VERTONE Blog – How to develop responsible marketing in Insurance?

VERTONE Blog – How to develop responsible marketing in Insurance?


A study conducted by VERTONE in 2019 among 80 business leaders from different sectors shows that 1 in 2 managers in the insurance sector consider themselves to be fully concerned about the societal impacts. However, this same study shows that insurance players are, on average, engaged in an approach that is often less proactive and less customer-oriented than those in other sectors. VERTONE gives you the keys to responsible marketing and a positive impact approach in Insurance.

If insurers seem to have an overall less proactive stance than in other sectors in terms of business with a positive impact, this global observation should not obscure the remarkable steps taken by certain players. For example MAIF and insurtech Wakam both have the status of a company with a mission and are increasing the number of initiatives in response to social and environmental issues.

From our point of view, Responsible Insurance Marketing must respond to a double challenge:

  • Develop responsible value propositions, in line with customer expectations, social issues as well as the insurer’s profitability objectives
  • Give meaning, educate and provide transparency for a “more responsible consumption” of the insurance product with customers thanks to adapted marketing and relational approaches.

Challenge # 1 – Develop responsible value propositions, in line both with customer expectations, societal challenges and economic profitability objectives

Develop the positive impact of the insurer through its product and service offers

The responsible insurer must support major changes in society and the environment by logically anticipating the risks associated with them and also by contributing positively to them.

This could materialize by defining an associated strategy which must provide answers to 3 key questions:

  • What are the transformations of society and the environment that the Insurer must / wants to support?
  • What kind of support does the insurer want to develop? Does he wish “only” to anticipate the transformations and the associated risks in order to propose adapted solutions? Does he wish to become more involved by accompanying and facilitating some of these transformations? Or does it want to go even further by initiating a movement with a positive impact, for example with offers resolutely dedicated to these issues?
  • What level of involvement of its customers does the insurer wish to generate in view of these transformations?

By way of example, we will cite the case of the insurer Wakam who chose to make specific commitments in terms of an inclusive offer by communicating on its ambitions at the end of 2023 : “Ensure that our range of inclusive insurance products represents 5% of our turnover by extending it to another country and by offering 2 new guarantees per year”. The example of Cooperative Credit in terms of inclusion is also interesting, which through its solidarity bank card involves its customers to commit themselves: “at each withdrawal with the card, a donation is made to an association chosen by the customer” . MAIF also through its responsible and united PER has made the same choice of involving its clients: “The 100% SRI PER aims to offer the possibility of preparing for retirement while financing the development of companies that act for employment and professional integration, as well as for the environment and ecological transition ”.

It is important to note that the examples cited do not cover the entire strategy of the insurer and that it must be readable through all the actions taken, which must reflect a strategic and differentiating positioning on the market.

Develop and democratize prevention services

If prevention is a natural part of the role of the insurer in the perimeter of the risks borne by its activity, its strengthening seems essential to us in a logic of “triple win”: winning for the insurer, for the insured and for society. . These same preventive actions will also allow the insurer to “warm up” a customer relationship that is by nature sparse and often complex, as we explained during a review. previous article on Loyalty in insurance.

Insurers have fully understood this winning trifecta and are developing actions or even prevention programs. We can cite for example the Generali France Vitality Program offered to employees of companies insured in health / collective provident with the insurer. It aims to develop responsible behavior in health, while strengthening the image of the employer among its employees and the attachment to the brand of the company vis-à-vis the insurer. More modestly, Groupama Loire Valley alerts its policyholders by SMS in advance of climatic hazards: “Thunderstorm in your town. Prepare, get safe, limit your movements. Protect your electrical devices. Groupama PVL ”.

In the light of the actions taken in terms of development of positive product and service offers and in particular in terms of prevention, the insurer will be able to assess the overall impact level of its range of offers to make it an element of communication. external if necessary and / or at least one additional criterion to make it evolve or decide on the investments to be made to modernize it.

Issue # 2 – Give meaning, education and transparency, through marketing and relational approaches

Insurance is in essence an impact activity, based on the principle of pooling allowing each individual to cover themselves at an affordable rate in the face of risks that they could not assume on their own. However, the sector seems to benefit little from the positive image of this impact. Indeed, according to an IPSOS study carried out for the FFA in 2017, 1 in 2 French people say they are suspicious of their insurer. And the criticisms of insufficient actions taken by the sector in the context of Covid-19 have only reinforced this not very positive image.

To curb this paradox, it is necessary for insurers to develop relational approaches to their customers and prospects throughout the life cycle and across all points of contact aimed at:

  • Give meaning and promote the activity of the insurer : raise awareness of the need to be covered according to the reality of the risks, and promote what the customer’s contribution is used for in its collective dimension
  • To be a teacher on the business of the insurer, on the financial model and the redistribution of value: “why can’t I always be 100% covered as a client? “
  • Be transparent, popularize the conditions and clauses of the contracts, give examples, ensure the client’s understanding

This is the meaning of the steps taken by certain insurers, to like the insurance start-up Luko which is aimed at customers in clear language, with concrete advice on the options to subscribe. For example, she advises on home insurance: “The electrical damage guarantee often offered as an option in home insurance to” protect “you from lightning damage is often useless in apartments because most buildings are equipped with a surge arrester” . L‘UNOCAM issues a brochure for health insurers and their policyholders, “6 keys to better understanding and choosing the right complementary health”, aimed at simplifying the understanding of health guarantees by illustrating practical cases for the customer. For example: “Marie consults her general practitioner in sector 1 (without exceeding fees) and pays 25 € in fees. What does the Compulsory Regime cover? What remains to be paid for without complementary health insurance? What does his complementary health cover with the 30% of the user fee? What is his final charge…? ”

This also involves proactive and personalized approaches according to the customer’s life stages. Thus, when requesting hospital care, an insurer can proactively communicate to the customer on the assistance services opened by his insurance contract.

While these examples are very concrete, they should not mask the extent of the work that remains to be carried out by insurers in this area to regain the confidence of policyholders!

Responsible Insurance Marketing aims first and foremost to give meaning, educate and provide transparency to policyholders for a more conscious and responsible consumption of the insurance product. While this condition is necessary, it is not sufficient with regard to the criticality of the societal challenges we have to face. Insurers have a major role to play within society and the economy, to develop a more committed and innovative approach to developing an offer of impactful products and services.

An article written by Florence Hirondel and Fabienne Goarzin



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