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Consumers don’t want to be forced to a mode of distribution, says EY


Andrea Lubeck

4 July 2017 07:00

Michel Bergeron | Photo : Réjean Meloche

Consumers want to benefit from a multi-channel distribution method, said Michel Bergeron, associate, services to financial institutions in EY, during the Day of the insurance of damages 2017.

«Consumers don’t necessarily want to make 100 % of their transactions online. It is necessary to broaden the concept of Internet sales that we is more familiar to multi-channel distribution. The consumer does not want to see force to use in life a single way to trade in the insurance industry «, he explained.

Mr. Bergeron defines the distribution channel by a wide range of ways with which a customer may conduct a transaction. «If a client wants to talk to someone, he wants to be able to do it. If he wants to meet someone, he also wants to be able to do it. It is the same thing if he wants to make a transaction online or by phone. «

A survey of EY cited by Mr. Bergeron revealed that 82% of customers were important or very important to have a human contact during the sales process. As important as that percentage is, it will probably vary in time and depending on the product, nuance Mr. Bergeron, highlighting the importance of the council and of the human contact remains, but that it should not be assumed that the sale of insurance by Internet will not happen.

In addition, a report by the CIRANO indicates that 45 % of the respondents are reluctant to share information related to their health with an insurer. This figure increases to 47.6 percent when it comes to information related to the security and home automation to their home, and to 52.8 % when it is a question of their trips and driving behaviour. In addition, 49.3 per cent would not agree to share confidential information for their insurance needs via the Internet.

The other hand, Mr. Bergeron mentioned that the rise of the use of the smart phone in the banking operations is an indicator of the need to adapt insurance products to ensure that consumers are able to access the same via mobile. «We now see more and more customers who find that doing their banking by computer is a process that is archaic, that they are moving away from the benefit of mobile applications. «

The brokers feel threatened

In another survey of EY, conducted with 500 dealers, the results show that they are concerned that the change of market, is moving to Internet sales, is the factor that pose the greatest threat to their growth. However, the dealers interviewed were also identified as a challenge to the growth of the clerical tasks, the efforts that must be deployed to gain information on their customers and the investment required to have good analytical tools to offer customized products.

«People say that the Internet and technology present a challenge for their business. At the same time, they are tools that help reduce time spent on paperwork and can reduce the investment, » said Mr. Bergeron.

In the end, Mr. Bergeron suggested that brokers are adopting multi-channel distribution. «There is a reality that is multi-channel. The question now is how to take his place «, he concluded.

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