A new study conducted by Guidewire Software found that UK insurance customers’ interest in insurance products that cover pandemic-related losses has dropped – and it might be related to consumers’ negative opinions about the insurance industry.
The study, titled “Love, Hate or Indifference,” compares insurance attitudes this year with last year. It revealed that UK customer interest in insurance for pandemic-triggered loss has waned this year. In particular, it found that there is less potential demand for insurance against job loss (2021, 14%; 2020, 20%), and against sickness (2021, 14%; 2020, 19%).
Guidewire noted that only UK customer interest in insurance for identity theft had slightly increased to 14% in 2021, from 12% in 2020.
The rest of Europe, however, continues to show high demand for pandemic protection insurance, Guidewire said. In a partial study in France, French insurance customers were more interested in sickness protection (37%) and job loss protection (31%). Meanwhile, German customers were even more likely to say that the pandemic would make them consider insurance products such as sickness protection (43%), job loss (37%), online identity theft (20%), and payment protection (25%).
Negative opinions on the lack of insurer support during the pandemic may be the reason why UK customers’ interest in pandemic protection insurance dropped this year, Guidewire suggested. About 26% of UK customers in 2021 do not think that the industry did enough to help people in need. By comparison, 17% said the same thing last year, when the pandemic was in its early stages.
“Like their customers, insurers have experienced a tough journey during the pandemic. This reaffirms how important it is for insurers to get closer to their customers, and build on relationships that have been put under heavy pressure,” said Guidewire Software EMEA managing director Keith Stonell. “The opportunities to remedy indifference, even negativity among customers, are very achievable; and the development of truly useful alert services, more personalised consolidated products, and usage-based policies offers insurers a proven path to engaging with their customers more effectively and sustainably.”