While France prepares for the summer traffic peak, digital technology will be of limited help to those who want to change insurers before they leave, change their insurance policy to register a new driver, declare an accident while on the road or access an emergency number. These are some of the findings of the car insurance study by digital performance rating agency D-Rating.
Based on 130 criteria from D-Rating’s proven digital performance analysis methodology since 2017, the rating agency’s analysts sifted through the websites of 48 French insurers between 5 and 12 June, and their mobile app… when they provide one.
First surprise: only one French insurer out of two offers an app designed to manage customer relationship, and Axa, which had removed its mobile app in 2018, has just relaunched a new one (on 22 June). In the related world of banking, whether it is personal or business banking, the percentage is 100%… and even higher. Many groups offer more specialised applications – sometimes up to ten – in addition to their « flagship » (in the same spirit, some insurers also offer thematic applications, notably designed to evaluate the driving of policyholders, allowing them to test their blood alcohol level or to establish a digital accident report).
The proportion is even lower when it comes to the possibility of taking out motor insurance online: it is only possible to go as far as signing up via the website or app with a large half of the companies (27 out of 48), whereas opening an account 100% digitally is now the rule for 90% of the French banks studied by D-Rating. Of the ten or so companies studied, CIC, Crédit Mutuel and La Banque Postale were the only ones that allow you to go online at the end of the subscription process without already being a customer. Conversely, and unsurprisingly, « full digital » is the rule for all the new insurers on the panel (Car-Ly, Flitter, Leocare, Lovys, Mieux assuré, Ornikar, Selfassurance and Wilov).
However, for those who are thinking of changing insurer, the obstacle course can begin as soon as the quote is drawn up – impossible online with the banks evaluated if you are not already a customer in 4 out of 10 cases – and then with the obligation to fill in endless questionnaires before obtaining a commercial proposal: up to 41 fields to be filled in at Allianz, while the neo insurers such as Flitter or wilov are satisfied with only a dozen…
As for innovative pricing methods, adapting the amount of the premium to the policyholder’s conduct, only two companies – Allianz and Direct Assurance – offer this…
Once a customer, these limitations in the digital proposal of French insurers are reflected in the life of the contract – the possibility of registering a second driver is only provided for in one case out of two – and above all in the limited range of services available:
– Eco-driving assistance in only one case out of ten,
– The possibility of locating a company-approved garage in one out of three cases,
– Follow-up of claims processing in two out of five cases…
These limitations are also found in the event of an accident, with the difficulty of imposing the digital accident report (it is only proposed in 11 cases out of 48) and, as a sign of the fact that it is far from being commonplace, Ornikar makes it one of the key arguments of its commercial communication. The service offered by Leocare, which allows the tow truck to be geolocated and its route followed, is intended for similar situations.
In the end, the initial findings of D-Rating’s digital insurance performance rating study are very similar to those of its first retail banking rating campaigns, with largely unfinished digitalization of the sector’s historical players and the resulting openings for the rise of digital natives. In any case, this seems to be the gamble of investors. After having strongly supported the development of neo-banks during the second half of the 2010 decade, they have massively shifted to insurtechs since 2020: €170m in 2020, €545m in 2021 and already nearly €430m in 2022, in France alone, according to the eCap Partner / D-Rating Barometer. As strong examples, Alan has already completed five rounds and raised €481m, Shift Technology has raised €182m (one round) and, if we add Descartes Underwriting (€123m), +Simple (€120m) and Leocare (€115m), there are already five of them to have passed the €100m mark. But among them, Leocare is the only specialist in property and casualty insurance.
 Traditional private or mutual insurers, subsidiaries of banking groups or car manufacturers, brokers, neo-insurers: A comme Assure, Abeille Assurances (Aviva), Active Assurances, Allianz, Aréas Assurances, Assu 2000, Assuréo, Assurpeople, AXA, Banque Populaire, Best Assurances, BNP Cardiff, CA Assurances, Caisse d’Epargne, Carrefour, CAR-Y, CIC, Crédit Mutuel Assurances, Direct Assurances, Euroassurance, Eurofil, Flitter, Gan, Generali , GMF, Groupama, Hello Bank !, La Banque Postale, La France Mutualiste, LCL, Leocare, L’olivier, Lovys, MAAF, MACIF, MACSF, MAIF, Matmut, MMA, MPA, Ornikar, PSA Assurances, Renault Assurances, SG Assurances, SOS Malus, Suravenir Assurances (Arkéa), Thélem Assurances, Wilov