Subscription services have become rather popular. Netflix, Spotify and Hello Fresh are just some of the major ones that spring to mind. They offer everything from clothes, food, music and other types of entertainment. They’ve, for the most part, made consumers’ lives easier, especially when it comes to things they purchase and consume on a regular basis.
So, it’s no surprise that insurance companies are keen to get in on the act. Insurance is, after all, a product that’s consumed regularly and easily lends itself to being converted to a subscription service.
According to a Which.co.uk review, HSBC is the latest company to offer a subscription service in a ‘pick-and-mix’ style. It allows customers to pick different types of policies for a single monthly fee.
HSBC calls this new offering ‘Select and Cover’ and customers can choose between three to seven insurance products that cover travel, mobile, phone, gadgets and life from £19.50.
This follows not long after Aviva offered something similar last year when it launched a subscription home and car insurance offering.
According to Which.co.uk, AvivaPlus was created to make insurance more flexible and give customers the ability to change their cover as much as they wanted to without incurring charges.
It’s also meant to be the answer to customers who were penalised by their loyalty to one brand. According to Which’s research some were paying 38% more in home insurance premiums.
But have insurers got the 'mix' right so far? What’s a subscription service meant to offer? In our opinion, and based on some light research a successful subscription service from an insurance provider should offer/meet the following needs:
- The service should be automated. Automation should enable customers to subscribe to the product easily and design their own product based on their needs.
- It should be easy for customers to switch between products and stop the service if they so choose. At present HSBC offers customers the ability to add and remove one product a year. Only time will tell whether this limitation will be adequate. However, this is where technology can play a role, particularly for online customers that will want to have that adaptability and accessibility on an insurer’s website. (Talk to us about how you can make your website more user-friendly!).
- They should be ‘enjoyable’. Here’s where insurance providers could find it a little tricky because insurance products are generally seen as a grudge purchase. Subscription services reel customers in by offering something different or a new member offer. The latter may be easy to set up as insurers typically focus on enticing new customers, but that trend is reversing somewhat to ensure that current customers are retained and satisfied. This is an area that perhaps needs some thought and creativity!
- It should offer something extra: Some insurance, like car insurance, is a must while other types may not be as needed and rather deemed as a ‘nice to have’. But in a pick and mix subscription package these may be thrown in for ‘free’ or at least offered at a better price. This will enable your company or brokerage to offer the client that little bit extra value to entice and commit to the service.
Do you have the technological infrastructure in place to offer a pick-and-mix product? If not, it’s something to consider, particularly if it proves popular with customers.