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Modeling CLV: A test of competing models in the insurance industry


  • Bas Donkers


  • Peter Verhoef


  • Martijn Jong



Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is one of the key metrics in marketing and is considered an important segmentation base. This paper studies the capabilities of a range of models to predict CLV in the insurance industry. The simplest models can be constructed at the customer relationship level, i.e. aggregated across all services. The more complex models focus on the individual services, paying explicit attention to cross buying, but also retention. The models build on a plethora of approaches used in the existing literature and include a status quo model, a Tobit II model, univariate and multivariate choice models, and duration models. For all models, CLV for each customer is computed for a four-year time horizon. We find that the simple models perform well. The more complex models are expected to better capture the richness of relationship development. Surprisingly, this does not lead to substantially better CLV predictions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Bas Donkers & Peter Verhoef & Martijn Jong, 2007. "Modeling CLV: A test of competing models in the insurance industry," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 163-190, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:5:y:2007:i:2:p:163-190
    DOI: 10.1007/s11129-006-9016-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Boucher, Jean-Philippe & Couture-Piché, Guillaume, 2015. "Modeling the number of insureds’ cars using queuing theory," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 67-76.
    5. D. F. Benoit & D. Van Den Poel, 2009. "Benefits of Quantile Regression for the Analysis of Customer Lifetime Value in a Contractual Setting: An Application in Financial Services," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/551, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    6. Guelman, Leo & Guillén, Montserrat & Pérez-Marín, Ana M., 2014. "A survey of personalized treatment models for pricing strategies in insurance," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 68-76.
    7. Petr Čermák, 2013. "Analysis of customer lifetime value model: Literature review," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2013(4), pages 84-95.
    8. Yves L. Grize, 2015. "Applications of Statistics in the Field of General Insurance: An Overview," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 83(1), pages 135-159, April.
    9. Bel, K. & Fok, D. & Paap, R., 2014. "Parameter Estimation in Multivariate Logit models with Many Binary Choices," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2014-25, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
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    More about this item


    Customer lifetime value; CLV-models; Forecasting; Database marketing; M30; C53; C35;

    JEL classification:

    • M30 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - General
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions


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