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Determinants of digitally instigated insurance relationships

Mikael Gidhagen (Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)
Sabine Gebert Persson (CER, Department of Social Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 11 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model for explaining insurance customers' intentions towards using the internet as a channel for communication and interaction with insurance companies by integrating Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and trust.


The paper seeks to conceptually develop an integrated framework for studying and measuring the perceptions of customers towards using the internet as a source of communication and interaction. The TAM model is taken as a point of departure where trust and trustworthiness, being essential in insurance relationships, have been included in the model. Trust is divided into perceived competence, perceived benevolence and perceived integrity, which in turn affect whether the customer will find the firm trustworthy or not. A second dimension that is developed in this paper is the disposition to trust, which is defined as a customer‐related factor. This disposition to trust is in turn affected by the customer's internet knowledge and product knowledge.


The paper contributes by developing the model for understanding and explaining factors that affect customers' attitudes and intentions towards on‐line interactions. By emphasizing internet‐, customer‐ and Ffrm‐related factors, it would arguably be possible to explain factors that affect trust, and trustworthiness, as well as the customer's attitudes towards the organization and the communication and distribution channel while also integrating the customer‐specific factors.

Research limitations

The model developed in this paper is conceptual and needs to be tested empirically.


The findings of this paper will serve as a basis for further research aiming at answering the research question on what factors affect customers' attitudes towards using the internet as an interface within the financial services sector. It also contributes to practices by identifying and defining factors that can affect trust in relationships as well as the choice of communication and distribution channels depending on customers' attitudes.



Gidhagen, M. and Gebert Persson, S. (2011), "Determinants of digitally instigated insurance relationships", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 517-534.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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