Insurers must go digital, says EY

By Staff | October 22, 2013 | Last updated on October 22, 2013
2 min read

Insurers are falling behind on delivering digital experiences customers now expect, according to an EY survey.

Read: Canadian companies focused on risk management: EY

“Insurers are being held back,” says Doug McPhie, EY partner and Canadian Insurance Leader. “Internal factors like legacy technology are hindering their digital progress — to the detriment of the consumer and, ultimately, the bottom line.”

In the Americas, 96% of insurers cite legacy technology constraints as a major impediment to growth.

“Insurers potentially have a wealth of data at their fingertips,” adds McPhie. “But without the right analytics, they’re missing a big opportunity to better understand their customer, and improve their experience.”

The survey finds only 1% of insurers currently offer online rewards, discounts, apps or ‘live’ website assistance. They also need to embrace the mobile and social media wave.

Read: P&C insurers must harness new data: EY

“Insurers acknowledge their current low levels of digital maturity, and they know they need to take action,” says McPhie. “They have high digital ambitions, but they’re still failing to communicate at critical times and missing opportunities to engage with their customers.”

The survey shows that the less advanced life sector is currently spending more on its digital strategy than the non-life sector. Seventy-nine percent of non-life companies spend less than 10%; in contrast, 68% of life insurers spend less than 10%. However, life insurers seem less concerned (46%) than non-life companies (60%) that customers will ultimately leave.

McPhie says, for both life and non-life insurers, digital is all about retention through improved customer experience.

“They need to deliver on new customer expectations, or risk being left behind,” he adds.

Read: Canadian insurers will face hurdles in 2013 staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.