Insurance providers could retain more policyholders if they offer good customer service on digital channels.

According to research by Eptica, 91 per cent of people would stay more loyal if they were happy with the service they received on digital platforms, such as email and social media.

This means they now expect more than speedy and relevant responses when they are dealing with their insurer.

Indeed, 28 per cent said context is the most important factor in a reply from a cover provider.

Figures also showed that 27 per cent want to see some empathy from their insurer, while 24 per cent want their communications to be personalised.

However, the research suggested there are areas where insurers could be doing better when they engage with people via digital channels.

For instance, insurers were able to answer only 30 per cent of questions asked on Facebook, along with 25 per cent on Twitter.

Similarly, only 23 per cent of queries raised via email received a satisfactory response.

The length of time it took insurers to reply also proved to be an issue. Whereas one company was found to have responded to a question inside just three minutes, another took 24 hours to get back to the customer.

Eptica also found that the average reply on Facebook took three hours and 45 minutes, despite the fact 44 per cent of people want a response in half an hour.

Nevertheless, some areas of improvement were identified. For instance, more than half of the answers to questions could be found on insurers’ websites.

In addition, the number of insurers offering a chat facility online has increased threefold in the last year, with 15 per cent now providing this option.

UK insurance digital customer service worsening: 68% of queries left unanswered Netimperative