• Niall Kavanagh

Top 6 reasons we don't use our mobile phone to buy insurance

Nowadays we can interact with most companies through our mobile phone. From booking restaurants to buying clothes and checking our bank balance, mobile friendly sites or apps make our lives easier no matter where we are.

There is one notable exception; insurance. If you have ever tried to buy car or home insurance through a mobile you quickly realise your phone is not the tool for the job. More than likely you will need to sit at a desk, boot up your laptop or PC and accept you are not going to have a good time.

The pandemic accelerated 'digital transformation' for most industries as companies were forced to provide convenient digital experiences in a rapidly changing world. The insurance market has seen huge changes too but from a customers perspective, the improvements have mainly been on the claims side.

So why is it that the majority of people in 2022 don't buy insurance on their phone?

From consumer research carried out by Gatepost (combined with our own personal experience) we've identified the top 6 reasons people do not use their mobile phone to buy insurance.

1. Number of questions asked

It varies greatly between different insurance providers but you will probably have to answer 30 to 80 questions when buying car insurance. If you go to different sites for quotes then you may need to answer hundreds of questions overall.

For most of us, typing or selecting the answers for this number of questions is considerably slower on a mobile phone when compared to a laptop or PC.

2. Need for multiple tabs

There are some questions asked that you can't answer off the top of your head. Unless you've bought the car recently you may not know the current value and need to open anther tab to check a used car web site. If shopping around you might have different tabs open for each insurance provider. While it is possible to have multiple tabs on your mobile phone, it is simpler with a larger screen.

3. Using tool tips and reading notes

Insurance application forms ask for a lot of detail and sometimes you need a helping hand. For example when asked if the car will be used for business purposes, a tool tip may be available that informs you if this includes commuting to work. Generally speaking, these tips are easier to access and read on larger screens.

4. Some web sites are not mobile friendly

This problem is not exclusive to the insurance market but is particularly noticeable when trying to fill in lengthy application forms. Page width issues may mean you are constantly scrolling right and left on your mobile phone. In some cases the page will encounter an issue and reload with the loss of data.

5. Poor form design

Forms are designed with different components like drop down lists and buttons. Some components work better on large screens while others are more suitable for mobile devices. If an insurance provided has the same form design for both then it can be very frustrating filling on the form on your phone.

For example a drop down list of options is fine on a laptop or PC but if there are less than 5 options it might be better to display them as buttons you can quickly press on your mobile. Most insurance providers have done a good job on the form design for mobile but it is still a factor in why consumers prefer to use their laptop or PC by default.

6. Navigating backwards and forward

After filling in the application form and getting a quote you are often shown a summary of this just before you make a payment. With long forms you can sometimes miss something and therefore want to go back and change it. Generally speaking, the process of reviewing details and navigating back and forth is easier to do on a laptop or PC screen.


Traditional insurance providers have improved the process of buying insurance online in recent years. The focus has mainly been on making the application forms more intuitive to use or removing questions to make the process quicker.

Unfortunately, the speed of progress does not appear to be keeping up with consumer expectations for solutions that are fast, simple and convenient.

At Gatepost, we believe technology can fundamentally improve how data is requested and shared between an insurance provider and their customer. Long application forms have been used by insurance providers for over 300 years so maybe it's time to try something different.

Please get in touch to learn more about how we can help.