Although property and casualty insurance companies see the marketing potential of social media, many have yet to focus on its possibilities for changing how claims are processed, according to a new report by AITE Group, a Boston-headquartered financial research and consulting firm.
The report is based on third-quarter interviews with 15 North American insurance industry executives.
AITE group senior analyst and report author Stephen Applebaum said in a press statement that social media has fundamentally changed the nature of business-to-consumer and interpersonal relationships. Because insurance "is at its core a relationship business," social media also has "fundamentally changed the P&C insurance business," according to Applebaum.
Almost two-thirds of Internet-using adults use social networking sites, and almost all of Millenials--people in their late teens and 20s--do.
Consumers today are more influenced by friends and strangers through social media than by marketing and advertising campaigns or insurance agents, the report says. As a result, carriers cannot rely solely on insurance agents to identify consumers' product needs and expectations.