our wired world

The Online Consumer

Reading the Insurance Customer’s Mind

Celent has released a new report titled The Online Consumer: Reading the Insurance Customer’s mind. The report was written by Luis Chipana, an Analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice. Reprinted with permission. To read the full report, visit here.

April 28, 2017 — Today, the insurance industry is going through many changes that will define the next generations of insurers. Most changes are driven by new technologies that reshape the consumer’s behavior, such as digital channels, telematics, social media, mobility, and analytics.

Consumers are also influenced by new technologies, trends, and experiences that they had with other industries, so that many insurers are shifting to more seamless online channels as well.

The online consumer is not necessarily an insurance buyer or client, but many of them have an insurance policy, and they mostly use smartphones to connect to the Internet. Individuals are prone to share data if they’re compensated in some way. For instance, 32% are certain to share data with insurers only if they are compensated via discounts on their policies immediately; 21% would be willing to do so if a future discount is applied. About 71% of consumers prefer human contact, whether by phone or in person. Other 29% prefer to interact with insurers through online channels like mobile apps, website, social media, and chat.

Key Research Questions

  • What is the profile of the online consumer?
  • Are online consumers prone to sharing with insurers?
  • How do online consumers prefer to interact with insurers?

“In the real world consumers are not devoted to a specific industry. In fact, consumers do not go around thinking of what industry to engage with today. Human beings are complex creatures, have feelings, and make decisions based on a myriad of factors,” Chipana commented.

“Technology is influencing both sides, supply and demand. On one hand, consumers are becoming more tech-savvy and demanding more digital channels. On the other hand, many insurers started to build and improve their digital channels, ones that fit better with the needs of the new online insurance consumer,” he added.




Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].