Insurance brands 'failing' on digital trust signals – study

Insurance brands are some of the financial services sector's poorest performers on markers of digital trust, according to analysis by a UK-based firm

Insurance companies are currently failing against a number of critical online trust markers, the authors of new analysis claim.

UK-based marketing agency Balance, which specialises in the financial services sector, ranked well-known insurance providers against the core contributing factors of Google’s EEAT test: experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trust.

It claims that four in five of the brands are failing Google’s EEAT test, languishing behind other finance-related players like banks, investment firms and consulting companies. Indeed, of all the categories analysed by Balance, only building societies fared more poorly. Price comparison sites generally performed the best.

The findings represent a worrying outcome for the insurance sector, which, amid an increase in competition and a proliferation of technologies like embedded insurance, has generally come to rely on referrals and online traffic.

Results 'troubling’ for insurers, Balance claims

Alex Murphy, Co-Founder and CMO at Balance, explains that the need to meet Google’s EEAT standard coincides with new rules under the Financial Conduct Authority’s Consumer Duty. “While many marketers are looking how to make their businesses perform better in Google, and many compliance teams have a keen eye on [the FCA’s] Consumer Duty, no one else appears to be noticing the gaps between the two,” Murphy claims.

“In this lies a huge opportunity for financial services companies, but more importantly, to join the dots to a better experience for customers. The results we found were troubling, especially with Consumer Duty… and an economic downturn meaning businesses are fighting to survive and correct financial choices are more important than ever for consumers. Financial services need a new way of thinking in order to support their customers.”

The need to transform digitally while remaining compliant is consistent with broader trends right now across the insurance sector. A decline in the popularity of telephone as a means of communication has led to other, more modern technologies emerging as consumers’ favourite customer service channels, as Bdeo’s Julio Pernia Aznar told InsurTech Digital earlier this year.

In particular, SMS and webchat are becoming especially popular. Customers generally want to receive help or advice in the same place that they browse, wherever that might be – and it’s not just younger generations driving this shift, research shows. Over 70% of those aged 55 and over want to process claims through digital platforms, such as video or chat.

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