Excerpted article was written by Daniel Newman
Truth be told, the insurance industry has never been much of a leader when it comes to technology. But finally — after decades of working with clunky workflows, outdated software, and lots of paper — many insurance companies are starting to get a taste of the tech bug. Perhaps that’s because hungry newcomer start-ups like Slice saw an opportunity to do insurance smarter, faster, and better. Or perhaps they realized how much time, money and risk they can save by updating and automating their processes — up to 65% in cost reduction alone. Whatever the case, there’s finally forward movement in the insurance sector, and customers are rejoicing that companies are jumping into the digital age. The following are a few ways insurance providers are making life easier for customers through the digital transformation.
Ah — the beauty of the self-service model. We’ve seen it in grocery store lines and restaurants — and now we are finally seeing it in insurance. As we’ve learned, people want to use their phones to get “life” done as quickly and easily as possible. They’ve also started to get more comfortable with doing serious things — such as taking out mortgages and buying cars — at the click of a button. It makes sense they’d want to do the same thing with their insurance—managing everything from finding the right policy and making a claim, to tracking their car repair all from one place
In the past, when we got rear-ended, we’d have to move to the side of the road, fish out our insurance and AAA cards and start the agonizing process of informing everyone under the sun about our accident. Today, we can do all of that via mobile, all without ever needing to talk to an agent.
And Purchase Options
What Kayak has done for plane tickets, companies like insurance.com can do for insurance customers — helping to compare often complicated policy coverage and costs at the click of a button. Even better: you can enroll on the spot, having insurance in minutes without ever needing to speak to a sales agent. (Have you noticed a theme here?)
More Seamless Experience
We’ve all had the excruciating experience of explaining our accident to one service agent, and then getting transferred to another agent, only to tell the same story all over again. Now, insurance companies are making better use of technology to store customer history and data so all agents—whether contacted by a bot, text or phone — will have access to the same information.
Insurance As A Service?
As noted above, Slice offers what might soon be known as Insurance as a Service (IaaS)—allowing people to insure expensive items like cameras and jewelry only when they are in use. This service is a prime example of using technology purely for customer experience (CX): it allows people to keep their goods safe as needed, rather than forcing them into a long-term policy for items they rarely use.
These are all great advancements, but my opinion there is so much more that can be done. With the help of blockchain (a certain industry trend for 2018) to keep our information safe, we’ll soon find that all our insurance policies, health and driving records and relevant information is stored on one simple swipe-able chip that will make enrollment and claims processes even easier to process.
Even more, the Internet of Things (IoT) holds tremendous potential for insurance providers to increase safety among customers. For instance, wearable health trackers may be able to monitor alcohol levels and prevent one’s car from starting when the driver is under the influence. Insurance providers may also be able to prevent drivers’ phones from operating while their vehicle is in operation. (Apple is already planning to block texts in iOS 11.) There are so many possibilities, outside of saving money and increasing efficiency — the question now is only a matter of time.
One thing is for sure: the insurance market is known to be oversaturated with providers. Those who jump in early to give customers what they want and need via digital transformation will absolutely have a leg up on the competition.