Customers want insurers to deal with them in different ways. Thats the view of Russell Whitehouse, head of risk and compliance at AXA, as he outlined ways in which insurers could drive innovation.
"They want to be able to go online in the middle of the night perhaps and contact their insurers or fill in proposal forms, notify claims whenever a claim occurs and they want different sorts of points of contact," he said.
Speaking at an event about general insurance in London, organised by the Westminster Business Forum, Whitehouse stressed the need for technology to improve relationships with customers.
He said for those who manage their policies on the internet and may encounter difficulties in contacting firms directly for help, insurers should offer new channels that could help them understand customers' needs better.
"So we get real-time interactions with them through things like live chat, but also we can ask for that feedback using products like Feefo, so it's a bit like Trip Advisor for insurers, asking them to tell us what our services are like," he said.
"Building a communication with our customers is really important."
Whitehouse added the growth of price comparison sites make it difficult for insurers to make profit, as people would only focus on the cheapest price. He said firms should explain to customers the value of the products and services they offer rather than just price, and this would open up new opportunities for sales.
However, Whitehouse worried that the regulatory environment could undermine innovation and stated there could be "unintended consequences".
He said: "For example, the constraints around capital stops us from adequately investing in our own business but may also make us decide to invest in one area rather than another to the detriment, perhaps, of innovation."