Waves from the mobile app revolution have reached the insurance industry. But adoption of mobile apps is still at a very early stage, showing patchy and inconsistent deployment. This is the main outcome of a global report by Swiss research company MyPrivateBanking which benchmarked a total of more than 100 apps offered by 30 leading insurance companies worldwide.
The overall winner of the app ranking is the French Axa insurance group, who offers a consistently good app portfolio across all insurance sectors. Axa is followed by the Dutch Aegon Group in second place and the British company Aviva in third. The best offering for auto apps comes from two US companies, State Farm followed by Allstate. The number one ranked insurance company for health insurance apps is Humana with Aetna as runner-up, also both US-based. In the life and pension insurance sector the first rank is taken by Aegon Group followed by Swiss Life. (See Top 3 rankings below)
However, the MyPrivateBanking report shows that most insurance companies have not yet grasped the potential of insurance apps. In the rating the auto insurers achieved on average only 59%, health insurers 46% and life insurers just under 55% of the maximum achievable points. This picture becomes even bleaker when taking into consideration the fact that insurers without any customer apps were automatically excluded from the analysis.
The biggest shortcomings MyPrivateBanking Research identified in the app strategies of most insurance companies are:
• Only three out of the 30 analyzed companies cover all three insurance sectors surveyed (auto, health, life & pension). 90% of all apps analyzed are only available in one country.
• The majority of apps don't offer user-friendly features such as a renew policy function, or ones that would improve the claim process. Only about 50% of auto insurance companies provide an “ask for quote” or similar feature. For health and life insurers, the rate is even lower, at about 20%.
• 62% of the insurance apps are only available for iPhone (Apple iOS) despite the fact that Android devices have a higher market share than the iPhone worldwide,
"The insurance industry uses just 20% of the potential of mobile apps to serve clients better and increase market appeal", summarizes Steffen Binder, Research Director of MyPrivateBanking the current status. “A few simple steps are all that it would take for mobile apps to become a core tool for insurance companies to differentiate themselves from their competition."
MyPrivateBanking recommends insurance companies aim for mobile apps that are attractive to existing and as well as potential clients by implementing the following steps:
• Consistent global app strategy: no more scattering of apps that seem to appear randomly in just a few countries. Instead, a consistent approach is required to rollout the best apps across many countries. The apps should be consistent in branding, security and convenience across different markets worldwide.
• Insurance apps, both on a stand-alone basis as well as a company's portfolio of apps, must have a clear strategic focus. For each app, it has to be clear how the app is integrated with other apps and media channels, and how it satisfies the needs of existing and potential new clients.
• Features such as supporting claim submissions, asking for a quote, product and corporate information and any of a variety of advisory functions should be part of every insurance app portfolio.
• Insurance companies should concentrate their efforts and set priorities. This will avoid work duplication, late deliveries and, over time, implementing a lot of mediocre apps instead of a few superior ones.
"Today, we are seeing only the first beginnings of the mobile app revolution", points out Steffen Binder. "The challenge for insurance companies will be to offer, across multiple access channels, a platform that allows clients and others to make claims, get quotes, receive critical information together with advice and be entertained, wherever and whenever they wish. Therefore, personal interaction, telephone, online channels for insurers and mobile media will increasingly merge into a unified service platform."
MyPrivateBanking regards robust insurance apps as a strategic key for this new platform as they will be the dominant interface for the customer at home, in the office or on the move, not to mention their future importance for insurance company agents and staff.
Top 3 Ranked Insurers’ Apps (overall, 30 insurers ranked)
Overall Ranking Insurance Apps
Insurance Apps (max. 100 Points): 1. Axa (61 pts.), 2. Aegon (52 pts.), 3. Aviva (50 pts.)
Auto Insurance Apps (max. 100 Points): 1. State Farm (72 pts.), 2. Allstate (70 pts.), 2. Geico (70 pts.). 2. Vienna Insurance (70 pts.)
Health Insurance Apps (max. 100 Points): 1. Humana (78 pts.), 2. Aetna (62 pts.), 2. Blue Cross (62 pts.)
Life-/Pension Insurance Apps (max. 100 Points): 1. Humana (82 pts.), 2. Aetna (67 pts.), 3. AIA (62 pts.), 2. Aviva (62 pts), 2. Axa (62 pts.)
About the report
The MyPrivateBanking report "Mobile Apps for Insurance 2012" analyzes in detail the strengths and weaknesses of the mobile applications of the 30 largest insurance companies worldwide. Overall, more than 70 insurance apps are analyzed according to 35 criteria and across the business segments of auto, health and life/pensions insurance. For each insurer the user-friendliness of its mobile apps, the quality of the content and functionality as well as the integration of other media is rated.
Insurance Companies Analyzed
Aegon, Aetna, AIA, Allianz, Allstate, Aviva, Axa, Blue Cross (Wellpoint), Bradesco, Coventry Health Care, Crédit Agricole, DKV (MunichRe), Ergo (MunichRe), Geico, Hartford Financial, Humana, ICICI, ING, Insurance Australia Group, Kaiser Permanente, Liberty Mutual, Manulife, NKSJ, Prudential, Standard Life, State Farm, SunLife Financial, Swiss Life, United Health Care, Vienna Insurance Group
About MyPrivateBanking Research
MyPrivateBanking Research (myprivatebankingresearch.com) is an independent research firm. Established in 2009 in Switzerland, we specialize in research and analysis on how financial services firm should develop their websites, social media presences and mobile apps to best serve existing customer and to win new clients. We offer our insights in comprehensive reports as well as customized research, workshops and presentations.