Auto Insurers Need to Do More to Encourage Mobile App Use

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  • These days, most auto insurance providers, like many major businesses, have likely developed their own smartphone applications that will allow consumers to stay better connected with their companies. However, new research suggests that when it comes to these offerings, few people are even aware that they exist, and as such, it might be wise for insurance agents to highlight the various types of benefits that use of these apps can provide.

    Today, nearly 3 in 5 people with auto insurance say they weren’t even aware that their carrier offered a mobile app that allowed them to better handle their dealings with the company, according to a survey from Deloitte University Press. Interestingly, though, it seems that when consumers are made aware of these types of offerings – which are popular among banks, for example – many stated that they felt it was extremely helpful.

    But the problem is that there seems to be something of a disconnect between awareness and use, the report said. While 63 percent of banking customers say they’ve used mobile banking apps, less than half of those with auto insurance responded in a similar way.

    What can insurers do?
    Even beyond the lack of knowledge or engagement for auto insurance mobile apps, the fact of the matter is that many companies might not be able to help consumers as much as they want through those programs, the report said. While 39 percent of banking customers say that they’ve found their use of those apps to be either important or extremely important, this was true for only 19 percent of insurance customers.

    “[T]his may in part be attributable to the nature of basic banking versus other financial services, with bank customers making inquiries and initiating transactions more regularly,” the researchers wrote. “But the twofold challenge for all financial sectors remains: how to increase the number of mobile interactions with consumers, as well as how to initiate and maintain deeper engagement via mobile devices by offering more sophisticated capabilities.”

    Insurance agents who want to better connect with their customers might want to take the time to show them how the various aspects of their companies’ mobile apps work, and the value they can bring to consumers. By doing so, they may be able to streamline the claims process and other aspects of their jobs, while also promoting greater client satisfaction.