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Accenture Survey Finds Consumers Prefer Agents

Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. and Canadian consumers are planning to renew or purchase insurance products through an agent in the next 12 months,...
June 1, 2011

Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. and Canadian consumers are planning to renew or purchase insurance products through an agent in the next 12 months, according to a survey of 2,500 consumers in both countries by Accenture.

According to the survey, the top criteria for consumers in choosing an insurance provider are speed of problem resolution and the their ability to offer insurance products and services that meet their needs, with 68 percent and 67 percent saying this is very important, respectively.  Competitive prices and price transparency were also near the top of the list at 65 percent and 63 percent, respectively. While the survey found that the use of social media to perform research on insurance products is in its early stages, with 21 percent of respondents using or considering using social media for such purposes, younger respondents again demonstrated much greater interest in this channel.

"In an environment with tighter margins and increased regulatory pressure, it is critical for insurers to know what consumers want and how they want to purchase it," said John DelSanto, global managing director of Accenture's Insurance practice. "We believe that multiple distribution channels will continue to co-exist and insurance carriers should continue to better integrate their channels. Read more about the study here.