General Insurance Article - Google poses greatest threat to traditional home insurers

The accelerated rise of digitalization since the pandemic and increased use of smart home devices means that technology companies and outside players pose a threat to insurers in the UK by utilizing their skills in digitalization and strong brand recognition to attract customers. Research conducted by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, suggests that Google poses the greatest threat to UK insurers.

 GlobalData’s 2022 UK Insurance Consumer Survey found that over a quarter of UK consumers would be prepared to purchase home insurance from Google, were it to enter the market. Energy suppliers and Amazon also scored well.

 Ben Carey-Evans, Senior Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Amazon will be a particular concern for insurers as it has been rumored to be on the verge of entering the insurance industry for many years now. Facebook, on the other hand, is unlikely to be as successful as a result of negative press stories in recent years. Consumers are also unlikely to view WhatsApp as a viable provider of such a serious product.”
 Google, Amazon and any energy supplier, offer the biggest threat to traditional insurers. Google and Amazon specifically, have huge brand recognition and reputations for digital capabilities and fast customer service. They already have strong tie ins to many homes across the UK, with Google Home and Amazon Echo, respectively. Energy suppliers also have a presence within UK insurance, with British Gas being the leading supplier of home emergency insurance (for standalone products) in the UK.

 Carey-Evans adds: “In reality, it looks like these players will look to come in as partners for insurers and offer the technology to aid products. However, GlobalData found that if these companies did decide to offer end-to-end household products, a significant proportion of consumers would view them as viable providers, so the threat to incumbent insurers is there.”

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