Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

What drives different age groups to choose one home insurance provider over another online?

Author: Marie Sheehan
In Q4 2014 Global Reviews conducted a Digital Sales Effectiveness* study utilising our unique four dimensional methodology to audit how easily customers can buy home insurance online.

As part of our research, we asked ‘in market’ consumers (consumers looking to take out a home insurance policy within the next 90 days) to rate the important factors of a website when deciding on new home insurance policy with an insurance provider.

Easy to understand information more important than comparison
Insurance is an area where many consumers struggle with technical language and complex product options. So it’s not surprising that the most important element for customers when looking for home insurance online, is that information is easy to understand (73%).

The importance of accessible information and transparency continues with 66% stating that an easy to navigate website is the second most important element.

Furthermore, as “information should be detailed and complete” ranks third, it becomes more evident that detailed clear information, transparency and accessibility is key while elements such as the ability to compare options are of lesser importance.

It is important to note that the methodology behind this benchmark is designed so that factors such as price, T&Cs and brand preference do not influence scores. Essentially, we are asking the question: “If all things are equal, which home insurance company is providing consumers with the very best online experience?”


Generation Y want different things
As part of our analysis we segmented the sample into three different age groups:
18 – 35
36 – 55
56 +

Fig 1: Age differences driving preferences Source: Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study 2014

Fig 1: Age differences driving preferences
Source: Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study 2014

In general those in the 18 to 35 age group are more demanding and are more likely to want:
– tools that assist them in understanding which home insurance cover that is right for them
– the ability to view and manage their account online
– general information about home insurance
– customer ratings and reviews

Insurance providers need to work harder to acquire first time customers
This group “Generation Y” is the future and the acquisition territory for most insurance providers. They are more demanding and expect more which gives a good indication of where the industry needs to be playing in order to attract these younger customers.

It’s probably safe to assume that the majority of customers in the 18-35 age group are buying their first house and looking to take out home insurance for the first time. The insurers that are seen to be working harder for them are more likely to succeed in acquiring their entry level business.

Older customers still want easy to understand information
You might imagine that consumers over the age of 36 have bought home insurance many times and are more familiar with the language and insurance options. While that may indeed be the case, age and experience doesn’t necessarily translate into a lower propensity to want information that is easy to understand, in fact it is quite the opposite.

Older consumers want easy to understand information and the ability to save a quote when they are researching options. To optimise online conversion for this segment, insurance providers need to implement UX best practice to provide simple attractive design which is utterly utilitarian in nature.

Research calendar
The next Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study will be fielded in February 2015. If you would like to know more, please contact us

International best practice
To find out more about what best practice looks like and those who are achieving it, view our webinar recorded on January 27th: Digital Sales Effectiveness of UK Home Insurance providers.

Digital Sales Effectiveness of UK Home Insurance providers


* The Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) programme focuses on the Consider and Act stages of the online purchase journey.

DSE circles

Through a proprietary, task based methodology; we invite ‘In market’ consumers to visit and experience the customer journey on your site.

We also measure the performance of your competitors’ sites in a similar fashion with a separate group of ‘In market’ consumers. This enables us to benchmark the performance of your brand within the marketplace and against the competitive landscape. We can tell you why some customers abandon the purchase journey on your website and complete purchase with a competitor.

We can provide you with a totally unique insight into how ‘In market’ consumers research and make decisions about your brand, your products and your competitors online and will help you to answer the following strategic digital sales questions:

1. Is your online sales journey more effective at converting prospective leads than your competitors?
2. Where do you need to focus resources to maximise online sales and customer experience?
3. Does your website meet best practice customer experience design for that product purchase journey?
4. How much effort is it to buy from you online?


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