In todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s increasingly competitive marketplace, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not surprising to hear thatÃ‚ a satisfiedÃ‚ customer is not necessarily a loyal oneÃ‚ when it comes to insurance. How to attract new customers and retain existing ones is an ongoing challenge for this industry, as any other. In their inaugural World Insurance Report, consulting group Capgemini and the European Financial Management & Marketing Association (EFMA), offer insurers tips on how to better meet customer needs. The report throws out some interesting findings. For example, while price is the most important factor overall in choosing an insurance product, the degree of price-sensitivity varies substantially by insurance type and by country. American customers, in particular, also view product and brand/trust as key factors when purchasing insurance. Further, despite customers showing a strong preference for buying insurance via the Internet, the number actually buying online is low.
The potential link between global climate change and extreme weather continues to elicit a wide range of views.Ã‚ But whatever your perspective, it is clear that our industry is becoming involved in green issues in an ever-growing number of ways.Ã‚ From hybrid cars to green building technologies to how to manage corporate exposures to climate change, insurers are increasingly participating in the green debate.Ã‚ For example, Travelers recently said it will offer owners of hybrid cars in California a 10 percent discount on their auto insurance, bringing to 42 the total number of states in which it offers such a discount.Ã‚ Several other companies have introduced similar incentives to hybrid drivers.Ã‚ Meanwhile, FiremanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Fund has introduced a new coverage for green-certified buildings that will offer a discount to building owners due to the lower risk factors.Ã‚ Another education-related green initiative will see broker Marsh offer a program with Yale University from January to teach corporate board members about their fiduciary responsibility to manage exposure to climate change.Ã‚ Released earlier this year, IIIÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s report Ã¢â‚¬Å“Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather: An Exploration of Scientific Uncertainty and the Economics of InsuranceÃ¢â‚¬ by III economists L. James Valverde Jr. and Marcellus M. Andrews examines a range of issues related to global climate change and extreme weather and explores the potential implications for insurers and reinsurers going forward.Ã‚ Expect more III research on green-related industry issues in future.