Hear from the experts - Customer Engagement

Jenny McGivern (Propositions Manager) and Matt Usher (Change Delivery Manager), give their take on transforming customer communication on protection policies from dull and uninspiring annual statements into timely, flexible communications based on customer actual life events

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the way we are working. For many, face to face meetings are a thing of the past and this in turn places more emphasis on comprehensive, efficient, digital processes. The methods that have become engrained during the pandemic are likely to stick going forward, with the digital provision of existing customer details by insurers becoming an integral part of the client/adviser relationship.

On top of the typical life events most likely to trigger a protection conversation; marriage, a new home, first born baby, the Covid-19 crisis is now also being recognised as a prompt for people to consider protection.  

We have looked at key life events during a typical protection policy lifecycle that allow customer communication to go beyond product or regulatory communications, enabling a client/adviser relationship to be built and maintained.

In 2020, the average age of an Aviva customer purchasing a decreasing term policy (DT with and without CI included) was 35 years of age.  Our customers are therefore likely to experience one or more of the following key life events during their policy term

  •  Marriage (average age 32)
  • Having a child (average age for first child - mother 29,  father 33)
  • Purchasing home (average age 34)
  • Moving home
  • Divorce (average age 45)

The period between the ages of 30-45, therefore, represents a particularly critical period for keeping in touch with our customers and ensuring their protection policy continues to meet their needs. Our products are set up to cope with these life changes through benefits & options like the separation option or the moving house option but the difficulty lies with identifying the event when it happens to ensure timely changes are made.

Annual statements are a common way for protection providers to keep clients up to date with their cover and the benefit it provides.  Although the frequency and content differ markedly between insurers.  Though the provision of some information is often better than none, perhaps this method is best consigned to savings and investment contracts where the need for defined regular reviews of holdings is necessary best practice. 

In the case of protection contracts a flexible approach, reacting to customers changing circumstances by providing prompts and information to advisers, giving them the tools and opportunity to make pro-active contact with customers would be a better way for insurers to provide data.  The challenge remains whether insurer systems and processes can cope with this in a truly digital way. But with consumers becoming more aware of their own health and financial wellbeing, it’s crucial we respond to an ever more engaged audience. 

Our Digicare+ proposition which is automatically included with Aviva protection policies, supports customers ongoing interaction with their health and wellbeing and provides a platform for ongoing engagement on this topic.

We are carrying out further research via an adviser survey in the coming months, the results of which will potentially drive key changes in our existing business communication strategy and strengthen our desire to create long lasting customer relationships.

Sources

Aviva MI on average age at purchase of decreasing term policy in 2020 

Key life events, Office for National Statistics