Small to medium sized enterprise owners (SMEs) are very comfortable online, creating an opportunity for advisers to unitise online channels for a convenient client experience, Asteron Life’s latest SME insurance index has found.
The insurer’s second issue of its 2018 SME Insurance Index explored the online behaviour of SMEs.
The research found SMEs are very comfortable in the online world with over three in four SMEs (78%) performing online business administration tasks with ease.
Age also is no barrier, with both over and under 50s indicating they are extremely comfortable in the digital space.
Respondents with life insurance who use a broker said convenience was a major reason for why they go online.
The insurer concluded this suggested a significant opportunity for brokers and advisers to think about how they can utilise online channels to make their experience more convenient for clients.
The drawbacks of online indicated by respondents included:
- Lack of personal contact
- Risk of leaking business information
Although the insurer stated its findings suggested SMEs with life insurance are unlikely to purchase insurance online because of their preference for personal advice, 46% said that they use the internet to research their insurance options.
A third of SMEs with life insurance also indicated they were willing to forego the benefit of personal contact for a cheaper price online.
The findings showed that they are most comfortable undertaking simple administrative insurance tasks online, and least comfortable with more complex tasks such as identifying the right insurance for their needs.
The insurer stated it will shortly be releasing the Index directly to advisers.
The report is based on research involving more than 900 business owners and decision-makers New Zealand.
Asteron Life released its first life insurance Index in April (see: Asteron Life Research Highlights SME IP Opportunities).