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Insurers let down by their websites

Sixty-eight per cent of consumers prefer to use the web to research life insurance policies, according to a survey by Global Reviews.

Of 1,000 shoppers polled, 11 per cent said they liked to visit a branch while 5 per cent opted for face-to-face advice.

However, when buying a policy, only 20 per cent said they found the internet useful while 41 per cent preferred to visit an IFA.

Sixteen per cent had bought a policy in a branch or over the phone, 9 per cent through a provider’s website and 4 per cent through an aggregator site.

Norwich Union was voted the best consumer website for prospective customers and customer support while Liverpool Victoria was complemented for its range of life products available online.

Director Bertie Stevenson says: “The research found that life insurance customers know what they want and are ready to buy but websites need to catch up. This is more than just providing an application form, it includes explaining the product, matching it to the customer’s needs and only then allowing them to apply.”

He urges insurers to improve their online offering to stand a chance in the market. He says: “The first company that offers a great website has real advantage in the marketplace.”

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