Insurance firms are missing out on more than £170m in UK sales each year by not updating their housing data – including for homes that are still being built – according to a new study.
Address management software firm Postcode Anywhere, which conducted the research, said that despite organisations increasingly tackling data quality with address validation software, few are capitalising on daily updates and so-called “not yet built” addresses.
The Not Yet Built database contains information from local authorities on properties that are in planning or construction stage. This information is held separately from the Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF).
There are currently more than 350,000 addresses in this additional database. By failing to take advantage of this data and daily updates to databases, insurance companies are operating on out of date information, turning thousands of potential customers away.
The research showed that, in the past year, 219,690 new addresses were added to the PAF database; this equates to over 700 new addresses each day. With the average combined cost for home and car insurance at £788 a year, companies are missing out on approximately £173,115,720 of consumer business each year, as well as suffering harmful brand damage as customers who meet the necessary criteria are inexplicably turned away.
The study cites one Redditch resident who moved into his new home in April, but says he could not get home insurance until the very last minute because insurers would not recognise his new postcode:
He said: “Our postcode just wasn’t showing up on any of the insurance companies’ systems. Without a valid postcode we just couldn’t get insurance for our new home and without home insurance we couldn’t complete the mortgage process.”
Postcode Anywhere chief executive Guy Mucklow said: “Insurance companies stand to realise huge savings and increased revenue opportunities by improving the quality of their customer and prospect data. The current system many insurance businesses work from is outdated, inaccurate and costly. There are new solutions available that provide real-time updates that reflect the daily changes made to the Royal Mail’s database. But if insurance companies fail to capitalise on these new, easily adopted systems they might not end up with records as accurate as they might assume.
“Including Not Yet Built data and daily updates can open the door to literally thousands of previously inaccessible prospects. Knowing exactly how many households are connected to each delivery point is also essential for utilities and telecoms companies who need to ‘catch’ those customers the minute they move to their new house. Enhancing data insight to increase effectiveness and efficiency is imperative, not only from a customer and sales perspective, but also from a wider organisational point of view.”
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