Guidewire Software, Inc. (NYSE:GWRE), the platform general insurers trust to engage, innovate, and grow efficiently, today announced the results of a UK consumer survey that shows how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting attitudes towards insurance and insurers.
At a time of increased reliance on digital services for work and home life, the research reveals contradictions in what people regard as vital to them and what they are willing to pay to protect. For example, while close to three quarters (73 percent) of UK respondents rank their digital identity as most important to protect along with their clothes (61%) job and income (59%), and well ahead of items like jewellery (35 percent), only six percent have online identity insurance or job loss cover right now.
The experience of lockdown measures may be influencing changes in customer behaviour. Almost one in three (31 percent) say that following the experience of COVID-19 they will be more careful in understanding exactly what their insurance policy covers them for. Low take up of certain insurance categories also may change, with UK consumers now almost three times more likely to insure themselves against loss of income or illness, and twice as likely to get cover for online identity theft, having been woefully underprepared before the crisis hit.
Yet, any surge in demand for these and other products is complicated in that consumers are divided on whether insurers could have done more to protect them in the crisis.
Almost one in five (17 percent) believe that the industry did not do enough to help consumers in their response to COVID-19, compared to those who feel more positively about insurers because of their actions to support their customers (12 percent) during the pandemic. Men (19 percent) more than women (16 percent) seem to believe the industry let consumers down. This is in addition to the one in four insurance customers (26%) who say they already had a less than positive opinion of insurers.
“The stresses of the past few months have clearly made many scrutinise their relationship with their insurer and the protection that they need,” said Keith Stonell, managing director, EMEA, Guidewire Software. “The finding that interest in cover against online identity theft and job losses may have grown so considerably compared to pre-lock down suggests the pandemic has made people more aware of the broader range of risks that they face today, than in the past.”
“Insurers are obviously sensitive to the current difficult climate we are all living in and having to adapt to new ways in how they run their business and interact with their customers and partners,” continued Stonell. “Many are doing great work in pivoting to offer help and support in the crisis while also being concerned about their colleagues’ own safety and having most of their workforce working from home. Lessons are being learnt that will shape the future of the industry. So, we’re optimistic about how the shock of forced change will be transformative for the industry as a whole.”
Market research company Censuswide polled 1,000 UK respondents in April 2020.
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