The percentage of consumers interacting with their insurers via digital channels has doubled worldwide since 2015, according to research from ACORD. The Insurance Digital Maturity Study evaluated the 130 largest global insurers, representing 38% of worldwide market shares, on their paths to serving these customers.

In total, 11% of carriers were categorized as Digtized Competitors, who “truly drive the market using digitization to shape consumer-buyer behavior, optimize effectiveness, and achieve strategic positioning,” the study says. There were four lower rankings; from top to bottom these are Digitized Firms (18%), Digital Aspirations (45%), Localized Digitzation (13%) and Digital Laggards (13%). The top two tranches reported big increases in share price and earnings.

“As in past iterations of the study, there was a direct linear correlation between digital maturity and total shareholder return,” ACORD writes. “While many factors can affect earnings performance, it is clear that a well-managed business model supported by robust digital capabilities afforded these companies with the ability to outperform the industry.”

Regardless of their progress on the digitalization path, insurers overall prefer a centralized organizational structure for digital policy. However, the top-performing groups have a higher amount of federated organizations, suggesting “that digital technologies support the ability of insurers to successfully export operational and informational scale, with the flexibility to adapt to local markets.” the study says.