Customers want ‘no strings’ insurance

‘Let me leave – but convince me to stay.’ These days, Lucas expects flexibility. And he’s not alone.

‘Let me leave – but convince me to stay’.

Lucas, a freelance broadcaster, accepts a month-long contract in London and catches a train.

He lists his Leeds flat on Airbnb and buys short-term contents insurance.

He takes out personal accident cover only for the days he’ll be filming. If his schedule changes he can switch the dates he’s covered for. It’s cheaper than paying for a whole month.

At the start of his career, Lucas had to pay for insurance on an annual basis. Back then, he could’ve done without the monthly payments when work and money was thin.

These days, Lucas expects flexibility. And he’s not alone. 

We’re used to buying Netflix and Amazon Prime. We’re used to having a relationship with a provider with different products and different renewal dates. Some will be three months away, some will be a year away, but it’s all simple and geared around the customer.

We’ve seen more insurance consumers comment on a range of things they’re unhappy with. Being charged admin fees due to a change in circumstances. Being charged interest on top of monthly payments depending on a consumer’s credit rating. ‘Reward my loyalty and give me some comfort’ is what we hear.

With insurance, a lot of consumers know what they want and where to get value.

Adam Beckett, Product & Propositions Director, Aviva UK Insurance

What do customers find most unfair about insurance?

  • 72%1 of customers feel it’s unfair to charge a fee to cancel or change a policy.
  • 61% of customers feel it’s unfair to charge extra to pay monthly.

Customers are frustrated around price differences between new and existing customers.

Image of a woman trapped behind a fence.
Today's customers increasingly feel trapped by traditional insurance policies.

Nearly two thirds of customers believe switching insurer at renewal is key to getting the best deal.2

A lack of flexibility can leave customers feeling trapped by a policy they don’t value. Nearly a quarter feel they are punished for their customer loyalty.3

All sorts of people need flexible insurance – it’s time to step up

Insurers are starting to acknowledge that different people have different insurance needs.

Some are going beyond the now commonplace pay-as-you-drive car insurance. In the past, hourly and daily policies with flexible levels of cover didn’t exist. They do now.

Zego recognise that delivery drivers on scooters might not need a year’s insurance. Founded in 2016, they started out with an hourly policy, and now offer 30 day and annual options.

Tapoly cover office freelancers, contractors and small businesses for a range of work-related risks like cyber breaches and professional indemnity on a per-day basis.

Urban Jungle target renters with flexible monthly contents insurance. A rolling contract neatly shuts down fears about renewal or cancellation fees.

Bird's eye view of three women looking at a laptop screen
A growing range of flexible insurance options can be found online.

Wrisk’s nifty Wrisk Score, which they say is ‘like a credit score but for insurance risk’, appeals to those seeking flexible, personalised insurance.

The rise of flexible policies suggests that for too many customers, insurance has come with strings attached. Is ‘no strings’ insurance the way customers feel it should be?

Aviva shows big insurers can offer flexibility. AvivaPlus offers flexible, subscription-style insurance. A guarantee ensures existing customers are offered the same or an even better price than an equivalent new customer at their next renewal. You don’t pay interest on monthly payments and there’s no fee to change or cancel your policy.

Millennials: personalisation cravers, not industry killers

Millennials, the world’s largest generation, are ageing into greater spending power as they progress in their careers. Yet Edelman’s 2018 ‘Millennials with Money’ study reports that 54% of affluent millennials struggling with financial decisions say thinking about money makes them anxious.4

The root of this anxiety is not knowing where to find information to make an educated decision.5 They find shopping for insurance more difficult to buy than almost anything else.6 They are also sceptical that financial services providers have their best interests at heart.7

So what do they insist on when they feel out of their depth? Simplicity. Control. Fairness. Plain language. Personalisation.8 The flexibility that is fast becoming hard currency.

Image of millennials sitting by a waterfront
When it comes to insurance, millennials believe there's often a lack of transparency and easily accessible information.

And what do they do when they get these things? Like it, rate it, share it. Theirs is a tech-savvy generation of knowledge sharers. A generation reportedly responsible for the growth of personalisation and the demise of un-shareworthy brands.

Last year, the BBC reported that Club 18-30 fell victim to millennials’ desire for personalisation. Not to mention their unwillingness to social-boast about taking a package holiday.9 Similarly, the Independent made claims about millennials killing off Hooters ‘breastaurants’, traditional weddings, and golf.10

There’s little doubt, the world is changing. Customers like Lucas demand flexibility, on their terms. Those insurers who offer it successfully will grow. Those who don’t, beware.


Joe Booth


1 Good Relations, Customer Frustrations Consumer Research, 2018

2 Good Relations, Customer Frustrations Consumer Research, 2018

3 Good Relations, Customer Frustrations Consumer Research, 2018

4 Edelman, Millennials with Money Study, 2018, Q10

5 Edelman, Millennials with Money Study, 2018, Q10

6 Edelman, Millennials with Money Study, 2018, Q26

7 Edelman, Millennials with Money Study, 2018, Q28

8 Edelman, Millennials with Money Study, 2018, Qs 6, 8 and 10



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