review their online presence and their relationships with aggregators.

    Agents add value at later stages and in complex areas

    51% still purchase insurance from agents face-to-face or by phone.

    Insurers seeking to attract Nomads will still need agents, but they will increasingly be “closers” and problem-solvers rather than primary sales contacts.

  • Want flexible, personalized models

    Attracted by pay-per-use

    49% interested in buying pay-per-use insurance coverage online or via mobile for specific temporary needs.

    Insurers targeting Nomads should demonstrate to these customers how their behaviors can reduce the price they pay for insurance.

    New models appeal

    62% would consider peer-to-peer insurance if available.

    Insurers focusing on the Nomad market can take the next step, moving from affinity programs and group insurance into peer-to-peer models.

  • Want insurers to go beyond indemnification

    Sharing data must deliver gains

    63% want personalized information to reduce the risk of injury or loss, in return for sharing data.

    Insurers can expand their value proposition to Nomads to help customers live more fulfilling lives and mitigate risks of loss or injury.

    Want insurers to add value in their daily lives

    80% interested in driving route suggestions based on geo-data.

    Insurers working with Nomads should be able to obtain, organize and deliver the kind of information these customers value.

  • Will migrate to non-insurance firms

    Not tied to traditional providers

    74% would be willing to buy insurance from Amazon or Google.

    55% would be willing to consider buying from a supermarket or retailer.

    Insurers selling to Nomads should be exploring partnerships with non-insurance providers.


These consumers search for the best price. They want to buy financial services from traditional providers and, while they operate well in a digital environment, they also place value on one-to-one engagement. They make up 17% of insurance respondents.

Hunters are looking for 4 key attributes from their insurance provider:

  • Are primarily driven by a value for money

    Cost matters to them

    100% say competitive pricing is a top driver of loyalty.

    Insurers working with Hunters may have to offer competitive pricing before experimenting with new service offerings.

    Demand a high service level for their money

    52% say value for money is a key loyalty driver — they demand a good quality of service in relation to the amount paid.

    Insurers targeting Hunters need to review their own cost structure to bring down pricing while providing value and service.

  • Want to use specialist insurers

    Don’t see value in non-insurance providers

    None are willing to get insurance from Amazon or Google.

    Hunters want to work with insurers, but insurers should not take this loyalty for granted.

    Less attracted by insurance offered as an ‘add-on’ service

    Only 18% would buy home insurance from a home service provider.

    Insurers should examine ways to get in front of Hunters with the right offer at the right time.

  • Human advice is vital at key stages – more so for Hunters (42%) than for Quality Seekers (37%) or Nomads (30%)

    Value human advice on insurance purchases

    Only 20% are very willing to accept computer-only advice for buying insurance.

    Process automation and other initiatives can free up agents to provide value-added insurance advice, something Hunters seek.

    Agents are important for more complex advice

    58% use face-to-face or live telephone interaction if seeking advice about cover.

    Insurers working with Hunters should maximize agents’ ability to provide insurance advice and deal with complex situations.

  • Adding value through data is appealing

    Open to data-driven offerings

    67% are interested in adjustments to auto insurance costs based on car usage patterns.

    Insurers pursuing Hunters should accelerate efforts to provide telematics-based data capture.

Quality Seekers

These loyal customers value brand integrity and service excellence, and will work with providers who put customers interests first. Price is less important than elements such as data protection and responsive service. They make up 44% of insurance respondents.

Quality Seekers are looking for 3 key attributes from their insurance provider:

  • Are driven by service and trust

    Value a high quality service

    46% say a high quality customer service drives loyalty.

    Insurers targeting Quality Seekers should be automating routine transactions and emphasizing personalization and high-touch service.

    Need to trust in integrity of their insurer

    38% need to trust their insurer will act in their best interests.

    Insurers pursuing Quality Seekers should communicate their commitment to data security and protecting the customers’ interests.

  • Will share data but on their own terms

    More than half will share more personal data

    53% will share more data with their insurer.

    Insurers seeking to reach Quality Seekers should have a clear plan for turning this data into value, whether through personalization, efficiency or monetization.

    Sharing must deliver rewards

    67% want a priority service.

    Insurers should have relevant products or risk guidance capability in place before seeking shared data from Quality Seekers.

  • Open to computer-generated advice if it enhances the insurance buying experience

    Show encouraging interest in computer advice

    22% are very willing to use computer-only insurance advice, seeing it as faster and more convenient.

    A computer-only insurance advice option should be in the works, but insurers should meet Quality Seekers’ expectations as to value and service.

    Needs to add speed and convenience

    41% are willing to use computer advice for buying insurance if it’s faster and more convenient.

    Insurers should have a computerized product-advice option available to meet growing demand from Quality Seekers.

Shifting customer demands—Exploring Financial Services trends and implications

Our study looked across Financial Services to understand financial customers’ wants and needs. Five above-line trends emerged, as well as specific regional and financial industry findings. See what else our survey reveals.



Piercarlo Gera

Global Managing Director,
FS Distribution & Marketing Practice

Piercarlo is Accenture’s global lead for its Financial Services Distribution & Marketing practice, which covers work in distribution channels (such as branch, mobile, web and social media) and marketing (such as big data, analytics and CRM).

Erik J. Sandquist

Managing Director,
FS Distribution & Marketing Practice, Global Insurance Lead

Erik helps clients reinvent their business and operating models through transformational change programs. His specialties include insurance distribution, sales, agent effectiveness, customer centricity, marketing, underwriting, policy administration and post-merger integration.