SSP poll finds opportunity for brokers who can talk online

Young drivers are more likely than 45-64 year to seek professional advice when buying insurance, according to a poll commissioned by SSP.

The survey of 1,837 car owners found that 23% of the UK’s youngest drivers wanted independent professional advice to be part of their motor insurance offer, compared to a national average of 14%

Drivers aged between 18 and 24 were also more like to contact a broker at the start of their search, with 14% saying they spoke to a broker at the beginning compared to an overall average of 12% and only 7% of 45 to 64 year olds.

However young drivers were far more likely to ask their friends, family and colleagues for advice, with 44% starting their search with people they knew.

And with 18-24 year olds using social media to look for reviews (11%), quotes (10%) and to speak to customer service (17%), SSP said tech-savvy brokers had a chance to give customers support where they wanted it.

Head of data strategy Adrian Coupland said: “It is easy to assume that younger buyers want to get in and out as quickly as possible when it comes to buying insurance, but the reality is more complex. 18-24s are looking for advice from friends and family and that pattern continues in social media where they are the most eager to source quotes and look for recommendations.

Coupland said several of SSP’s customers were looking to improve their customers’ digital experience. “Capturing more information about customer behaviour and preferences means that marketing activities can be targeted seamlessly and effectively,” he said.

Trolley dash

The finding is a glimmer of hope in a poll that showed high street retailers have overtaken brokers in the race for insurance distribution.

Some 48% of consumers said they would look to buy insurance from high street retailers, compared to 39% who said they looked to buy their car insurance through a broker.

Direct insurance remained the most popular channel, with 53% of consumers choosing it as their preferred medium.

A fifth of consumers said they would look to digital brands like Google, Apple and Amazon for their car insurance, with car manufacturers (28%) and telecoms companies (22%) also polling well.

Coupland added: “This greater choice of channels and new products can also be a source of confusion.  Our research gives a clear message. If insurers and brokers want to win the trust of the footloose 18-24 generation they need to provide them with the support and help they crave where they expect it - in mobile apps, social media and online.”