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Another Sneak Peek at Retention Factors

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After giving a first peek last week, let’s take a look at the switching behavior and some factors that might cause or not cause it. For the past three surveys, we’ve been asking “How often did you switch your insurer in the past two years?” [1] Per country these numbers vary quite a bit, see this selection from the 24 we had in total:



As usual, the U.K. stands out. On the other end, Canada and Belgium look much better, but then numbers >20% aren’t exactly comforting, either. OTOH, those countries on the low end have also seen improvement over the past two surveys, including the U.S., which was over 30%. Must be doing something right.[2]


Why did they switch? In most cases, a mismatch between customer needs and what the carrier provided:


Again, the U.K. is different – it is one of the very few countries where it’s really all about price.[3] Still, even here needs mismatch is a fairly heavy factor. In addition, though, at least for the U.K., one of the answers to the question “why did they switch” might be “because they can”. Last chart for today:



I left out the “neutral” answers (3 or 4 on the 1-6 scale) for a better view at the end points, and just show the five outside countries. The only one where people find it relatively easy to switch is the U.K.. On the other hand, it seems that consumers in India go (or have to go) to great lengths to switch their insurers as often as they do.

Again, anybody care to comment?



[1] Depending on what they had recently bought, we singled out a specific coverage for which they answered most of the questions – including this one –  allowing us to separate out life, motor etc.

[2] I didn’t run a significance test across studies – I’d need to iron out some of the potential confounders first.

[3] This finding is consistent in every international study I did since 2007.

Insurance Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value

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