Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

How one Health Insurer took away the inherited customers of a competitor

Imagine you are looking for new private health insurance and start researching your options to find the best provider. You’re going to do some research across the internet, define a shortlist of insurance companies to eventually select the one that best meets your needs. Did you ever wonder what aspects of a website make your research either pleasant and quick or frustrating and unsuccessful – and ultimately influence your final choice?

Here at Global Reviews we didn’t just wonder, we found the answers. Our recent in-market study of Irish Health Insurance providers shows each provider has a different approach, and that some companies are much better at keeping prospect clients interested than others.

For example, Irish Life loses up to 71% of potential customers, while at Vhi only 29% of initially interested consumers ended up choosing a competitor. Despite the merger of Aviva and Glo Health into Irish Life Health the new brand is experiencing high lost opportunities rather than the capitalisation of their inheritance as one would have expected. Looking at these numbers, you can already guess who took that market share: Vhi. Let’s take a look at the different approaches.

Comparing the different providers with our unique research programme Fruition, we found out what businesses are doing well according to 200 potential customers and where the opportunities lie. Fruition helps to clarify the data we have gathered, calculating the lost opportunities brands are experiencing and identifying what problems are impacting conversions. Through thorough research, we were able to reveal what the main reasons are for consumers for choosing Health Insurance.

Health1Our study found that, after brand relationship, how products are promoted is key to deciding a final provider. The top 3 reasons for choosing a brand as a final preference are:

  • Good policy options (37%)
  • Best policies/ offers for my needs (36%)
  • I have used them before (35%)

Besides that, information that is easy to understand is the most important web element for health insurance sites. Vhi make it easier than other providers for consumers to find and understand their options. When it comes to web elements, we see Vhi scores above the average. Respondents said they chose their final preference because:

  • plans were easy to understand (average: 26%/ Vhi: 30%)
  • website is easy to understand and use (average: 23%/ Vhi: 24%)
  • easy to find rates and charges (average: 15%, Vhi 17%)

So how do they do it?

Vhi manage to identify a customer’s needs when providing a quote. They offer a quote tool that determines one’s needs and matches a plan to suit the person best. The tool asks about the type of cover, age and important requirements such as physiotherapy, preferred hospital cover and type of rooms. Rather than having to guess what might be included in a particular level of cover, visitors are provided with this information. Consumers who preferred Vhi also found it easier to compare different types of cover when matching their needs.


CES (Customer Effect Scores): How much effort did this website make you put in to complete the task required? (The closer to 0 the better) JTE (Judging The Experience): This website makes it easy to help me research options and decide to purchase health insurance with this provider (the higher the score the better)

It is evident that consumers find it easy to match a product to their needs through comparison tables. However, not every comparison table is necessarily great. There has to be specific information, features and functions available to make the comparison table a good one. Learned from best practice there is knowledge available to which of these features and functions are essential when implementing a comparison table to the customer journey:

  1. Make it easy to find. Consumers will search for a product comparison on your website, ranking ‘making the comparison page easy to find’ as one of the top 10 most important elements when looking for a product or service.
  2. Make it easy to read without leaving out important information. Information which is hard to read and understand can be a big reason for consumers to end their journey on your website. Therefore, answering all the possible questions that consumers may ask is important to keep visitors on your website.
  3. Have specific details and functions available. Let consumers know what the product/service can be used for, who is eligible, what they will get from the product/service
  4. Make the table simple and easy to understand. In the table, price points should be displayed along with content to clearly explain that the price is an estimate only where applicable. This demonstrates transparency which in turn helps gaining the trust of the customer.

To find out more about our Health Insurance study or how Fruition could help your business, contact our Commercial Director Hannah-Rose Farrington.

Global Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of FRUITION research, please contact: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043




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