Trends in the P&C market are shifting as consumers adapt to a new post-pandemic normal, a faltering economy, and an increase in extreme weather events. There is no shortage of risk; and in the insurance industry, risk represents opportunity. With the right marketing strategy, the changing landscape in the property and casualty market offers a substantial opportunity to grow your insurance brand.
Here are marketing strategies to help you capitalize on seven current market trends:
1. Financial Uncertainty
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many consumers have found their financial lives turned upside down. Employment uncertainty, business model disruptions, and prices are rising everywhere. As inflation drags on and the talk of a severe market correction on the horizon crescendos, consumers are becoming especially price sensitive.
Strategy: Address price sensitivity with marketing messages that offer transparent costs and locked-in rates. Knowing exactly what a policy will cost over the next year or two will help calm consumers’ feelings of uncertainty. Developing insurance packages that include all the necessary coverages in one policy should also resonate with consumers who are concerned about the cost of everything. Comprehensive packages help consumers plan their budgets.
2. Work From Home
Pandemic lockdowns initiated a new stay-at-home lifestyle that continues for many people. Consumers are experiencing a new blend of work and home life, where they spend less time in their vehicles and a lot more time in their homes. Home improvements, including expanded home offices, pools, and other recreational additions, and faster internet connections, are making this lifestyle more comfortable – while increasing emerging risks.
Strategy: Changes to auto policies that reflect the hyper-shortened daily commute could capture the attention of housebound consumers. Products that blend the reduced auto risks with heightened property exposures, including cybersecurity, can help consumers embrace their new normal.
3. Increased Screentime
Many consumers living the new at-home lifestyle increased their screentime, embracing videoconferencing that allowed them to join work meetings while their kids attended virtual school. They could keep up with friends and family across the country or across the street in their fuzzy slippers without leaving the house – not to mention, the internet provided everything from grocery orders to fantasy football. Now, a level of screen exhaustion is setting in with consumers who would prefer more personal interactions, although they still expect the convenience of 24-hour ordering and free next-day shipping (Thanks, Amazon).
Strategy: This is where your insurance brand could demonstrate your flexibility and meet consumers where they are – wherever they are. Online tools that allow them to manage their policies, from home or on the go, are still attractive to many people, as long as the customer experience is stress-free. In addition, your brand could work in some more personal touchpoints for customers who really want to reach out. Providing convenient and personalized customer service could put you ahead of your competition.
4. Life-Changing Decisions
The uncertainty of life in this post-pandemic world increases the stress around decision-making for major milestone events like getting married or buying a house. Consumers struggle to make the big financial decisions they are faced with, and they are looking for trusted partners to guide them through.
Strategy: Step up your content marketing by providing policyholders with the tools and resources they need to support their financial decision-making. You may already be doing this in some general ways, but consumers are looking for the deep dive on topics that will help improve their financial literacy. Calculators that help consumers quantify risks and make it easier to compare rates are good ways to differentiate your insurance brand in the marketplace.
5. Increased Entrepreneurship
The new work-from-home culture has inspired many entrepreneurs who are now building their own small businesses from home. Some of these businesses are solo ventures with little or no overhead, while other entrepreneurs are hiring staff and even renting workspace. The commonality is that these new business owners are all taking on new risks.
Strategy: Most consumers are familiar with personal lines of insurance, but few have experience with the types of coverage they’ll need for a small business. Marketing messages that acknowledge their unique perspective will resonate with these entrepreneurs. Products that blend homeowners coverage with coverage for home-based businesses will help these consumers feel supported by your insurance brand.
6. New Furry Friends
Pets have a calming influence on people, which makes it no surprise that pet ownership is on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic. More time spent at home means more time for long dog walks or for training a new puppy. Some remote employees even claim dogs make the best work buddies, although many cat owners challenge that claim.
Strategy: Answer the increased demand for pet insurance with a product that will reassure consumers your brand is run by pet-lovers just like them. Messages that convey the comforting feel of a furry belly rub could convert pet owners to loyal clients and lead to cross-selling opportunities. With pet insurance as your loss-leader, you may find a litter of new clients.
7. Robust Weather Patterns
The frequency and severity of natural disasters is increasing. According to the Insurance Information Institute, economic losses from natural catastrophes in 2021 totaled $169,000 million, making it the second most costliest year ever recorded. Consumers are flooded with apprehension over new risks and don’t know how to come in out of the rain.
Strategy: The escalating threat of storm or wildfire damage gives your insurance brand an opportunity to market a comprehensive risk assessment. Use case studies to demonstrate that property insurance alone is not enough to indemnify homeowners against the risks associated with catastrophic events. They’ll need to consider coverage for their home-based business, their pets, and the automobile parked in the garage, along with liability for all the damages that could be inflicted when their roof tiles become flying projectiles or their sidewalk turns into a swimming pool.
Like risk, change is inevitable, but it also represents immense opportunities to grow your insurance brand in the P&C space. If you need help developing a comprehensive marketing strategy to address current market trends, contact LIGHTSTREAM. We have the expertise to assist you with all of your insurance marketing needs.