2024 European Insurance Consumer Survey

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Converting consumer interest in UBI into purchasing UBI policies, personalising embedded insurance products, utilising AI tools in a way that builds trust, and protecting data privacy. These are all important considerations for insurers as they look to enhance customer support, reduce the engagement gap, and differentiate their businesses.

Welcome to Guidewire's fifth annual survey of insurance customers in Europe. We're delighted to share with you this year's results and provide insight into how insurers might improve customer relationships, enhance products and services, and consider new and innovative offerings for their use.

Summary

The insurance industry continues to provide valuable support to its customers whilst contending with a host of pressing challenges. Consumer behaviour has not returned to pre-COVID patterns, creating new risk profiles, and the cost of living crisis has put insurance customers under increasing stress. Meanwhile, loss ratios have been put under pressure by rising motor costs and climate losses. Reflecting the difficult circumstances for insurers and the insured, our UK 2024 study of attitudes towards the insurance industry and policyholders’ experience of the customer journey has uncovered four main themes.

Here are the items we will cover:

  1. Overcoming AI Uncertainty

  2. Privacy as a Positive Force

  3. Claims-ing Victory Over Consumer Perception

  4. Prevention and Personalisation are Key

  5. The Next Generation of Talent

1. Overcoming AI Uncertainty

The insurance industry is amongst those that have taken a great interest in how to use AI to improve customer interactions and workflows, but it should take a measured approach in doing so. The survey found that overall, just under a third (31%) of European policyholders were comfortable with an insurer using AI to make decisions about the price of a policy without human involvement, whilst 43% said that this made them uncomfortable. The data shows that those who use AI tools on a daily or weekly basis are much more comfortable with the idea of AI making decisions itself versus those who are not, but these regular users are a minority, making up just over a fifth (21%) of those surveyed, whilst one in four (40%) have never used an AI tool once. If insurers want to make use of this technology effectively, they need to build confidence in it first.

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2. Privacy as a Positive Force

A key factor in using AI and enacting other forms of digitalisation is the ability to leverage data, both historical and real-time, to improve the relevance of services, the understanding of risk, and the accuracy of pricing for customers. This will not be possible if insurance customers feel that their privacy is not being respected.

The number of UK insurance consumers who say they cannot understand why insurers would collect policyholder data has risen by 6% from 2023 to 24% in 2024. This is an issue for insurers as they roll out digital tools. Those who agree with insurers collecting data to improve pricing and services are much more likely, for example, to be comfortable with AI making decisions about the price of a policy (40%), whereas almost seven in 10 (69%) of those who do not understand why insurers are collecting data are uncomfortable with AI tools making decisions regarding pricing. If insurers want to win people over to more efficient, digitalised ways of doing business, first they have to build confidence that the data is well secured and being used in a positive manner.

3. Claims-ing Victory Over Consumer Perception

There is a strong correlation between customers having a meaningful interaction with their insurer and their feeling that the industry is a positive force in society. The problem is that this interaction is almost exclusively the claims process. 4 in 10 (40%) of those who have made a claim in the past 12 months say that the actions of insurers in the past year have made them feel more positively about the industry; amongst those who have not made a claim, the figure is just 8%.

Meanwhile, nearly 4 in 10 (37%) of those surveyed in the UK say that they have never spoken to their insurer. This is a persistent issue, with 38% of those surveyed in 2021 also saying that they had never spoken to their insurer. While insurers have to engage with their customers in ways that make sense, they cannot rely on loss events and the ensuing claims process to be the moment that they demonstrate their real value. Whether through proactive services, for which there is appetite, or personalised recommendations to reduce risks, insurers must find ways to show customers why they are a worthwhile part of their lives.

4. Prevention and Personalisation are Key

As insurance companies and their customers continue to face a range of challenges, insurers must demonstrate their value to policyholders as well as how they support them in their daily lives. Whether this is through more tailored products, preemptive services, or personalised communication, will depend on the customer. Nonetheless, for insurers to be successful they need to adopt more digitalisation and improve their loss ratios, and to succeed at that, tailored, relevant products and services will be increasingly important.

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5. The Next Generation of Talent

As the insurance industry pushes forward into the future to solve new and exciting challenges, it needs to be able to attract great talent. The good news on this front is that the industry is seen as an exciting place to work by the majority of 18-24-year-olds (47%) and 25-34-year-olds (41%). When it comes to the diversity of the insurance industry, almost half (48%) of UK policyholders agree that the sector is a diverse one, where you get to work with lots of different people.

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Download the Results


The results of the survey are available in a series of white papers, one for each country.

Survey results UK

Survey results France >
Survey results Germany >
Survey results Spain (Coming Soon!) >

Read the Press Releases

The survey results have been announced through a series of press releases issued in each country.

UK press release

France press release >
Germany press release >
Spain press release (Coming Soon!) >

Our Survey Methodology

Guidewire commissioned market research agency, Censuswide, to undertake a regional survey of insurance consumers in France, Germany, Spain, and the UK. A sample of approximately 1,000 people in each country, aged 18 to 55+ years old, who had taken out or renewed one of the common general insurance policies in the last 12 months was included. They were asked about how they view insurers, insurance products and services, their perspective on data privacy, cost of living, climate change, and GenAI, as well as the insurance sector as an employer. The survey took place in February 2024 and is part of an annual insurance consumer sentiment survey which has been running since 2019.