Asia’s consumers are looking at insurance purchases in a different light because of COVID-19 and the industry needs to adapt its communications and purchase paths accordingly.

Health and longevity are increasingly top of mind, consumers don’t inevitably see insurance as a “grudge purchase” and they’re actively seeking out information. At the recent APAC Financial Services Webcast Week, Prashant Agarwal, head of digital marketing at AIA Group, reported an uptick in online searches.

“Health and life insurance have seen between 20% to 70% increase year-on-year in the markets where AIA operates,” he said. Branded search for AIA has surged by a similar percentage in these markets, while website visits have also substantially increased.

Consumers have of course turned to online approaches given that social distancing has meant that agents are unable to meet customers in person. But it’s a significant change in a region where insurance has always been very human-driven.

“Digital is the new baseline,” said Agarwal of how COVID-19 has sped up digital adoption among APAC consumers. (For more details, read WARC’s report: COVID-19 offers insurance brands an opportunity to rethink how it markets to consumers in Asia.)

“Technology has always democratised digital, but now people are realising it’s a lot simpler than they thought,” he added. And that shift in mindset has also led to a reappraisal of some of the user experience.

“If there used to be a time when self-service was seen as a cheap mechanism to save cost, today self-service is the way I show my customer that I care about their health,” Agarwal observed.

He sees a big opportunity, not just to engage on digital but engage differently on digital, with more use of social media and leveraging of the company’s various assets.

For example, AIA sponsors Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and was able to serve up past games in a Match of the Month “where people could look at tournaments from years ago”.

Public reception to watching the full-length matches, he revealed, was off the charts during the time when the Premier League was on halt. 

Sourced from WARC