Our Wired World

More Consumers Willing To Share Lifestyle Data For Behavior-Based Insurance Premiums

Still, trust in data security is falling

A new report from Accenture reveals that while there is a willingness to share data, confidence has fallen. Read the report here.

January 26, 2021 — NEW YORK & LONDON & HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The number of consumers willing to share significant data on their health and other lifestyle-related habits with their insurer to reduce premiums has grown over the past two years, but their trust in insurers to look after that data has fallen, according to a new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

Based on a survey of more than 47,000 consumers globally, Accenture’s latest Global Insurance Consumer Study provides a view of consumer preferences and trends in insurance, building on similar reports from 2019 and 2017.

Tech-Driven Partnerships

At a time when insurers are launching tech-driven partnerships to improve customer wellness, approximately seven out of 10 consumers (69%) say they would share significant data on their health, exercise and driving habits in exchange for lower prices from their insurers, compared with 58% two years ago. In addition, two-thirds (66%) of consumers say they would also share significant data for personalized services to prevent injury and loss — up from 54% in the 2019 report.

But while consumers are more willing to share personal data, their concerns about intrusiveness and its impact on premiums have grown and their confidence in their insurers’ ability to look after their data has diminished. For instance, just under a third (32%) of consumers say they significantly trust insurers to look after their data, down from 40% in the 2019 report.

“Consumers are embracing the data-for-personalized-pricing trend and want insurers to reward their efforts to improve their well-being, but it comes with a warning that trust is waning, and they want to feel in control of their data,” said Kenneth Saldanha, who leads Accenture’s Insurance industry group globally. “Insurers are creating tech-driven partnerships to provide their customers with flexible, personalized insurance offerings based on behavior, but they’ll need to be transparent and responsible with their customers’ data for these partnerships to succeed. To earn consumers’ trust, insurers will need to show that their customers’ well-being is at the core of their business.”

As Insurance Becomes More Digitized, Human Advisors Can Help Restore Trust

The report also finds that insurers will need to re-evaluate the role of human workers, particularly as COVID-19 has drastically accelerated the industry’s adoption of digital insurance services. For instance, the number of respondents over the age of 55 who said they would like the internet chat and video insurance claim process to replace the traditional in-office claim process increased by three percentage points to 71%.

In order to embrace long-term change, it's critical for insurers to empower their people with the right insights and technologies to better serve customers and increase trust...

However, consumers overall still trust human advisors more than digital touchpoints for certain services. One example: Half (49%) of consumers trust a human advisor in a branch when making an insurance claim, while only 12% trust an automated digital service and just 7% trust a chatbot.

“Insurers still have much to do to fully address new customer behavior caused by the pandemic, including permanently raised expectations regarding digital experiences,” said Todd Staehle, who leads the Insurance industry group for Accenture Interactive. “Insurers need to master a delicate balance, offering simple, self-service digital options as well as the human touch for more complex issues that require empathy or nuanced advice. In order to embrace long-term change, it’s critical for insurers to empower their people with the right insights and technologies to better serve customers and increase trust.”

Excerpts From The Accenture Report

The Future Of Insurance

The future of insurance depends on exploring new models of doing business to ensure relevance. Business models that capitalize on the benefits technology can bring for insurers while meeting a changing set of consumer demands will help insurers not only to remain relevant, but to grow. A recent Accenture insurance survey of 47,810 respondents across 28 global markets points to three key areas where C-suite leaders can take action to address these insurance trends.

  • #1 Re-evaluate digital services with a generational lens
    In our research, clear differences in generational appetites for digital offers emerged. Take a fresh look at your consumer digital strategy.
  • #2 Personalize consumer offers
    Offer usage- and behavior-based insurance to better personalize and target offerings, meeting consumer demand for better value.
  • #3 Restore trust with digital and human interaction
    The right human + machine mix restores consumer trust and better engages them.

Proactively rethinking their business helps insurers get closer to consumers as many show willingness to consider alternative distribution channels.

Trust And Engagement In A Human + Machine World

Achieving the right balance between digital and human interaction matters more than ever. For example, while consumers are interacting more and more in the digital realm, particularly during COVID-19, they still view human touchpoints as more trustworthy than digital touchpoints when they are in need. Almost half (49%) say they place a lot of trust in a human advisor in an office when making an insurance claim, while only 12% say the same of automated service over phone/web/email, and just 7% say the same of a chatbot.

Training and skilling an insurance workforce that works well with digital tools will be essential for success. Insurance can be an emotionally complex business for consumers—they need the freedom to choose methods of interaction most comfortable for them.

Trust levels: Insurance customers are interacting more and more in the digital realm, particularly during COVID-19, but they still view human touchpoints as more trustworthy than digital touchpoints when they are in need.

  • 49% — Of insurance consumers trust a human advisor when making a claim.
  • 12% — Of insurance consumers trust an automated phone/web/email service when making a claim.
  • 7% — Of insurance consumers trust a chatbot when making a claim.




Accenture surveyed 47,810 respondents across 28 markets: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Respondents were required to have an insurance policy and represented multiple demographical generations and income levels. The survey was conducted online during July and August 2020.
About Accenture
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services—all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 514,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
Accenture’s Insurance Practice helps P&C insurers, life carriers and reinsurers to redefine their business and operating models, enhance the digital experience for customers, and position themselves for growth in a digital economy. To learn more, visit: www.accenture.com/us-en/industries/insurance-index.