According to new figures from The Exeter, the protection and health insurer, 99% of customers said that the quality of a product was important to them when purchasing insurance. This was closely followed by affordability, with 98% of people saying this was important when choosing cover.
Just as critical to customers was choosing a provider that offers good customer service and has a strong track record for paying claims. 98% of respondents thought these were important, compared to 91% who stated the inclusion of additional benefits as important.
Although UK adults have a strong shared notion of what counts as an attractive insurance product, around half (48%) do not have insurance such as income protection, health insurance, life insurance or cash plans. The low uptake of these forms of cover across the population indicates that the insurance sector still has substantial room to grow, but only if consumer needs over quality, affordability and service are addressed.
Diversity and inclusion a growing consideration
The Exeter’s findings also show that diversity and inclusion is a growing consideration for insurance customers. 84% of adults consider it important for an insurer to incorporate clear diversity and inclusion values in day-to-day business. Over a quarter (27%) of respondents reported that this was ‘very important’ to them, increasing to a third (33%) among those aged 18-24. If insurers are keen to attract a younger customer demographic a commitment to diverse and inclusive business must become a key priority.
Consumer confidence is high, but some fears still need to be put to rest
Over 75% of UK adults are confident that an insurance company will pay a claim for income protection, health insurance, or life cover. However, just one in five (21%) were ‘very confident’ that this would be the case, demonstrating the need for greater education from the industry to reassure policyholders and potential customers.
Isobel Langton, Chief Executive at The Exeter, comments:
“The findings from our research are clear: insurers must continue to work hard to ensure quality is not sacrificed for affordability. Finding the right balance is key. High-quality products, excellent customer service and a commitment to being a diverse and inclusive business are not optional extras. They are now key considerations that consumers rightfully expect of any insurance provider.
As a mutual insurer, delivering the best possible outcomes for our members is central to everything we do. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be even better than we currently are, and the new insights unlocked by our research give us further food for thought.
We are committed to making insurance more accessible to more people, building trust in our industry, and ensuring we exceed the expectations of our members, both now and in the future.”
Charlotte Nixon, Proposition Director – Mortgages and Protection at Quilter Financial Planning, comments:
“When talking to clients, affordability and product quality are two themes that come up time and time again, and this research should help to drive this point home across the protection industry.
It is positive to see that, overall, clients are confident in trusting an insurance company to pay a claim, reinforcing the value of these safety nets for both clients that have taken out a policy and those who are considering it. We need the sector to continue to provide the data, educational resources, and support for advisers so they can make these important conversations with clients as productive as possible.”
Notes to Editors
All figures are sourced from The Exeter’s Challenging Times: The Health and Financial Fears of UK Workers, a report that surveyed 2,000 employed and 2,000 self-employed adults to understand their health and financial fears during a time of record NHS waiting times and increased living costs.
Tom Stewart-Walvin, Rostrum
D: +44 (0) 7855 689 302
About The Exeter
The Exeter is a leading protection and healthcare insurer who have been supporting UK families in the event of ill health or injury since 1888.
Formerly known as the Exeter Friendly Society and Pioneer Friendly Society, The Exeter is a mutual friendly society. This means it is owned by members and run for their benefit, rather than shareholders.