In brief

In brief

  • Consumer reactions to COVID-19 are changing the way they view, buy and assess insurance.
  • We surveyed 47,000+ consumers to provide insights to help insurers navigate the remainder of the pandemic and beyond.
  • Three key trends emerged: Giving value for money spent, home as a digital fortress, and a mixed report card on insurers’ response during COVID-19.
  • Insurers should use these trends as a jumping-off point for looking at their consumer relationships and business strategy with a new lens.

Gauging consumer reaction to COVID-19

Health, safety, and financial security are more important than ever to consumers during the COVID-19 era. While consumer reactions vary, preventing and recovering from losses through insurance has become essential to consumers’ well-being.

We set out to learn on how the pandemic has changed consumer behavior and ways in which insurance companies can respond by changing their products and services. We surveyed 47,810 insurance consumers as part of our bi-annual global consumer study to understand their expectations, behavior, and experience of industry products and services during COVID-19.

Our learnings can help insurers navigate the remainder of the pandemic and beyond. COVID-19 consumer behavior includes three key consumer reactions to COVID-19 that stand out as likely to create long-term impacts.

Home as digital fortress

The home is now a school, an office, a shopping mall, and more. Consumers need help protecting their cyberspace.

Value for money is top consumer priority

Value is now the top factor for consumers, up from fourth place just two years ago.

Insurers get a mixed COVID-19 report card

Consumers are divided on satisfaction with insurers’ COVID-19 response, as well as on their intent to switch providers or not.

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Consumer reaction #1: Home as digital fortress

During COVID-19, home is the center of the consumer’s universe. It is a safe port in the COVID-19 storm. It’s also functioning as a school, an office, and a shopping mall.

The consumer’s digital connection enables and drives the shift. Protecting that connection—the ever-critical link between home and the outside world—is now paramount.

It’s not surprising then that identity and personal data protection are top of mind.

Consumer cyber insurance products are coming to market. Offering the consumer protection for identity and precious digital data allows insurers an additional touchpoint—one that goes beyond assets into the foundations of consumer’s life.

Consumer reaction #2: Value is top priority

Consumers are increasingly price sensitive in theses recessionary conditions. They are demanding that insurers deliver value for the money spent.

Consumers ranked value for money higher than any other priority—even higher than the ability to manage their accounts in a way that suits them. Competitive insurance pricing was also ranked in the top three factors consumers consider important.

Consumer reaction #3: A mixed report card

More than half of North American consumers we surveyed say their insurer provided them with the support they needed as COVID-19 took hold. But globally, consumers were less satisfied. Eighteen percent say their insurer did not clearly and effectively communicate their response to the pandemic.

Historically, retention rates across the insurance industry have remained stable. But insurers cannot afford to be complacent.


of consumers globally say their insurer provided them with the support they needed during COVID-19.


of consumers say they would welcome assistance dealing with cybersecurity threats.

Looking beyond COVID-19

The speed at which the virus will be contained and the delivery date for a workable vaccine remain to be seen. At this time, we predict some of the changes in consumer lifestyles, spending, work, relationships, expectations and more will be long-lasting and far-reaching. Others may diminish as the virus does. But the key changes we have noted are large enough to warrant insurers’ attention.

Insurance follows life. It’s only as we begin to emerge from this crisis that industry experts will have a clearer view of how lives will shift and how they can best meet consumers in a changed world.

Kenneth Saldanha

Senior Managing Director – Global Insurance Lead

Todd Staehle

Managing Director – Insurance, Accenture Song


Emerge stronger: Recession recovery for insurers

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