Industry "laziness" is blamed for the customers failing to understand the value of an insurance product, said Hiscox chief executive Bronek Masojada.
Masojada was responding to a MORI poll which found that 53% of personal lines customers' primary influence when choosing a policy was premium.
He said the industry must communicate the value of its products. But laziness meant that it did not do so.
Masojada said: "Brokers and insurers don't read their policies. It is too much effort to read and explain the fine details [which may demonstrate the value] to the client. It is easier to focus on price not the quality of cover."
He said the solution was that individual companies must attract and retain the best people to better promote the merits of the products.
Biba chief executive Mike Williams said: "The industry has to find a way of de-commoditising personal lines insurance and better understand broker relationships."
J Sainsbury's insurance and risk management head Paul Howard said the consumer "does not have a successful relationship" with a commoditised product.
"There are more standard wordings than bespoke wordings in today's policies," said Howard.