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Effective customer communication for insurance companies. More essential than ever before in a post-pandemic world

Effective customer communication for insurance companies.  More essential than ever before in a post-pandemic world

At last, there are tentative signs in some countries that the worst days of Covid-19 could be behind us.  Restrictions on personal freedoms are certainly becoming less onerous and people are slowly moving in the general direction of previous norms.

However, the pandemic has brought about changes in consumer experience and expectations that look set to influence the relationships between insurers and their customers fundamentally and permanently in the future.

The level of traditional face-to-face dialogue has plummeted across the industry over the past two years – now largely replaced by remote channels, driven by digital technology.  And almost certainly, this is a major change that is here to stay.

“Professional advice remains critical for customers, but they prefer to access it via convenient 24/7 virtual engagement channels” – Capgemini, Top Trends in Life Insurance, 2021 *

A major factor in this move to direct, instant communication has been the dramatic recent growth in e-commerce resulting from restrictions imposed due to Covid-19.  In general, people have become much more accustomed to shopping online.  And they enjoy buying from brands that use the data they provide to deliver highly targeted, relevant messaging.

This has raised expectations across the board and customers increasingly desire the same kind of interactive, personalised relationship with other companies they buy from – including their insurance companies.

“What’s more, purchasing preferences are shifting as customers prioritize their overall lifestyle needs and are willing to buy coverage efficiently while shopping for other products and services”  –  Capgemini, Top Trends in Life Insurance, 2021 * 

Moreover, a potential new risk to traditional insurers has emerged in the growing willingness of customers to consider buying insurance from brands that lead the field in digital engagement, regardless of their past provenance in the insurance industry.

In fact, The World InsurTech Report 2021 from Capgemini found that at least 50% of customers would be happy to buy insurance from BigTechs, product manufacturers and InsurTechs.

Data is the key

Of course, successful customer communication depends more than anything else on the effective use of customer data.

Insurance companies have always benefited from access to richer customer data than most other industries, thanks to the highly personal nature of the business.  And now, insurance customers are increasingly happy to share valuable additional data – provided they are confident of worthwhile benefits in return.

This is clearly demonstrated by the rapid growth of telematics in the car insurance market – as well as the successful use of wearables, such as fitness bands, to gather personal data from life and health policyholders.

“Approximately 7 out of 10 (69%) consumers would share significant data on their health, exercise and driving habits in exchange for lower prices from their insurers, an increase of 19% from two years ago.” – Accenture Global Insurance Consumer Study, 2021 **

Personalisation makes the difference

The days of little, if any, meaningful dialogue with customers should now be firmly in the past for the leading insurance brands of the future.

Today’s opportunity lies in creating a customer experience that is fully personalised to each individual customer; demonstrating that the insurer understands the customer’s particular circumstances and can respond pro-actively and helpfully in line with that understanding.

Effective customer communication for insurance companies.  More essential than ever before in a post-pandemic world

Successful personalisation makes effective use of the richness in the customer data available to the insurer – reinforcing the benefits of the existing policies held and presenting new product offers that are likely to appeal, based on intelligent analysis.

This approach can also boost customer loyalty and deliver a regular flow of valuable new policy upgrades and cross sales.

“Personalization is especially effective at driving repeat engagement and loyalty over time. Recurring interactions create more data from which brands can design ever-more relevant experiences—creating a flywheel effect that generates strong, long-term customer lifetime value and loyalty.” – McKinsey & Company, 2021 *** 

Builds intermediary loyalty too

Effective customer communication from insurance companies can also support intermediary business, including sales agents:

  • Well targeted offers can produce additional sales income for intermediaries, for little or no additional effort on their part.
  • Intermediaries can also generate additional new business by personally following up on the communication to their customers.
  • The contact itself delivers valuable inbound leads from customers with a current insurance need.
  • Well personalised customer communications from the insurer reinforce the customer value that the intermediary delivers.

At Riverside, we always insist that intermediaries are kept fully “in the loop” on all customer communications and offers from the insurer – and are given the opportunity to exclude any of their own customers from the communication if they so wish.

Effective customer communication to build profitable sales and boost customer loyalty

At Riverside, we fully understand the value of effective, fully personalised insurance customer communication – and how this value can be successfully delivered.

Since 2005, we’ve been working with insurance companies around the globe, producing communication programmes that deliver outstanding results.  Our success is based on a unique approach to customer data analysis which we have painstakingly developed over the years.  In fact, we have now produced customer base analyses for over 130 insurers in 39 countries around the world – involving over 40 million individual policy records in total.

For life companies, our programmes typically:

  • sell additional insurance to 10% – 30% of all customers included.
  • reduce lapse rates by 12%-30% on existing policies held across all customers included, even those not taking up the additional product offer.
  • generate valuable additional income for any intermediaries involved, thereby boosting their loyalty to the insurer.

If you’d like to find out more about how the Riverside approach could work for your insurance business, we’d be delighted to have a conversation with you to tell you more, without any obligation.

To get started, simply contact:


*Capgemini: “Top Trends in Life Insurance”, November 11, 2021

** Accenture: “Global Insurance Consumer Study”, January 20, 2021

*** McKinsey & Company: “The value of getting personalization right – or wrong – is multiplying”, November 12, 2021