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The insurance industry is lagging behind in terms of Digital Marketing in comparison to other industries. The Insurance Industry in The City is renowned for its face-to-face approach to broking and underwriting deals, often with much of the legwork being done in informal surroundings before the final deal is done in the office.

According to Google 4.7% of the web is currently mobile friendly. Although an extremely low number, that is for whole of web, which includes, non-business, hobby, old, and unmaintained websites. Most significantly the number for business websites shows figures of 68% according to sources such as Clutch.

68% of businesses have mobile friendly websites but only 27% of insurance industry websites were mobile friendly according to the survey which was verified by Google.

In research compiled independently by Square Balloon who looked specifically at the Insurance Industry in The City of London’s square mile, there was a shocking disconnect from what we’re seeing from business websites in general.

Square Balloon’s research showed that only 27% percent of insurance companies had a mobile friendly website. The study of 606 insurance companies looked at a variety of business sizes, it showed a shocking disdain for meeting their online customers’ needs in a mobile world.

“Having interviewed some of the companies who were in the survey many of them took the attitude of “we do not sell online”. There seemed to be a general dislike for computers throughout the industry, and during the interview process we discovered that many partake in no internet marketing whatsoever.”
Eoin Oliver (Square Balloon)

The research which was verified by Googles Mobile Friendly test is bad news for the insurance industry as Google has already clearly stated that non-mobile friendly websites will suffer a ranking penalty for mobile searches.

Starting April 21 2015, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

There are significant benefits to having a website even if you do not sell online such as educating your customers, showing that you are a legitimate bricks and mortar company, allowing people to easily find your contact details and address, and increasing trust through other factors such as branding and professionalism.

It remains to be seen what the effect will be in the long term for the insurance industry, but with such a gung-ho attitude to avoiding technology it is clear that there is a real opportunity for some of the smaller players to steal an advantage over their competitors.

Furthermore, with advances to technologies such as AI, there’s a good chance that subjects close to the insurance industries heart such as “risk” could be vastly helped by the introduction of technology.

What are your thoughts, do you think the insurance industry should be embracing technology? Or are offline businesses such as insurance broking immune to the perceived threat of technology? Can any industry truly ignore technology in today’s mobile world?

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