New Survey: COVID-19 Has People Rushing to Buy Insurance

Leor Melamedov

The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on people’s personal finances, leading them to cut back ruthlessly on expenses. Yet according to a new survey Lightico conducted in mid-May 2020 of 1,028 American consumers, they are holding on tightly to their insurance policies and not letting go.

But the biggest finding is that a very significant portion of consumers are actively seeking to buy new insurance or expand their existing policies. Insurers who show sensitivity and communicate using customers’ preferred methods can expect to increase their sales during this time.

People impacted by the coronavirus are more likely to seek insurance

Despite tight finances, consumers are prioritizing spending on insurance over anything else, including car and home ownership. They view insurance as absolutely critical, and very few plan on reducing their spend on it.

coronavirus and insurance industry survey shows people want to buy insurance

But one group has shown particular interest in buying insurance: the whopping 17% of consumers who were infected or knew someone who was infected by the virus.

Those directly impacted by the virus are:

  • 2.3x as likely to plan on increasing their spend on property and life insurance
  • 1.8x as likely to increase their spend on healthcare and health insurance

It’s very likely that experiencing or witnessing the debilitating effects of a pandemic first hand makes people more likely to perceive worst-case scenarios not as a distant possibility, but as a very real threat that must be diligently prepared for.

It is also likely that people are extrapolating from this danger to all dangers, paying more attention to things that can go wrong in general: to their health, their house, their car.

And this heightened sensitivity to risk goes hand-in-hand with taking out insurance, which at least promises some protection in case the worst happens.

There is a timeliness to serve new customer needs and issue new policies.

The survey also reveals some very promising news about all consumer groups: 21% of Americans are actively searching for new home or auto insurance, and 19% are looking to add more life insurance-related products. Yet like all silver linings, the opportunity to sell to concerned insurance buyers must be handled the right way.

First, insurers should concentrate on serving both existing and prospective customers with empathy and understanding. This may mean allowing struggling policyholders to defer their insurance payments, or permitting them to pay a reduced rate for a certain period.

Those customers will remember that their insurance provider was there for them during their time of need, and greater loyalty will be a natural byproduct.

Second, insurers should take this time to revisit how they are communicating with their customers. The survey found that customers want their insurers to communicate with them, but they’d prefer it to be through primarily digital channels.

Done right, insurers stand to significantly increase their number of policies at a time when Americans are more risk-averse than ever.

Learn more about the huge opportunity to sell more insurance policies. Read the full story here.

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