Digital and social media channels are influencing insurance buying

Digital and social media channels influence 40% of insurance shopping decisions during the consideration phase, according to a McKinsey study of the motor insurance industry in the US.

The analyst’s research found that the internet is now the predominant research channel for insurance shoppers, even when the purchase is made through an agent or by phone - 60% of those who do purchase through an agent had already garnered quotes online.

The report claimed digital media can make an impact at every point on the customer journey with customers being exposed to brands through digital advocacy initiatives, advertising and feedback, as well as through online forums.

“Consumers are increasingly using multiple channels on the way to their decision,” the report said.

“They may conduct research online, contact a carrier’s call centre to ask questions or reach out to their local agent. In fact, consumers are using multiple channels on the same step of their shopping journey.

“McKinsey research reveals that more than 80% of insurance customers began their shopping process using direct channels (Internet and call centre), compared to 10% in 1998. Perhaps more tellingly, online is increasingly the initial channel of choice even among customers who value the agent relationship.”