Digital transformation initiatives have become an important topic of discussion in boardrooms around the world. For insurers, embracing this shift can be especially beneficial as customers become more selective around product offerings and how technology is used to benefit them. Jonathan Jardim, senior software developer at SilverBridge Holdings, examines this.
“As can be seen by the rapid growth of insurtechs, end-users want a different experience from their insurer as opposed to what has happened in the past. The focus revolves around engagement, interaction, customisation, and how these integrate to a more nuanced way of delivering insurance. Adding further impetus to an increased awareness of digital solutions is the ongoing cost pressures and evolving regulatory requirements that require new business models,” says Jardim.
Already, many local insurers offer things such as mobile apps and paperless claims in addition to finding new ways to capture customer data. Just consider how impactful telemetry information has become regarding car insurance and rewarding good driver behaviour. But this is just a starting point for further innovation.
“We live in a time where artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain technology are becoming more mainstream. What was once something best left to the early adopters is now more commonplace with people looking at their service providers to offer them something exciting and different to traditional solutions.”
Despite the glamour adopting ‘shiny new technology’ brings, insurers can leverage these more effective ways of capturing data to move towards an omni-channel view of their customers. With customers comfortable in using whatever platform and device is convenient for them, they expect their insurer to do the same. This is where part of the success of the insurtech can be attributed to – their willingness and agility to use all channels at their disposal to engage with customers.
“The impact of digital on business processes is significant. However, the true effects of this might only be seen in the future. And for those who waited too long to embrace the move, by then it might already be too late. Things like reducing costs, delivering solutions faster to market, improving sales, enhancing the customer experience, and speeding up the claims process are business essentials in this digital environment. Any insurer who does not take this to heart, will risk losing its relevancy in the years to come.”
Irrespective of whether it is AI, IoT, or the blockchain, an insurer must be willing to analyse data in different ways. The real-time business environment (at least from a customer expectation perspective) necessitates capturing data from all channels and plugging it in to an analysis platform capable of delivering actionable intelligence.
“There will always be a temptation to adopt the latest technology. However, it is vital that insurers balance that need to compete against insurtechs with an understanding of what their customers want and on which platform they want to engage. Solid business principles still apply no matter the innovation happening in the market. But digital is becoming a powerful enabler to balance those environments and provide a platform for future growth,” he concludes.