Lessons from a Personal Lines Purchase

by Craig Weber, November 28, 2006

Abstract

Boston, MA, USA November 28, 2006

Disconnects in insurance purchase processes are driving away customers.

Commoditized insurance products, like homeowner's insurance, are among the easiest products to usher through the new business process because they have limited applications and the terms of coverage are straightforward. But carriers may be losing tens of millions of dollars annually by not making the sales process seamless for customers.

"It's tempting to think that the sales process is really working for personal lines," says senior analyst Craig Weber, author of the latest Celent report, . "But just below the surface, there are any number of subtle and not so subtle issues that make insurance buyers really grit their teeth."

Weber notes that the customers have to answer a number of questions during an insurance process. Depending on how well they facilitate the process, carriers are left with either satisfied customers and loyal advocates, or uninsured and frustrated detractors who will steer their friends and families away.

The 18-page report, which is based on the actual experience of a recent homeowner's buyer, describes key points at which the insurance sales process became burdensome for the customer. It also offers carriers 10 lessons to keep in mind as they tweak their new business service and technology strategies.

A table of contents is available online. Members of Celent's Property/Casualty research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left. Non-members should contact info@celent.com for more information.  

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].

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Table of Contents

Boston, MA, USA November 28, 2006

Executive Summary 3
Introduction 5
  Background 5
  Opportunities Lost? 6
  Insurance Expertise 7
The Discovery Process 9
  Moving Out 9
  Shopping Online 9
  Perils of Chat 10
  The Department of Business Prevention? 10
The Purchase Process 12
  It's Who You Know 12
  Best Laid Plans 14
  Distribution Calls the Shots 14
  Application Creativity 14
  Dial 411 15
  Building Trust 15
Final Observations 15
Objectivity and Methodology 17

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