Insurance Marketing Trends 2016: How’d we do?

October 7, 2016
5 min read

In early 2016, Mintel Comperemedia released a series of marketing trends across key industries, including insurance. The five Insurance Marketing Trends we identified for the industry were:

  • All-in-one or A-la-carte?: The debate of bundled or a-la-carte insurance will intensify as consumers demand personalized insurance solutions
  • The Google Effect: Outside influencers are changing the way insurance will be purchased and consumed.
  • Interact with Me: The promise of protection is no longer enough to engage customers that now desire interactive, experiential benefits for all goods and services.
  • Insure my Privacy: With concerns about data security top of mind, opportunities abound to provide solutions that protect and build trust with consumers.
  • Consolidate or Diversify: Tried-and-true carriers merge while technology innovators create new disruptors.

Now, as we prepare to release our trend predictions for 2017, let’s see how we did in 2016:

All-in-one or A-la-carte?

For an industry that has long focused efforts on bundled discounts to promote loyalty, the idea of an all-in-one solution is not new. There was some discussion in 2016 around what the future of a bundled solution might mean with the increasing interest in the Internet of Things. Companies like State Farm set themselves up for the insurance customer of tomorrow by introducing patent filings that would aggregate greater amounts of data to serve multiple insurance needs. On the other side of the coin, the a-la-carte idea seemed to capture the attention of venture capitalists and startups aimed to change the discussion around insurance. Companies like Trov and Cuuva made headlines as they raised money and launched ‘on-demand’ insurance solutions, while companies like Metromile continue to market their product as a more flexible alternative.

The Google Effect

Out of the gates, Google made news when they announced an end to Google Compare, the quote comparison website, which was launched under the Google brand in 2015. Other tech brands have been relatively quiet: Amazon hasn’t launched a product or platform and Lemonade, the peer-to-peer startup that first made noise in 2015, only recently went live in September 2016.

Still, this particular marketing trend continues to hold water. Google’s parent company Alphabet continues its investments in Oscar Health and Nest Thermostat (which partners with companies like American Family and Liberty Mutual). Lemonade, which just launched, will be closely monitored as they work to ramp up sales and change the customer’s relationship with insurance. Furthermore, Mintel found in 2016 that 62% of millennials and 56% of Hispanic consumers would consider purchasing insurance from a company such as Amazon or Google, indicating there is considerable consumer interest if these tech brands did decide to launch an insurance product.

Interact with Me

While the conversation around wearables and insurance continues to be dominated by John Hancock, property & casualty insurers have found new ways to emphasize digital technologies and the incentives and rewards they offer. Whether American Family promoting its partnership with Ring, a video doorbell system announced at the end of 2015, or a newly formed partnership between Liberty Mutual and Amazon’s Alexa, insurers are still focused on ways to make both the purchase process and customer experience more interactive.

From a branding perspective, this trend has manifested itself in new taglines focused less on product and more on proposition. Allstate refreshed its tagline for a younger audience with spokespersons such as Tim Gunn, Leslie Jones, and Adam Devine and an emphasis on the extras that are available when you are an Allstate policyholder. State Farm chose to emphasize the breadth of support beyond insurance when it changed taglines to “Help Life Go Right” and marketed banking and loan products alongside standard insurance offerings.

Insure my Privacy

The idea of data protection will continue to be an evolving value proposition in the insurance industry.

While 2015 brought a heightened awareness to data security among consumers, 2016 saw little development of additional identity theft protection beyond the first few months of 2016. Blue Cross Blue Shield companies launched free identity monitoring to all customers at the beginning of the year and Chubb introduced a cyberbullying endorsement in May. Still, with new risks, such as remote hacking of systems powering driverless cars, the idea of data protection will continue to be an evolving value proposition in the insurance industry.

Consolidate or Diversify

The health insurance market felt the greatest impact as mergers sit in limbo and lawsuits capture headlines. Both the Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana transactions have been placed on hold as the Department of Justice filed lawsuits to block the deals. Furthermore, as individual insurers pull back from offering products on the public exchanges, a heightened awareness around lack of competition for individual consumers has taken over much of the discussion around brands consolidating further. UnitedHealthcare, a company that pulled individual products from the exchanges, attempted to reach the consumer segment by introducing a separate brand, Harken Health, to meet individual needs. While interesting, the brand hasn’t expanded as initially expected, a similar hurdle that many smaller, new-to-market insurtech companies have faced.

As we look ahead to 2017, we’re already excited about the key trends that will drive the industry in the coming year. Stay tuned for the release of the Insurance Marketing Trends 2017, coming soon!

Stephanie Roy is the Director of Insights, Insurance at Mintel. She is responsible for providing internal and external stakeholders with insights and analysis on trends in the Life, Health and P&C insurance industries across North America.

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