A new study shows insurance customers are actively choosing cover from companies with call centres that are based in the United Kingdom.

According to research by YouGov, 78 per cent of consumers consider British-based call centres an influencing factor when choosing an insurer, preferring to speak to staff in this country than abroad. Furthermore, researchers found that 23 per cent of those asked said they actively look for insurers with British-based call centres.

Richard Widdas, an insurance partner at Deloitte who commissioned the poll, believes the strength of public opinion may urge firms to bring their call centres back to the UK, which could provide a jobs boost to the country.

He said: “Insurers may start to look at ‘onshoring’ their call centres if the potential loss of business starts to outweigh any cost savings they could make from offshoring.”

YouGov questioned 2,229 adults in May this year and found 18 per cent said they would be willing to pay more to know that they could speak to a call-centre representative based in this country.

Over a third of consumers told the researchers that when choosing between two insurance providers who were equal in all other ways, they would be influenced to choose the one with a British-based call centre. Only 13 per cent said the location of the insurer’s call centre was irrelevant.

Mr Widdas added: “Our research shows that UK-based call centres have become an important consideration for a large number of consumers and are now a major factor influencing their choice of insurers.

“The insurance industry is already highly competitive and UK-based call centres have become a point of difference for consumers. Following the financial crisis, it is more important than ever for insurers to strengthen their brand and reputation.

“Consumers clearly feel strongly that they prefer dealing with UK-based call centres and insurers need to take this on board.”