Insurers and brokers must work more closely together if they wish to retain more customers, a leading consultancy firm has warned.

In a report published this week, CapGemini said insurers needed to understand their customers better if they were to provide the products and services that their customers wanted. Key to this, the company said, was partnering with distributors.

"Because they so rarely have the opportunity to speak to customers, the key for insurers and distributors is to understand each interaction's value with the customer," said Bertrand Lavayssière, managing director, CapGemini Global Financial Services.

Malcolm Harrington, executive consultant at CapGemini, said: "The success in going forward seems to be based around knowing the customer better, insurers and distributors acting in collaboration and more transparent pricing."

Last week, AXA chief executive Peter Hubbard said the insurer's acquisition of Stuart Alexander and Layton Blackham was partly aimed at increasing its understanding of customer relationships.