In 2016, being a direct insurer in a world dominated by aggregators is tough. What was once an industry commonly buffered by brokers and advisors is increasingly at the direct mercy of the individual. Consumers can – and will – delve deep into the market and switch providers at ease.

Many independent bodies support this course of action; endlessly encouraging customers to shop around to get a better deal, often at the expense of true and lasting value. Insurance brands using these sites have become little more than logos against competing costs, and a commoditised market that leaves scarce room for innovation and growth. The aggregators are suffocating brand identity and values. It’s time for insurers to take back the relationship with their customers.

What’s more, aggregators are going to be in very hot water come 2018 when the new General Data Protection Regulation comes into play; a piece of legislation will fundamentally change the way businesses can collect, store and use customer data. Insurers simply cannot afford to be over-reliant for much longer and must take this as an opportunity to transform the current model and reclaim the market. It’s high time insurers return to dealing direct with customers and putting people before the policy.

Bringing together research from both YouGov and REaD Group to analyse the problem faced by insurers today, this report explores ways in which this can be overcome and – ultimately – recognise and draw out the opportunity for businesses to increase their value and surmount the disruption caused by aggregators. It’s time to put the Meerkat back in his cage.

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