The Digital InsurerClaims Customer SurveyWhy claimsservice matters
Keeping customers happy and loyalIn a market where every percentagepoint of growth has to be fought fortooth and nail, customer retention is akey priority. Property & casualty insurershave always known that the claim is theirdefining moment, and many have investedsignificantly in improving the claimsexperience.Accenture’s Claims Customer Survey revealsthat—at least in one respect—they havesucceeded: only 14 percent of customersare dissatisfied with the way their lastclaim was handled. And yet the battle isfar from won: of the 14 percent who areunhappy, 83 percent plan to switch to anew provider, or have already done so.To make things worse, the survey foundthat the claim itself is a crucial trigger forswitching, irrespective of how satisfiedcustomers are with the experience. Themere fact of having a claim increasesthe customer’s likelihood of switchingfrom 22 percent to 41 percent.The impact, for P&C insurers, is immense.Accenture has calculated that customerattrition has created a “switchingeconomy”* that, in the US alone, comprises 5.8 billion a year in premiums. This is ahuge threat for carriers that are unable tostaunch the defection of their customers,but an equally large opportunity for thosethat can persuade them to join their ranks.* The size of the switching economy is estimatedas the total of personal-lines property and casualtyinsurance premiums written in a 12-month periodmultiplied by the percentage of customers whoreported they are likely to switch providers in “thenext 12 months.”2 ACCENTURE CLAIMS CUSTOMER SURVEYMany insurers are struggling to keepup with changes in customer behaviorand expectations, across all aspectsof insurance including the claim. Theinevitable result is dissatisfaction, morefrequent comparison between providers,and defection. Which elements ofthe claims experience should insurersconcentrate on to improve customersatisfaction, and what practical stepsshould they consider to enhance theoverall experience?
Claims Customer SurveyTo gain further insight into the factorssurrounding the claim that influencethe satisfaction and loyalty of insurancecustomers—including their priorities, theirinterest in using new technologies, andtheir willingness to share informationwith insurers in return for variousbenefits—Accenture surveyed nearly 8,000property & casualty insurance customersin 14 countries in North America, Europe,Turkey and Brazil.The sample was representative of theinsurance-owning populations in thesecountries, but was controlled to ensurethat approximately 40 percent of therespondents had submitted an auto orhousehold insurance claim in the past twoyears. It was also divided fairly equallybetween those who answered the surveywith reference to their auto insuranceprovider and those who responded abouttheir household insurer.In this in-depth online survey we askedthe respondents to evaluate their overallexperience with their home and autoinsurers. We asked those customers whohad recently filed claims to describetheir claims experience. We asked allcustomers about their propensity to usedigital technology such as smartphonesto file claims and receive information, andwe also explored acceptance levels foremerging technologies such as telematicsin automobiles and connected devices inthe home.Using these survey findings, we havedeveloped recommendations for insurersthat are interested in reducing customerattrition, differentiating themselves fromcompetitors, and using digital technologiesto create individualized customerexperiences. These recommendationsfocus on four key areas: customer service,technology enablement, the claimsworkforce, and data and analytics.This report provides a summary of the keyfindings. More detailed results are availableon our website—go to www.accenture.com/claims-survey-data or scan the QR codeon the back page of this report. We urgeyou to explore the interactive featuresof this platform, which allows you tocustomize the findings by country, by agedemographic and by insurance type.FIGURE 1 Survey sample7,875 insurance policy holders were surveyed online in 14 countries in the month of May 20144,01540%3,860answered the surveywith regard to theirauto insuranceof the respondents hadsubmitted an auto orhousehold insurance claimin the past two yearsanswered the surveywith regard to theirhome insuranceCountriesRespondent )(7%)(7%)(7%)(7%)(7%)(6%)(6%)(6%)(6%)18-24 years1,15225-34 years(15%)1,68035-44 years1,723(21%)(22%)1,795 (23%)45-54 yearsOver 54 years1,525(19%)Respondent gender groupMen3,965(50%)Women3,910(50%)Total: 7,875 (100%)Note: Due to rounding off of decimals, the segments of all the bars in the graphs featured in this document may not add up to 100%.3
Key findingsThe basics stay the same,but the bar keeps risingAccenture’s Claims Customer Survey hasconfirmed many of the things carriershave long known about their customersand how they feel about claiming—whatthey expect from their insurer, and howthey respond when they are disappointed.It has also produced some findings thatwere less predictable—like the fact that acustomer who claims is much more likelyto switch providers than one who hasn’t,even if he or she is satisfied with the waythe claim was handled. In addition, thesurvey reflects the changing preferencesand expectations of an increasingly digitalcustomer base, and how this is raising thebar for insurers as they endeavor to delivera claims experience that builds loyalty.Customers are generally satisfiedwith their insurance providers.Asked how they feel about their insuranceproviders, 93 percent of respondentsdescribed themselves as “satisfied”or “very satisfied”. There is very littledifference between the satisfaction levelsachieved by auto and home insurers.Almost one in three customersare likely to defect.Despite the apparently high satisfactionlevels, 30 percent of insurance customerssaid they were likely to switch to anotherprovider in the next 12 months. Thepropensity to switch is markedly higheramong younger customers (see “TheAge Divide” on page 6). Lower prices(90 percent) are the most important factorthat would spur a customer to switch,followed by the belief that another providerwould be more willing to honor a claim(78 percent).The claim is a powerful triggerfor switching.in the next 12 months compared to thosewho have not: 41 percent compared to22 percent. This is irrespective of howhappy they are with the way their claimwas handled.Customers that have submitted aninsurance claim in the past two years arealmost twice as likely to switch providersFIGURE 2 Customer satisfaction for all insurance services, and likelihood ofswitching providersQ: How likely are you to stop doing businesswith one of your insurance providers andto switch to another provider in the next12 months?Q: How satisfied are you with yourinsurance provider for your maininsurance policy?26%Very satisfied67%Satisfied30%93%5% Dissatisfied25%Quite likely44%Not very likely26%Very unlikely2% Very dissatisfiedFIGURE 3 Likelihood of switching providers, by claims satisfactionQ: How likely are you to stop doing business with one of your insurance providers andto switch to another provider in the next 12 months?19% 3%All non-claimers31%All claimers20%Satisfied claimers*21%47%32% 7%39% 18%25%Unlikely* Claimers who are “satisfied” plus “very satisfied”** Claimers who are “dissatisfied” plus “very dissatisfied”vs.41%41%Very unlikely22%33% 8%39%47%Dissatisfied claimers** 10%4 ACCENTURE CLAIMS CUSTOMER SURVEY5% Very likelyLikelyVery likelyvs.65%
Most insurers deliver asatisfactory claims experience.FIGURE 4 Customer satisfaction with the claims experience, and response todissatisfactionOnly 14 percent of respondents said theywere dissatisfied with the way their claimwas handled and settled, with auto andhousehold insurers achieving fairly similarsatisfaction scores.Q: How satisfied are you with the way in which your insurance provider handled andsettled your claim?I am planning toswitch to anotherinsurance provider33% Very satisfiedDissatisfied customers arealmost certain to defect.Among those who are dissatisfied withtheir claims experience, 29 percent saidthey had already moved across to anew insurance provider and 54 percentsaid they plan to switch in the next 12months. In other words, more than fourout of five dissatisfied claimers are likelyto defect.54%83%I switched toanother insuranceprovider53% Satisfied11% Dissatisfied3% Very dissatisfied29%It didn’t impact myrelationship: I will17%stay with my currentinsurance providerAll claimersAll dissatisfied claimersSpeed and transparencymatter most.The two most important factors thatinfluence customer satisfaction—aside fromthe perceived fairness of the settlementitself—are the speed and transparency ofthe claims process (95 and 94 percentrespectively). These are followed by thecustomer’s ability to contact the insureranytime to find out the status of theclaim, and good, timely communicationthat keeps the customer informed (90 and89 percent respectively). Empatheticinteractions with the insurer’s staff arealso an important factor (85 percent), asis the ability to engage with the insurerusing the preferred channels (80 percent).FIGURE 5 Key contributors to customer satisfaction with the claims experienceQ: How important for you are the following during the claims process?1%Speed of settlement5%Explanation and transparencyof the claims processThe ability to contact your provideranytime to check the real-timestatus of your claimFrequency and timeliness ofcommunication (updates on yourclaim hy and care of staff11%Multiple channels to connect withyour provider (e.g. phone, email,smartphone app, Internet, etc.)Not at all important61%24%3%Not important17%Important52%28%Extremely important5
The age divideYoung consumers show the futureof claimsAccenture’s Claims Customer Surveyindicates that customers value the abilityto communicate with an insurer on an“anytime, anywhere, anyhow” basis duringthe claims process. When asked, forexample, how they would respond ifthey were not able to use their preferreddigital channels (online, smartphone,tablet, web or others) to interact withtheir insurance provider during the claimsprocess, more than half (52 percent forauto and 54 percent for home insurance)said they would not recommend thatprovider to others.Among respondents aged 18 to 24,however, that percentage increasedto 58 percent for both auto and homeinsurance. This trend can be seenthroughout the survey findings; youngercustomers are more likely to use digitaltechnologies, and more likely to reward(or punish) insurers that do not deliverclaims service through the desired digitalchannels. The punishment comes in theform of withholding recommendations,making negative comments on socialmedia, or switching providers.Regarding social media, the trends are asexpected: younger customers are muchmore likely than those in the 35 to 54 andthe 55 age groups to share their negativeclaims experience (41 percent vs. 26 and17 percent), and are much more likely tobase their insurance buying decisions onthe comments of others on these sites(51 percent vs. 40 and 29 percent).6 ACCENTURE CLAIMS CUSTOMER SURVEYInterestingly, however, while youngerrespondents generally showed greaterinterest in and desire for using digitaltechnologies during the claims process,the actual percentage differences wererelatively modest throughout the survey.For example, when asked about theimportance of multiple channels toconnect with the insurance provider(phone, e-mail, smartphone and others),28 percent said such access is “veryimportant”. Among those aged 18 to 24,there were actually fewer who rated it as“very important” (25 percent). This wasidentical to the response in the 55 to 64age group.The message in the numbers seems to be:across the board, consumer expectationsare rising. The digital revolution haschanged nearly everyone’s expectationsand behavior, and most people arebecoming more tech-savvy and eagerto take advantage of new technologies.But there is no question that the pace ofchange is most rapid among the young.While it may be possible for insurersto delay transformation, demographicpressure will only increase with time.18%age35–5425%age18–3414%age55 Twenty-five percent of insuranceclaimers aged 18–34 used a digitalchannel for FNOL, compared to18% for 35–54 year olds and 14%for those aged 55 .30%age18–34Thirty percent of insuranceclaimers aged 18–34 admit theyoverstated their losses when thelast submitted a claim.
Customers value access todifferent channels.The call center is most customers’preferred channel for interacting withtheir insurers at all stages of the claim(36 percent for first notice of loss). Digitalchannels (21 percent for FNOL) and theagent (18 percent for FNOL) are the otherfavored channels, with digital beingespecially important for checking thestatus of the claim and the status ofrepairs or replacement (both 27 percent).Digital is also most likely to increase itsshare of traffic in the near future.Customers rate it their first choice for allstages of the claim when asked “whichchannels would you be interested inusing?” and 44 percent say they wouldswitch providers if their preferred digitalchannels were not available.Insurers have done a poor job ofpromoting their mobile apps.Only 11 percent of insurance customersare currently using their carriers’smartphone or tablet apps, althougha further 53 percent say they plan todo so in the future. The reason for thesluggish uptake may be that 43 percentof all respondents know nothing aboutthese apps, and another 46 percent haveheard of them but know little about theirpurpose or benefits.FIGURE 6 Channels used by customers at different stages of the claims processQ: Which channel did you primarily use for these three actions relating to your mostrecent claim?21%Digital channels*27%27%Phone insurer's call center30%Meet an agentE-mailLetterInsurer's website/portalThird-party facilityText messageOnline chat on insurer's websiteInsurer's smartphone/tablet appInsurer's social media %6%6%4%4%3%3%2%4%2%3%Submit first notice of loss3%Check your claim statusCheck status of repairs/replacement* Digital channels website online chat social media smartphone/tablet app text messageFIGURE 7 Customer awareness of insurance apps and their intention to use themQ: How aware are you of the smartphone/tablet apps which many insurers havedeveloped for their customers?This is the first I’veheard of these appsI’ve heard of theseapps but don’t knowmuch about themI’ve heard of theseapps; I understand 11%how they work andwhat the benefits are43%46%Q: Are you using an insurer’s app, or doyou plan to?I’m currently usingsuch an app11%I’m not currentlyusing such an appbut plan to in future53%I’m not interested inusing such an app37%64%Sample base: all who have heard of these apps7
The geographic divideLocal variations, but broadconsistency across the globeAccenture’s Claims Customer Surveyinterviewed insurance customers in 14countries. Twelve of these are developedmarkets, in North America and Europe,while Turkey and Brazil represent theemerging markets.average is 14 percent. And dissatisfiedclaimers in Sweden, Denmark and Finlandare much less likely than their unhappycounterparts in other countries to punishtheir providers by switching to a differentinsurer.A comparison of the findings acrosscountries reveals some fascinatinganomalies within a fairly consistent globalpicture. For example, customers in Italy(26 percent), Spain (24 percent) and Brazil(24 percent) are significantly moredissatisfied with the way in which theirrecent claim was handled—the globalA variety of local factors, includingcultural and economic, may account forthe differences in the responses fromcountry to country. Broadly speakinghowever, the big trends that aredisrupting the insurance industry—and the claims function in particular—are universal.Accenture has created an interactivewebsite that enables you to filter thedata to suit your needs. You can selectyour country of interest, and then sortthe results by other factors such asline of business and respondents’ agegroups. You can visit the website atwww.accenture.com/claims-survey-dataor scan the QR code on the back pageof this report.FIGURE 8 Consumer responses regarding satisfaction and loss overstatement varied considerably from country to countryQ: How satisfied are you with the way in which your insurance provider handled and settled your 5%12%10%11%10%10%8%9%7%7%4%5% 6% 2%7%6%5%3%2%2%3%2%3%3%2%USACanadaUKFrance Germany ItalySpainTurkey Finland Sweden Norway Denmark Nether- BrazillandsVery dissatisfiedDissatisfiedSatisfiedVery satisfiedQ: When you last submitted an insurance claim, did you overstate the value of your 0%France GermanyItaly89%11%SpainYes8 ACCENTURE CLAIMS CUSTOMER SURVEY80%20%TurkeyNo94%92%81%19%96%81%19%6% 8%4%Finland Sweden Norway Denmark Netherlands66%34%Brazil
Customers are quick to turn tosocial media.Approximately three out of 10 insurancecustomers have already shared their claimsexperience on social media, while four outof 10 read these reviews and base theirinsurance buying decisions on them.Customers will share informationif it’s worth their while.The majority (77 percent) of insurancecustomers would be willing to providetheir insurers with personal informationif that enabled the carrier to reduce theirpremiums, speed up their claim settlementor help them manage their risk. They wouldbe most willing to give their auto insurerdata about their mileage (63 percent), themaintenance of their vehicle (56 percent)and their driving habits (52 percent). Homeinsurance respondents said they wouldbe prepared to share information aboutenergy consumption (59 percent), smokeand carbon monoxide detection (55 percent)and motion detection (37 percent).FIGURE 9 Customers’ use of social media relating to the claims experienceQ: Which of the following have you done regarding insurance and social media—or planto do in the next two years?I read reviews which other peoplepost regarding their insuranceclaims experiences57%I base my insurance buyingdecisions on a comparison ofothers’ claims experiences58%22%21%24%17%I look at social media to stay upto date with the latest trends ininsurance digital claims67%I ask questions about the insuranceclaims process on social media69%21%9%I post or plan to post my positiveclaims experience71%20%9%I post or plan to post my negativeclaims experience70%23%7%Not done and don’t plan to do it22%Not done but plan to do it10%Already doneClaims fraud is rife.Of the survey respondents who havesubmitted a claim in the past two years,17 percent admitted that they overstatedtheir loss to obtain a better settlement. Notsurprisingly, the figure is higher for homeinsurance (21 percent) than auto insurance(15 percent). Less expected was the factthat there is little difference betweenrespondents who said they were “satisfied”with their claims experience and those whowere “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied”—only among those who described themselvesas “very satisfied” was there a sharp drop-offin overstated claims: to 8 percent for autoinsurance respondents and 15 percent forhome insurance respondents. The mostcommonly cited reason for overstatingclaims was “because I pay too muchpremium” (42 percent), with “poor service”coming in second at 37 percent.There’s room for improvement.Across all of their priorities for an acceptableclaims experience—factors like speed andtransparency—only 20 to 30 percent ofrespondents said they were “very satisfied”with the way their insurers had met theirexpectations. It seems likely that carriersthat can pleasantly surprise their customerswill go a considerable way to improvingloyalty and retention.FIGURE 10 Customers’ overstatement of their losses when submitting a claimQ: When you last submitted an insuranceclaim, did you overstate the value ofyour loss?Yes 17%Q: Why did you overstate the value ofyour loss?15% Auto Insurance21% Home Insurance42%37%14%No 83%Mypremiumsare toohighInsuranceservice ispoorI believeI can getawaywith it7%EveryoneI knowdoes itSample base: respondents who admit theyoverstated their claim9
Implications for insurersBenefiting from the switching economyInsurers may regard the results ofAccenture’s survey as not too troubling. A93 percent general satisfaction rating andan 86 percent satisfaction with the claimsexperience are not to be scoffed at. Butare they good enough?In the first place, they are lower thanthe high-nineties numbers that some ofthe independent agencies report. Andsecondly, disappointing only one out ofevery seven customers who submit aclaim (14 percent) may be regarded asadequate performance. But the fact that41 percent of all claimers are likely toswitch to a new provider in the next 12months is startling.Carriers are already fighting a toughbattle to retain their customers, withfierce price competition combining withclaims dissatisfaction and other factorsto push the likely annual attrition rate upto 30 percent. Accenture has calculatedthat the impact for insurers, in terms ofpremiums at risk, totals as much as 5.8 billion a year in the US alone.Anything they can do to increase theproportion of satisfied customers will havea direct benefit in terms of retention. If, inaddition to that, they are able to use theirclaims performance as a differentiator,establishing their reputation (especiallyon social media) as an insurer thatis committed to settling customers’claims quickly, fairly and transparently,this proficiency will not only increaseretention but will improve their chancesof acquiring disaffected customers whoare looking for a new provider.What is also clear from the findings isthat the claim itself—whether handledsatisfactorily or not—increases thelikelihood of the customer switching from22 to 41 percent. One can speculate aboutthe reasons for this—it may be that theclaim rouses the customer from a lethargicacceptance of his insurance terms andservice and spurs him to compare offerings,10 ACCENTURE CLAIMS CUSTOMER SURVEYor that “satisfaction” implies the customerregarded the experience as fair andefficient but not particularly caring andcertainly not a pleasure.Whatever the reasons, carriers shoulddo whatever they can to reduce theincidence of claiming. This is likely tohappen naturally as more new vehicles areequipped with systems that help driverspark their cars, or that automate parkingaltogether. Taken to its logical conclusion,drivers of autonomous vehicles such asthose which Google is testing shouldnever have to claim (unless they arethe victims of theft or damage causedby other drivers). This raises all sorts ofquestions about how insurers will createand maintain customer satisfaction ifthe “moment of truth” seldom arises, notto mention what the future role of autoinsurance might be in a world dominatedby driverless vehicles.For the present, customers would supportinsurers’ efforts to minimize the incidenceof claiming—Accenture’s Consumer-DrivenInnovation Survey (2013) found that92 percent expect their insurer to helpthem manage their risk rather than simplyinsure against it. What is more, three outof four would be willing to supply additionalpersonal information in return for cheaper,more personalized insurance, informationthat carriers could use to provide relevant,individualized advice and alerts that helpcustomers reduce their risk.It goes without saying the benefit wouldnot only be improved retention, but also areduction in loss costs.Fraud is another important consideration.Even anonymous surveys such as this areunreliable when respondents are askedabout actions which are dishonest. Butwhen 17 percent admit to falsifyingtheir statements of loss, insurers can beconfident that the number is not lower.The justifications offered—high premiumsand poor service—may be mere excusesIn short Although satisfaction levels seemhigh, the fact is that 41% of allclaimers, and 30% of all customers,say they are likely to switch. The switching economy in the USalone is worth 5.8 billion a year. Improving claims speed andtransparency will have the greatestimpact on customer satisfaction. Carriers that help customers avoidclaiming will not only improveretention but also reduce their losscosts. Social media is a terrific promotionaltool for those that can provide anexceptional claims experience. As consumer expectations continueto rise, insurers that do nothing willlose ground and customers.to ease a troubled conscience, but thefact that admission of overstatementdrops to 8 percent among those who are“very satisfied” with the management oftheir claim, does support the view thatimproving the claims experience will helpreduce fraud.Insurers cannot afford to be complacent.Inaction will not maintain the statusquo, for customer expectations arecontinuously rising, new technologies areenabling competitors to improve theirperformance in a multitude of ways, andconsumers are becoming more and moredependent on social media to proclaimtheir dissatisfaction to anyone who willlisten—and many will.An aggressive plan of action is needed totransform the claims function, and ensurethat the huge “switching economy” is anopportunity for acquisition and growthrather than a threat of unrelenting attrition.
RecommendationsThe building blocks of an optimizeddigital claims functionThe digital revolution is not only raisingcustomers’ service expectations; it is alsomaking it easier for them to compareinsurance providers’ offerings and servicedelivery, and to switch in pursuit of a betterdeal. What is more, new digital technologiesare enabling innovative carriers to meetand even drive these expectations, givingthem a powerful advantage.Those carriers whose claims operatingmodels, organizational structures and evencorporate cultures are out of sync withtoday’s demanding, digitally connected,24/7 customers will struggle to compete.We believe a fundamental rethink isneeded across a number of dimensions,the most important of which include:Customer-centricityThe change in mindset from offeringservices that are convenient forthe organization, to structuring theorganization, its products and services tomeet the constantly evolving preferencesof the customer, is a profound one thatwill have ramifications throughout theenterprise. But consumers today expectnothing less. They have been taught,by the companies they admire most,to expect personalized, convenient,transparent and rapid service. Why wouldthey accept less from their insurer?AgilityThe most valuable attribute in a volatileenvironment is the ability to identifychanges, threats and opportunities earlierthan others, and to respond swiftly andeffectively. In the claims environmentthis means having sensitive intelligencesystems that allow insurers to anticipatewhat is needed now and in the future;the right people and systems in place12 ACCENTURE CLAIMS CUSTOMER SURVEYto process all types of claims efficientlyand accurately; and the sophisticatedexperience engine to interact withcustomers at scale, in ways that arerelevant and individualized.ProactivityThe traditional claims function is thearchetype of a reactive system. We believethe future of claims lies in a more proactivemodel. It starts with risk management:identifying and monitoring individualcustomers’ risks and helping them minimizethe likelihood of loss. It includes effectivecommunication that manages customers’expectations regarding the claim andkeeps them fully informed of its status.And to an ever-increasing degree itdemands constant monitoring of socialmedia to instantly detect and quicklyrespond to corrosive chatter, potentiallyturning a reputational threat into anadvertisement for service excellence.DigitalizationWe have said it repeatedly: today, everyinsurer is a digital insurer. Digital isreinventing not only insurers’ operatingmodels but also their business models –and it is doing it at a rapidly acceleratingrate. Advances in data and analytics,combined with connected devices andthe Internet of Things, are transformingthe industry. Mobile and other digitalchannels—together with a plethoraof accompanying product and serviceinnovations—have changed distributionforever. Collaboration and other worktools have given rise to the distributedworkforce and boosted productivityfrom agents all the way through toprocurement partners. The list goes onand on, affecting claims as much as anyother part of the insurance business.In short To improve customer satisfaction,insurers need to rethink their claimsoperation in terms of four keydimensions: customer-centricity,agility, proactivity and digitalization. The four main building blocksof an optimized digital claimsfunction are customer service,technology enablement, theworkforce, and data and analytics. One of the most important servicefeatures is an integrated multichannel capability that enablespersonalized interaction whenand how it suits the customer. A modern core processing systemthat automates routine proceduresand supports self-service providesthe foundation of an efficientdigital claims operation. Innovation is transforming theclaims workforce, to the benefitof customers and insurers alike. Insurers that can gain actionableinsights from all the data that isbecoming available will enhancethe customer experience, improveclaims efficiency and cut losscosts—including fraud.To create an enhanced claims functionthat achieves higher levels of customersatis
experience. Accenture’s Claims Customer Survey reveals that—at least in one respect—they have succeeded: only 14 percent of customers are dissatisfied with the way their last claim was handled. And yet the battle is far from won: of the 14 percent who are unhappy, 83 percent plan