The pressure to offer better customer experiences through technology-driven interactions is mounting. According to a multinational survey by Accenture, a management consulting company, 67 percent of insurance customers now are open to purchasing insurance products from companies other than insurers, and 23 percent would consider buying from online service providers, such as Google and Amazon. As much as $400 billion in insurance premiums could change hands within the industry over the next 12 months, and the top two reasons consumers would switch, Accenture said, are lower prices, cited by 87 percent, and more personalized service, cited by 80 percent.

Historically, insurers were not as focused on the customer experience. But that's changing as more insurers are selling direct to consumers or are competing against larger carriers for placements from independent agents. Plus, customers have higher expectations based on more, and more-sophisticated, Web and mobile interactions with banks, retailers and other service providers, says Jean Lassignardie, corporate VP, chief sales & marketing officer of Capgemini global financial services & Asia Pacific.

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