Geographically, customers in Singapore (63%) and the US (49%) were happiest for insurers to use social media and internet of things (IoT) data, while those in the UK (36%) were least open to the concept, according to research by MuleSoft, provider of a platform for building application networks. In between were customers from Australia (42%), Germany (41%) and the Netherlands (38%).
Almost half (44%) of insurance customers around the world are happy for insurers to use data from social media companies and health monitoring applications in return for cheaper premiums.
In its report entitled Consumer Connectivity Insights 2018, Mulesoft states that 62% of 18-34 year olds globally stated that they would be happy for their insurance provider to utilise third party data from the likes of Facebook and collect data about their behaviour if it meant they were provided with a more personalised service and lower premiums.
The older generations (35- 54 years old – 45%, 55+ years old -- 27%) had more reservations regarding the sharing of personal data, but it is clear consumer demand is there.
If such data is made readily available by third-parties to insurance providers, the industry should work with regulators to ensure they put processes in place to enable customers to indicate whether they want these additional data sources to be used to calculate a more personalised premium.
Improvements to processes needed
The report also says that insurance providers could do a lot more to improve their existing processes (from start to finish) to make them more efficient and customer centric. Nearly half (46%) of consumers believe that applying for an insurance policy should take no longer than an hour, and 56% said renewing an insurance policy should not take no more than an hour either. Overall, a number of consumers stated that they had to re-submit or restate previously provided information, highlighting that inefficiency remains in the insurance sector.
It was also found that 30% have given up on interacting with an insurance company because the information sharing process was too difficult.
The total sample size for the survey was 8,019 adults: UK (2,004 adults), US (2,002 adults), Germany (1,001 adults), Netherlands (1,002 adults), Australia (1,010 adults) and Singapore (1,000 adults). Fieldwork was undertaken online between 3-9 April 2018.