Insurance has traditionally been a low-touch business that lends itself to little contact between firms and customers. Many policyholders only interact with their insurers after something goes wrong, whether it be a car accident or a billing issue. As such, customers often associate their already few insurance interactions with negative events.

Insurance alert settings and notifications offer a potential solution for P&C firms struggling with such low customer engagement and satisfaction. By sharing important notices and relevant resources through their messaging services, insurers may not only regularly engage their customers outside of policy and billing related issues, but also proactively mitigate those issues altogether. In a recent P&C Insurance report, our analysts evaluated the notification and alert options that 16 leading insurers offer their policyholders.

Below are some of the best practices for Alerts and Message Centers:

Offer variety in insurance alert settings

Our analysts recommend that insurers offer and emphasize diverse alert options across all available channels. Our P&C Policyholder Survey data found most customers, especially younger ones, valued alerts as a policy management tool.

  • Overall, over half of respondents (56%) rated alerts as “very important” or “extremely important” (top-two box)
  • Gen Z (66%), Millennials (63%) and Gen X (63%) all were above this overall number
  • Among the various data slices we ran, telematics users valued alerts highest, recording a top-two box importance rating of 78%, with almost half of these respondents (46%) deeming alerts “extremely important”
  • Respondents who indicated that they were likely to switch insurers at their next policy renewal also recorded a higher-than-average top-two box importance rating of 68%

This chart shows how different generations value alerts from their insurer.

Studies also show a steady increase in mobile phone use, with the average American checking their phones 344 times per day, and 88% of that extended mobile use being spent on apps. As such, insurance firms should focus on extending their alert options to include text messages and push notifications, and no longer rely merely on emails and dedicated message centers.

These screenshots show notification settings on web and mobile from Allstate
Allstate Notification Settings Page and Mobile App Notifications Screen

Transparency is key

It is equally, if not more, important for insurers to provide sufficient context regarding notification triggers, content and frequency as they work on expanding their alert capabilities, lest their efforts be all for naught. Bombarded with information from all fronts, many modern consumers experience notification fatigue, and are understandably cautious of signing up for any additional alerts. Insurers can and should assuage their policyholders’ anxieties by providing more context as to messaging frequency and content.

This was one area where our analysts found that insurers fell short. Only one insurer—Homesite—in our coverage group gave some indication of alert frequency, noting on its Manage SMS Alerts age that policyholders would not receive more than 10 texts a month. Most of our Excellent-rated insurers broke down their notification categories and specified alert triggers to provide further transparency. The Hartford, for example, outlines what users can expect from email alerts in terms of content. Firms would also do well to provide details on the frequency of these messages.

This screenshot shows The Hartford's text alerts page
The Hartford Email & Text Alerts Page

For more insights on P&C insurance and other financial services verticals, check out our Insights section. And learn more about how our P&C subscription research can help your firm.


E Yeon Chang

E Yeon Chang is an Analyst on CI's insurance team.