EY with Hastings Direct

Technology Transformation

Today’s insurance customers want to receive the same online shopping experiences that they’ve come to expect in other areas of their lives – that is, fast, convenient and tailored. And while Hastings Direct is a UK leader in terms of digital customer acquisition – with 90% of customers originating from a digital channel – it was facing increased competition from digital-first insurance specialists, which have seen market share grow from 35% in 2012 to 44% in 2020. To deliver on its goal of being ‘the best and biggest digital insurer’ in an increasingly digital landscape, Hastings Direct had to not just meet, but exceed, ever-growing customer demands.

EY was asked to help come up with the digital solution that would deliver this customer-first digital approach. To achieve this goal, we had to find ways to improve Hastings Direct’s digital offering by making engagement with the company simple and easy throughout the customer’s entire experience. This involved overcoming challenges such as resourcing and capability gaps, production scalability issues and an inflexible delivery model, among others.

Making this bold vision a unified reality required reliable and collaborative support. Using automation, a modern Application Programming Interface (API)-driven architecture and a full suite of advanced digital offerings, EY was tasked with seamlessly improving performance, driving efficiencies and empowering staff to work faster, smarter and more collaboratively. We would also use COVID-19 as an opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with Hastings Direct as we helped the company navigate throughout the pandemic, delivering remote working advice, – ultimately providing Hastings Direct with access to a diverse global EY team.

Our work would also involve transforming IT and establishing the right organisational capabilities to launch a full suite of new and advanced digital capabilities designed to deliver top-quality customer service and offerings. We set about putting solid technological foundations in place, drawing on our existing alliance partnerships – working closely with Microsoft, for example, to progress Hasting Direct’s Cloud transition strategy by embedding Microsoft’s toolset and enabling the seamless transition of its application suite to the Microsoft Azure Cloud.

Our work has transformed how Hastings Direct customers use digital. With help from EY’s expertise, Hastings Direct has seen tremendous growth in new business, facilitated by our market-leading technology and delivery excellence. Hastings Direct has since seen its policy counts increase by 8% to 3.1 million. What’s more, championing a customer-first digital approach means that more than 60% of customers who come to Hastings Direct via price comparison websites now go on to choose additional cover. And our solution has given Hastings Direct a competitive advantage, allowing it to deliver change at pace –– at a time when many other insurers cannot – to bring it closer to its goal of being ‘the best and biggest digital insurer’.

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