Saturday 27 January 2007
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Britons likely to shop around for insurance


By Caroline Muspratt
Last Updated: 1:30am GMT 24/01/2007

British people are more likely to shop around for their car or home insurance and are more likely to buy their policies online, according to a report from consultancy Capgemini.

It said that UK consumers are increasingly seeing insurance as a commodity to be purchased at the lowest price. Some 46pc of British consumers are buying general insurance products online, compared to a global average of 24pc.

In addition, 63pc have changed their insurance provider in the past five years, compared to an average of 39pc worldwide.

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Capgemini's World Insurance Report found that customer satisfaction does not necessarily equal customer loyalty, and said that insurers need to do more to retain their business.

Bertrand Lavayssière, managing director, Capgemini Global Financial Services, said: "Rising internet use is increasing transparency in the industry, providing customers with better access to information on product specifications and pricing - and increased bargaining power. As a result, customers have become more self sufficient, price-sensitive and less loyal."

Customers rarely have direct interaction with their insurers, unlike their banks. The study found that 71pc of customers have contact no more than once a year with their main insurer, compared to 200 separate interactions with their banks.

Malcolm Harrington, head of insurance consulting at Capgemini UK, said: "Customer satisfaction, while incredibly important, is no guarantee of customer loyalty."

He said insurers needed a "a degree of intimacy with the customer" as well as looking carefully at their products and pricing.

French customers place more emphasis on service with 15pc rating good service as a key purchasing criteria, compared to 9pc globally, the report found.

Italian customers meet with their insurers more frequently than those in any of the other countries surveyed, Capgemini said.

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