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Established 1995
Sunday 21 October 2018


UK consumers ‘have insurance data concerns’

Written by Chris Lemmon

Just 30 per cent of British insurance policyholders trust their insurance providers to manage their data securely, according to a new survey from Mintel.

The Consumers and Data Sharing in Insurance UK 2017 report found that a further 30 per cent said that they would rather pay more for insurance than hand over more personal data than necessary.

The top data sharing concerns highlighted by the survey included fear that smart devices could be hacked or open to security breaches (78 per cent), while just over three quarters (76 per cent) worry that insurers might sell their data to other companies.

The majority of UK consumers said that they are comfortable sharing basic personal information with insurers, such as their age (77 per cent), marital status (69 per cent); however, there is a general reluctance to share data that could be deemed more sensitive or even intrusive. Only one in 10 consumers who have insurance would be willing to give providers access to their real-time location, for instance via a smartphone app, while just 10 per cent would feel comfortable granting them access to information stored on their social media profile.

Three quarters of respondents said however, that they would be encouraged to share more personal information with insurance firms in exchange for a range of benefits. While a discount on a policy is the most wanted incentive among consumers (51 per cent), two in five adults would simply like clear information on how their data is used. On the other hand, 56 per cent of insurance owners fear that by sharing extra data, they may end up paying more for a policy.

Paul Davies, senior financial services analyst at Mintel, said: “Consumers are sceptical about insurers’ ability to handle their personal information. This appears to be strongly influenced by consumers’ concerns about how insurers might monetise their data, as well as a lack of faith in the robustness of smart devices or systems that could be used to store or transmit personal data.

“Insurers would be wise to take a proactive approach to tackling the issue of privacy, and for some this could even result in data policies becoming a key part of their company’s brand image as well as their reputation. Use of consumers’ data will without doubt become a more prominent topic over the next 12 months, meaning brands that take a public stance to assure consumers about their privacy could enhance their appeal.”

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