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P&C Insurer Digital Investments Not Enough to Offset Rising Rates, J.D. Power Finds

The streamlined user experience, seamless customer support and improved navigation that was supposed to define the digital transformation of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry—and improve customer satisfaction—has been overpowered by rising rates. According to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study, released , overall customer satisfaction with insurers’ digital offerings declines this year, despite significant investments in customer-facing websites and mobile apps.

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“While insurers are spending a great deal on tech on an industry-wide basis, we’re seeing very uneven execution between brands, particularly in the area of mobile apps, where the top performers are really breaking new ground, but the bottom performers are keeping overall customer satisfaction scores low”

“Although insurers keep upping the ante on technology, improvements are being offset by frustration among customers who are going online to shop for a better rate—and not finding one,” said Robert M. Lajdziak, director of insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “We’re also seeing a clear trend in which more than half of digital insurance shoppers are choosing not to use digital tools or educational resources to help them through the shopping process. This further exacerbates the decline in customer satisfaction.”

The study, which was redesigned this year, evaluates digital consumer experiences among both 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 four factors: ease of navigation; speed; visual appeal; and information/content. The study was conducted in collaboration with Corporate Insight, the leading provider of competitive intelligence and user experience research to the financial services and healthcare industries.

“While insurers are spending a great deal on tech on an industry-wide basis, we’re seeing very uneven execution between brands, particularly in the area of mobile apps, where the top performers are really breaking new ground, but the bottom performers are keeping overall customer satisfaction scores low,” said Michael Ellison, president of Corporate Insight. “We’re also starting to notice some noteworthy year-over-year volatility among the brands in the study, which shows that smart investments in good technology can drive rapid performance improvement.”

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Following are key findings of the 2022 study:

  • Frustration with rising prices casts long shadow: Overall customer satisfaction with the P&C insurer digital shopping experience is just 499 (on a 1,000-point scale), down 16 points from a year ago. Overall customer satisfaction with the digital service experience is 705, which is down one point from 2021. The decline in shopping satisfaction is driven by growing customer frustration with rising rates and the inability to find premium cost relief through shopping for a new policy.
  • Shopping tools go largely unused: The use of digital shopping tools—which help guide insurance shoppers to discounts, policy details and special coverage or unique benefits—is associated with a boost of 137-211 points in satisfaction, depending on which shopping tool is used. However, 54% of insurance shoppers did not use any shopping tools during their quote processes.
  • Apps can be great, but not all apps were created equal: In account servicing, the study finds significant gaps in mobile app performance. The average satisfaction score among the top-performing 25% of respondents using a mobile app is 885—significantly higher than any other channel. However, satisfaction with the bottom 25% of respondents using a mobile app falls 358 points to 527.
  • Traditional insurers hold their own vs. InsurTechs on digital service: Overall customer satisfaction with digital account servicing is the same among traditional insurers and digital native InsurTech brands. While InsurTechs outperform on speed and visual appeal metrics, traditional carriers are making up the difference with better information/content and access to human support when customers need it.

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