Friday, 2 September 2016

Digital is changing insurance

Detials is a this trend is most evident with car insurance where online purchases make up over 73% of all policies sold (Sigma, 2014). However, technology will always evolve further. In a similar manner to the aforementioned tap/well analogy, more often than not, consumers still need to answer 20+ questions to get a car quote despite today’s off-the-shelf technology providing the pipes and the pump to enable a much simpler customer experience. Too often in today’s market place, insurers feel more bound by the perceived needs of their underwriting department, rather than the needs of their customers.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is helping insurance companies to take their digital offerings to the next level. Enhanced mobile-first websites allow prospective customers to use Google as their window to the internet empowering them to search, browse proposition information, get a quote and buy online in just minutes. Digitally minded agents are starting to think of insurance technology as an eco-system that includes lead-management systems capable of storing prospective customer’s lists and planning for follow up calls that their broker management systems don’t support. These same broker management systems should be treated as transaction engines, not customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

There has also been a notable rise in web-based risk management tools built by insurance companies and agents for customers to judge the risk levels of their business and determine the necessary insurance products best suited to that risk. Most importantly, the customer is able to assess their insurance premium via online calculators which are more comprehensive and determine risk which is personalised as opposed to general. Done right, this allows the customer to know exactly how premium figures are derived and leads to a more credible system.

Keeping on the water theme, social media is a fire hydrant of instant information to insurance organisations seeking to gain a better market presence, particularly if they’re facing the prospect of dwindling growth. Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn cultivate peer-to-peer communication, sharing of information and social communities. Of interesting note in this space, Google have recently entered the insurance market, offering an aggregation service no doubt on the back of identifying the insurance industry as being ripe for disruption

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