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Client truths during turbulent times

and the lasting effects of a new risk paradigm on insurance consumers

The COVID-19 pandemic compounded uncertainty created by local and world events, such as severe weather, economic uncertainty, and civil unrest,  altering consumers’ attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors across all product and service categories. To help our agents and brokers succeed in this environment, we sought to understand the new consumer mindset of successful families and individuals. Dive in to learn more about our research findings, insights into what clients are really thinking, and strategies to help meet their evolving needs. 



Our research shows that attitudes toward risk have changed



As a premium insurer and a leader in the industry, Chubb continues to provide the latest insights and tools to our independent agents and brokers, helping them serve their clients better and grow in our changing world. Learn more about our research on how the pandemic and other recent events have affected successful families and individuals and their feelings about risk.




Overall, we learned that at the time of the research, prospective clients felt:

Vulnerable and anxious

as a result of the pandemic, social unrest, severe weather, and other recent events.

That the insurance they purchase is not just a transaction anymore

but a part of their overall financial wellbeing in a world that has become increasingly precarious.


because the purchase of a home, auto, or other high-dollar asset for which insurance is needed is a stressful event in itself — one that compounds the fear they already feel.

A need for stability

as an antidote to the emotions associated with pandemic and other events and a desire to make sure they get the “right” insurance.

Trust in insurance companies, agents, and brokers is at a low.

Our research showed that trust in insurance companies, agents, and brokers is at a lower level compared to previous years. This issue of trust is compounded by the rising cost of insurance due to many factors, including more frequent and severe weather events, supply chain issues for automobile parts, and increasing costs of litigation and home construction materials and labor.

Yet trust is more important than ever to insurance buyers. And to earn that trust, prospects and clients expect more throughout the insurance-buying process than they have in the past.


Prospective clients also indicated that their perception of and feelings about risk had changed.


say that current events in the world impact their feelings about risk, and they are more aware of risks faced at home now than they were a year or two ago.


feel their risks have increased in the past two years.



say that fear has impacted their perception of risk.



As a result of an increased awareness of risks, we’re seeing a new paradigm, or way of thinking, about insurance agents and brokers.

Old Paradigm

  • Client comes to an insurance agent or broker for new policy or renewal.
  • Agent or broker is knowledgeable about insurance needs and provides information about companies and policies.
  • Focus is on product and carrier alternatives — and pricing.


New Paradigm 

  • Client has a heightened awareness of the risks they face
  • Client needs insurance, but in the context of financial wellbeing in a world that has become increasingly precarious.
  • Client expects the agent or broker to understand their needs as well as their anxieties.


What are clients looking for now?

We found that many prospective clients are looking for new solutions and approaches to prepare for an uncertain future and are more open to insurance reviews and reevaluation of insurance coverages. This presents an opportunity for insurance agents and brokers to build trust through transparency and engagement, and to communicate the role of insurance as a stabilizing factor in turbulent times by presenting options based on how they address the emotional needs of clients.

Agents and brokers who can recognize the client's emotional needs in the insurance-buying process will be able to establish a level of trust, which is the foundation for client loyalty and referrals. 



Chubb research reveals that prospective clients say their insurance-purchasing decisions are affected by:

The need for increased security

Concern for the future

Increased awareness of perceived risks


New client expectations


Our research illuminated negative emotional effects created by recent events and showed a lack of trust in insurance companies, agents, and brokers.  However, those who are able to create positive connections and deliver an improved client experience will enjoy a competitive advantage and long-term client relationships.

Clients are looking for transparency
This may come in the form of initial and ongoing reviews, explanations of the details of their coverage, and accessibility to their insurance agent or broker.

Clients want engagement
They’d like their insurance agent or broker to guide them through the insurance process, be a partner in the decision-making, and express empathy and understanding in their interactions.


Through our research, we found that:


of respondents want expert, personally tailored opinions, and 70% want guidance to the best products and services.


agree that their insurance agent or broker could provide service beyond their expectations by explaining how they can protect themselves from different risks.


expect to speak to their agent or broker on the phone at least once during a crisis.

How do client emotions play into the insurance experience?

Similar to other direct sales interactions, when consumers work with an insurance agent or broker, their experience influences their propensity to buy coverage, become a long-term client, be less price sensitive, and recommend others as potential clients. Therefore, it’s important for you to understand what an emotion-based "client experience" is and how to produce it for your prospective clients.

They may not like insurance, but they understand that not all insurers are alike.

All clients have an overwhelming desire for a better experience. That means, for agents and brokers who can make it happen, there is a tremendous opportunity for market growth.


The basic client experience issue: emotions matter

In addition to understanding the existing perceptions about the insurance category as a whole that clients may bring when working with an agent or broker, the following describes the emotions that individual insurance products evoke in consumers and suggestions for our agents, brokers, and their teams to leverage in their sales practices.


Homeowners insurance

Buying a home is a life-changing purchase and a major financial obligation. Clients feel like they don’t understand the insurance policy details but want insurance as part of their financial wellbeing.

Client experience tip: Acknowledge that you understand what the client is feeling and position insurance as a financial hedge against the liability the client is taking on, in the broader context of financial wellbeing. Take them through the details of the coverage, acting as a partner instead of an advisor.


Auto insurance

Driving is a big risk. Clients perceive driving their car as the greatest risk and thus the most tangible need for insurance.

Client experience tip: Acknowledge the fear clients feel to help build a positive relationship.


Valuables insurance

There are two types of connections clients have with their valuables. For valuables that have financial significance, the emotion from their loss is one of anger. For valuables that have personal meaning, the emotion from their loss is one of grief.

Client experience tip: Engage with prospects and clients to identify the deeper associations with their valuables, then use understanding and empathy as you work with them.


Personal Excess Liability insurance

Clients believe this type of insurance is a form of protection against future events that may present a risk to existing assets. Insurance would then be protection for the assets needed for a child’s future education, for example.

Client experience tip: Instead of focusing on the policy features, emphasize the personal circumstances that can benefit from a liability policy.


The opportunity



Want to learn more?

Mary Parsons, EVP from Chubb, and Peter Noel Murray, PhD, a leading consumer psychologist, discuss how recent events have changed the way successful families and individuals think about risk and insurance and how their emotions affect insurance-buying behaviors.

Leverage our research findings and consumer insights to help grow and retain your business during this new risk paradigm.


The Full Guide to Client Truths During Turbulent Times

Learn how local and world events such as the pandemic, severe weather, economic uncertainty and civil unrest, changed the way consumers think about risk and purchasing insurance.


A Quick Look at Client Truths During Turbulent Times

Discover the most important points to know and what to do to grow your business in the next "normal."

Use materials like these to help guide prospects and clients through the insurance-buying and renewal processes.


Why choose Chubb?

Help your clients who are in the market for insurance differentiate between carriers and discover what makes Chubb a better choice for successful families and individuals like them.


Two homes. Two insurance carriers. Two very different outcomes.

When a major hailstorm hit a cul-de-sac, two nearly identical homes were damaged. One had Chubb insurance. The other had insurance through a standard market carrier. See which client was happy and why.

Learn more
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Agent Marketing Center

Agents and brokers are vital to Chubb’s success. To help you grow faster and more efficiently, we’ve created resource centers, tools, and programming you can use, and we are actively investing in research and partnering with industry experts to share with you the best ways to understand and work with successful families and individuals.