Consumer interaction with insurers has changed over the last two years

British consumers are fundamentally changing the way they deal with insurers, according to a new report.

The study, carried out by BT and Avaya, found that consumers are now using an average of 6.2 channels to contact insurance companies. These channels include telephone, face-to-face and postal interactions but the report claimed strong growth had come from digital channels such as mobile applications, web chat tools and video calls.

In the last two years mobile app interactions have risen from 7% of consumers in 2012 to 23% in 2014, while webchats have increased from 1% to 11%. Social media interactions have also grown 3% to 8%.

The report claimed that in the two years since the last study was conducted, the number of ways consumers can contacted insurance companies had increased 44%.

Tom Regent, president for financial markets at BT Global Services, said: “The research shows that people have a huge appetite for new technologies that make companies easy to do business with but still want the human touch of traditional service.

“Successful financial services companies will be those that strike the right balance between automation and human interaction — whether that interaction takes place face-to-face or is delivered over the phone, video or web-chat.”