Consumers are more likely to insure against digital identity theft and loss of income following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey in the UK.
The survey conducted, by Guidewire Software Inc in April 2020, had polled 1000 consumers across UK. It revealed that at a time when reliance on digital services for work and home life is increasing, there are contradictions in what people regard as vital to them and what they are willing to pay to protect.

The survey found that while close to three quarters (73%) of respondents rank their digital identity as most important to protect along with their job and income (59%), and well ahead of items like jewellery (35%), only six percent have online identity insurance or job loss cover right now.

The experience of lockdown measures may have influenced changes in customer behaviour. Almost one in three (31%) say that following the experience of COVID-19 they will be more careful in understanding exactly what their insurance policy covers them for.

Low take up of certain insurance categories also may change, with consumers now almost three times more likely to insure themselves against loss of income or illness, and twice as likely to get cover for online identity theft, having been woefully underprepared before the pandemic hit.

Yet, any surge in demand for these and other products is complicated in that consumers are divided on whether insurers could have done more to protect them in the crisis.

Almost one in five (17%) feel that the industry did not do enough to help consumers in their response to COVID-19, compared to those who feel more positively about insurers because of their actions to support their customers (12%) during the pandemic.

Men (19%) more than women (16%) seem to believe the industry let consumers down. This is in addition to the one in four insurance customers (26%) who say they already had a less than positive opinion of insurers.

Guidewire Software managing director Keith Stonell said, “The stresses of the past few months have clearly made many scrutinise their relationship with their insurer and the protection that they need.

“The finding that interest in cover against online identity theft and job losses may have grown so considerably compared to pre-lock down suggests the pandemic has made people more aware of the broader range of risks that they face today, than in the past,” said Mr Stonell.

He said, “Many insurers are doing great work in pivoting to offer help and support in the crisis while also being concerned about their colleagues’ own safety and having most of their workforce working from home. Lessons are being learnt that will shape the future of the industry. So, we’re optimistic about how the shock of forced change will be transformative for the industry as a whole.”


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