IDC released its market forecast for online sales of personal property and casualty insurance today, predicting the Internet will influence 37% of all premiums purchased in 2004. These findings indicate that despite the low volumes of insurance being purchased directly online today, the Internet is already significantly influencing how consumers shop and buy insurance.
“The recent passage of the electronic signatures bill is expected to stimulate demand for instant coverage as an increasing number of insurance websites enable consumers to apply and be approved for insurance coverage instantly over the Internet,” said Jennifer Blackmore, senior research analyst for IDC’s eInsurance program. “The reason consumers like to shop on the Internet is because it offers a more robust shopping experience than that offered offline. Consumers can educate themselves on different policies at their convenience, and when ready to explore a purchase, can receive multiple quotes upon completing one application.”
Access to online insurance has significant implications for traditional insurance carriers. Carriers need to address how online technologies can work with their traditional agent sales forces; carriers must also consider how to co-exist, and leverage, online insurance intermediaries. How carriers address these challenges will help determine whether they will fully participate in online insurance opportunities, or become disintermediated by other consumer- facing companies.
IDC recently published Personal Property and Casualty Insurance Online Premium Volume Forecast and Analysis. This bulletin forecasts the dollar value of personal P&C insurance premiums that are shopped for and purchased on the Web. This bulletin also outlines strategic initiatives insurance carriers will need to adopt to be competitively positioned in the rapidly growing online insurance market. To purchase the report, please contact Demetra Georgakopoulos at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4496 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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