J.D. Power survey: Insurance firms improve their digital performance

TROY—Significant investments in direct-to-consumer website and mobile design have helped property and casualty insurance companies improve their digital service and shopping experiences. According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study, insurers have made across-the-board improvements in clarity of information, but many still struggle with the balance of too much information and a minimalist approach.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust digital shopping and customer self-service solutions into the spotlight,” said Tom Super, head of property and casualty insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “Even before the pandemic, P&C insurers were investing heavily in digital to capture the growing legions of customers and prospects who are experiencing their brands largely via web and mobile. Across the board, we’ve seen the fruits of those investments: overall satisfaction scores for both new insurance shopping and existing account servicing have risen sharply during the past year.”

The study, now in its ninth year, evaluates digital consumer experiences among P&C insurance shoppers seeking quotes and existing customers conducting typical policy-servicing activities. The study examines the functional aspects of desktop, mobile web and mobile apps based on five factors: ease of navigation; appearance; availability of key information; range of services; and clarity of the information. The study was conducted in partnership with Centric Digital, a New York City-based digital marketing agency, and Corporate Insight, a New York City provider of  user experience research to the financial services and healthcare industries.

“The line between brand and digital brand is rapidly disappearing as the lion’s share of insurance shopping and customer support interactions move to digital platforms,” said Michael Ellison, president of Corporate Insight. “Increasingly, insurers’ ability to balance providing the right information at the right time in a format that represents their unique identity will be the key differentiator that separates industry leaders from the rest of the pack.”

Following are key findings of the 2020 study:

  • P&C industry meeting customer digital expectations—for now: Overall customer satisfaction with the P&C insurance customer service experience improved 9 points year over year (on a 1,000-point scale) and overall satisfaction with the shopping experience improved 18 points, as the past several years of investment in digital start to pay off. However, customer expectations continue to rise, with shoppers consistently accessing more information than they have in the past, across more channels than ever before.
  • TMI vs. minimalist mobile-first design: Finding the right balance when it comes to information density has been a challenge for insurers, with many providing too much complex and expansive information and others pushing heavily to a mobile-first approach. The ability to provide just the right amount of information is a key driver of customer satisfaction.
  • Forming a clear digital identity becomes key: Facing growing competition from insurtech start-ups and traditional carriers, P&C insurers need to be selective about the information they provide and how they present it digitally, with the objective being to create a corporate identity that flows from their overall brand strategies.

Study Rankings

GEICO ranked highest in the service segment for a third consecutive year with a score of 885. Allstate (877) and Liberty Mutual (877) ranked tied for second, while American Family (867) ranked fourth.

National General ranked highest in the shopping segment with a score of 835, which is up 43 points from 2019. Kemper (820) ranked second and Erie Insurance (818) ranked third.

The 2020 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study is based on 12,867 evaluations and was fielded in February and March of 2020.

For more on the U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/insurance/us-insurance-digital-experience-study.

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