Millennials want simple, smart, mobile-enabled insurance

Almost everything we buy is available through our smartphones these days from clothes and furniture to food and cars. There is one notable exception – insurance. When was the last time you bought an insurance policy on your phone?

Insurance of any kind is still primarily sold to us, by agents or brokers, and in a traditional model that doesn’t necessarily suit our lifestyles or give us flexible choice. Why can’t we purchase insurance just for the items we really value and quickly, without any fuss, from an app?


Attitudes to insurance

We wanted to find out more about consumer attitudes to insurance, and recently ran a survey that targeted that most purposeful, educated and influential of generations, millennials. Our 500 respondents, aged between 25 and 39, live in Singapore, but are well travelled both in terms of work and leisure.

What we found is that almost 74% of respondents already own health insurance and just under 73% have life insurance. These are clearly regarded as fundamental. We asked them what items would cause them distress if they were lost, stolen or damaged. Not surprisingly, almost 80% said it would be a smartphone or tablet, while 71% said it would be their laptop. Conversely, only 12% had insurance cover for these items.

Our respondents are not unwilling to purchase insurance for their items, in fact, just under 80% would pay a monthly amount to secure their electrical goods. The same is true for fashion items such as jewellery, luxury watches and luxury handbags. While they would be less distressed to lose them than their smartphones and laptops, they would still be willing to insure these items.

Of the millennials we surveyed, around 45% said that they search for information about purchasing financial products or services through online search engines. Word of mouth recommendations are a preference, but 40% said that online reviews, articles and/or videos informed their purchasing decisions.


Decompartmentalising policies

As expected, most of this young cohort is open to using a mobile app to purchase insurance. When we asked them what the top four most common insurance products they would consider buying through an app are, they said: health, mobile device, life and travel insurance.

Our aim is to help consumers purchase insurance in a more digestible way. Why should a millennial customer with only a few cherished items, have to pay for a standard contents insurance policy that covers everything in their home? So it was interesting to find that after showing our respondents a concept video of our insurance app, they reacted positively to it being convenient, easy to use and user-friendly.

We also asked them to rank the most important attributes that would impact their experience when they were using the app. Pricing advantages was at the top, followed by a hassle-free claims process, and easy to use interface and the responsiveness of the support team.

Millennials regard their smartphones as a gateway to the world, so the results of the survey have confirmed our expectations that they would be happy to select and pay for insurance services through a mobile app, if it is easy and straightforward for them.

This sends a clear message to the insurance sector that it is time for change. As long as policies remain too complex and too rigid to be available through a digital end-to-end solution, the industry is losing a powerful audience amongst millennial buyers. It’s time to decompartmentalise insurance products and welcome a whole new generation of customers.