Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

Changes in the way Australian consumers are researching and selecting home insurance providers

Home Insurance

Author: Suzy Coulson

Competition within the home insurance market is heating up. While most Australian home owners are seeing a slowdown in the rise of home insurance premiums, the big insurance companies are beginning to feel the pressure to bow down to the rates offered by their smaller competitors, or risk losing customers.

Throughout 2014, Global Reviews ran four Digital Marketing Effectiveness studies to follow the research journeys of consumers currently in-market for home insurance and analyse how they go about creating a consideration shortlist of preferred providers. In comparing the results from across the year, it is evident that the way consumers research and select home insurance providers is changing.

One area that saw quite a shift in results as the year progressed was within the reasons for putting a brand on the consideration shortlist. Whilst brand familiarity and trust remain consistently important when selecting a provider, previous use dropped dramatically in recent months. In April 47% of consumers considered brands because of previous use, but this has since dropped to 35% in both the July and November studies. Instead, price and website usability have started to become more common reasons for considering a home insurance provider.

Researching home insurance

So if brand loyalty is no longer such an influence and price and website usability is becoming increasingly important, how does this impact the home insurance industry and which brands are being considered?

Insurance giants AAMI, Allianz and NRMA have each remained fairly steady across the year with the number of people shortlisting them showing no change from February 2014 to November 2014. However, their competition is drawing closer. As the importance of price and website usability has increased, so has the number of people shortlisting Budget Direct, RACQ, Real Insurance and Youi – averaging a 7% increase between February and November. While GIO and NRMA were previously the third and fourth most shortlisted brands respectively, they have now been overtaken by Budget Direct and Youi.

The question for the bigger insurance companies is, do they try and match the pricing of their smaller counterparts and risk revenue loss, or do they stick to what they’re doing and risk losing customers?

Website usability is clearly becoming increasingly important to consumers, and with 16% (n=419) stating that they would leave the website and go to another provider if they encountered problems it is vital that providers are meeting the customer’s expectations and not losing out to the competition unnecessarily. So where price cannot be met, home insurance providers need to at least ensure that their websites are working in their favour.

To find out more about which providers are getting shortlisted and who’s offering the best website experience, please contact:

Darren Watson
Commercial Director
T: +61 3 9982 3412
E: darren.watson@globalreviews.com

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